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Are humans responsible for climate change?
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CO2 emissions are a leading cause of climate change

CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions are a major contributor to global warming. This is because CO2 is a greenhouse gas and also what some natural resources, like wood or fossil fuel, give off when burned. These greenhouse gasses absorb heat from the sun and trap it in the atmosphere, heating the planet.

The Argument

In the past, the planet didn’t have to worry about CO2 emissions causing significant climate changes. However, the industrialization of the fossil fuel industry changed that. In the past wood was used as fuel for fires, and still is, but things like coal and gasoline have replaced them. Gasoline is used to power machines like cars, but also factories. While electricity is promoting solar and wind power, many factories still burn fuel to produce it.[1] Coal is one of the most pollutant natural resources. Coal was responsible for more than 90 percent of the United States' carbon pollution in 2019.[2] In 2018, the planet generated 37.1 gigatonnes of CO2. In 2010 it was only 33.1 gigatonnes. Back in the 1940s it was only starting to reach 5 gigatonnes.[3] [4]One gigaton equals 1 billion metric tons. We have increased our emission exponentially since the 1950s. During this time, America was in a space race with Russia, and this spurred on technological innovation and exponential growth in industry. The planet has only become more advanced since then. American car culture also grew in the 1950s. These advances caused an increase in demand for fuel as more technologies required it. The planets overall temperature has only increased by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (a little more than 1 degree Celsius) in the last 100 years. With how it took the earth millions of years to do the same, humans are to blame for accelerating this change.

Counter arguments

CO2 emissions aren't as controllable as people like to believe. While cars are a contributor to the emissions, events like forest fires also cause them.[5] They are also far more uncontrollable. The amount of emissions are also regular for the increase in population over the past few centuries. It's not unexpected that the level of emissions has risen. While emissions have risen, so too have the peoples responses to counteract it. Green energy, electric cars, and the innovations don't stop there as scientists and companies will continue to turn out new ways to help protect the planet. The concept is scary, but humans have time to figure things out and take better care of the planet. People are already changing to react to the changes. Climate change, whether it's human-made or natural changes at work, the most important thing is that humans will be able to face it when the time comes.



[P1] Humans are dumping billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere [P2] The temperatures changing at a pace too rapid to be natural

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 at 10:11 UTC

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