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Twelve years from now, in the year 2030, the beautiful, blue planet that humans love and call home will be drastically different, and not in a good way. A theory supported by a majority of scientists, global warming, is a very disastrous thing as Earth has begun to warm up throughout the years. So much so that if the Earth’s temperature increases even by a few degrees, the results could mean rising sea levels, an increase in natural disasters, food shortages for people around the world, and countless other horrifying results. In fact, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has recently released a report that stressed the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and continuing this reduction throughout the following years.

Why is it so important for gas emissions to be lowered over the next 12 years? Well, Earth is already two-thirds the way to the point of no return with temperatures rising 1 degree over the past decade, and 12 years from now, if temperatures continue to rise, will be the cut off where any action will no longer have an impact. This means that if the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, the planet will deteriorate and there will be no way to stop, or reverse, the process.  Every degree of temperature matters, even if it’s less than half of a degree increase. Mountain glaciers and other ice will disappear; sea levels will rise and submerge continents; the ecosystem will collapse, and the world as we know it will be completely deteriorated.

To make a largely significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, major corporations need to step up and make the necessary, rapid changes in the four big global systems: energy, land use, cities, and industry. In fact, two things that major corporations can do that will drastically affect the planet’s well-being is cutting off coal and, instead, embracing the renewable energy revolution.

And though major changes are needed from these corporations to ensure a prolonged life span for Earth, there are various ways for individual people to help meet the target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. For example, one can buy less meat and dairy products and, alternatively, try to eat more greens. The reason for this is because raising livestock generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as driving all automobiles combined, and if we were to eat more greens, land use would decrease significantly. Use reusable containers instead of plastic and styrofoam containers as a substitute to help lower your plastic consumption and styrofoam pollution. Invest in a hydroflask or any other insulated bottle so that you don’t use plastic water bottles. Moreover, take more public transportation (such as trains and buses), or take the time to walk to nearby places so that the emission of car gases decreases.

Earth is dying as a result of humans, and, by the rate we’re going, we won’t be able to call this planet our home in a few short years. So, the time to act is now and every little change matters.

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