Global Warming 101
What is global warming? Think of a blanket, covering the Earth.
When CO2 and other heat-trapping emissions are released into the air, they act like a blanket, holding heat in our atmosphere and warming the planet.
Overloading our atmosphere with carbon has far-reaching effects for people all around the world, including rising sea levels, increasing wildfires, more extreme weather, deadly heat waves, and more severe droughts.
What causes global warming? We do.
The primary cause of global warming is human activity, most significantly the burning of fossil fuels to drive cars, generate electricity, and operate our homes and businesses.
Tropical deforestation, also by human hands, is another major contributor. When these forests are burned, they release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and because the forests no longer exist, they are no longer available to absorb CO2.
Who can reduce global warming? We can.
To address global warming, we need to significantly reduce the amount of heat-trapping emissions. As individuals, we can help by being mindful of our electricity use, driving more efficient cars, reducing the number of miles we drive, and taking other steps to reduce our own consumption of fossil fuels.
But we can also help by calling for government and corporate decision makers to reduce the threat of global warming by:
- Expanding the use of renewable energy and transforming our energy system to one that is cleaner and less dependent on coal and other fossil fuels.
- Increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and supporting other solutions that reduce U.S. oil use.
- Placing limits on the amount of carbon that polluters are allowed to emit.
- Building a clean energy economy by investing in efficient energy technologies, industries, and approaches.
- Reducing tropical deforestation and its associated global warming emissions.
- Implementing effective national and regional climate policies.