Global warming continues to be a worldwide problem, and even though the US has showed decreasing rates of emission use in the past decade, it is not enough to help the entire planet. We have started to become aware of the detriment that burning oil and coal and other fossil fuels can cause to the planet and the ozone layer, so we have begun to plan and build with alternatives such as wind turbines and solar panels for the ultimate goal of sustainability and reducing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

A large part of beginning to minimize global warming is by spreading awareness and education of what global warming entails. Many people of my generation are still ignorant or have a misconception of what global warming actually is.¬†People hear the term “warming” and automatically associate the concept with increasing temperatures. Although this is true, increasing temperatures is not the only outcome of global warming. Other results that derive from climate change are rising sea levels, ice glaciers melting, increased intensity of natural disasters, changes in rainfall patterns, and changes in agricultural patterns. All of these factors have a much greater impact and come with higher risks on our ozone layer and environment than the simple discomfort (or pleasure) of increased temperatures. For example, changes in agricultural patterns affect not only farmers’ incomes, but also influence trade, political stability, and mass migration. Factors such as rising sea levels and increased intensity of natural disasters are elements we must consider in future urban planning and building design. Global warming is a much deeper issue than just increased temperature.

If people of my generation were more educated, we would be able to raise more awareness, and people and firms might be more willing to invest in alternative energy resources. Investment is the main component needed in order to shift our resources to be more environmentally friendly. Alternative energy resources are not cheap, and the percentage of people willing to contribute their time, effort, and money into alternative resources is clearly not vast enough to make a complete change.

Global warming is mostly human caused by the overuse of fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are burned, they release into the atmosphere and get trapped by the ozone layer, creating what is known as the greenhouse effect and is the reason our atmosphere has increased by 2 degrees Celsius in overall temperature in the last decade. If we cannot get people to invest money right away, the preceding step would be to get people to be more aware and conscious of the energy they are using, the water they might be wasting, and the excess fossil fuels they could potentially cut back on.