How Does The Us Contribute To Global Warming

The United States is one of the largest contributors to global warming, with significant implications on the environment, economy and public health. The critical role played by the US in facing this environmental crisis has been widely discussed and it is important to understand the root causes of the country’s contribution to climate change.

At the core of the issue is the US’s impressive history of emissions of heat-trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide. Despite its low population and land area in comparison to other countries, the US is the second-largest producer of emissions, with a total of 5.4 billion tons in 2017, that’s about 15 percent of the global total. The largest source is from burning fossil fuels for transportation and the production of electricity, accounting for 66 percent and 32 percent respectively.

The burning of these fossil fuels has far-reaching implications, from the production of particulate matter in the air to changes in global temperature, ocean acidity and sea levels. The US’s part in this is well-established, as a 2017 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has argued that the US’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions have increased by over 10 percent since 1990, primarily due to increased consumer demand.

The effects of these emissions are considerable, and can be seen in events such as rising temperatures in the American Southwest, which has had negative implications on local wildlife and the livelihoods of residents due to the extreme heat conditions. In other locations, the ocean’s rising acidity is threatening the ability for fish and coral reefs to survive, and is putting strain on the US’s seafood industry. Severe weather patterns are likewise in evidence, as shown in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and their wide-reaching destruction across Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In order to effectively confront this crisis, the US needs to prioritize sustainable development, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and manage natural resources more efficiently. A shift towards the deployment of renewable energy sources for electricity production, namely solar and wind, is crucial in lowering emissions and should complement investment in energy efficiency. Other measures such as incentivizing the use of electric cars and providing consumers with energy-saving appliances can also play an important role in reducing emissions.

The US has an opportunity to connect technological developments, society and economic growth in a nature-conscious symbiosis and thus play a decisive role in slowing global warming, encouraging other countries to follow suit. While the challenge of global warming is immense, it is possible to dampen the effects and see a greener, cleaner future for all.

Ernestine Warren is a passionate environmentalist, author, and advocate for the protection of the Earth's precious resources. She has written extensively on the causes and effects of global warming, providing accurate information to help educate people on how to combat this major global problem. With a background in science and biology, Ernestine has the tools to help develop solutions that meet everyone's needs while minimizing environmental damage. Her hope is that each person can do their part for the planet and make a real difference to help reduce climate change.

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