Climate change is a topic that is dominating the country politically, but what is the actual science behind it? Our atmosphere is made up of a specific set of elements which block harmful radiation from reaching the Earth and trap other types of radiation to warm the planet (aka the greenhouse effect). This effect is essential for human life because it keeps the planet at a stable temperature so humans can survive. Global warming occurs when too many greenhouse gasses are present in the atmosphere, causing the Earth to trap too much heat and therefore become too warm. In recent years, the average temperatures across the planet have been steadily rising due to this effect.
Greenhouse gasses are emitted when companies burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. A key way to prevent a changing climate is to simply stop burning fossil fuels, but our government in the United States alongside other countries are actively encouraging this practice to continue. Through the use of subsidies and loans, the federal government is allowing big oil companies to continue to burn fossil fuels and harm our planet. This is due to the fact that these oil companies consistently lobby governments around the world using the huge amount of profit they make from selling oil.
How can we stop climate change? A key way to prevent global warming is to work towards a green economy. Through recent technological breakthroughs, the use of solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity has become much more viable. These technologies are now much cheaper to produce and install when compared to building large oil refineries. They also have become much more efficient, as scientists and engineers have worked hard to find better ways to store and transfer the energy generated by these clean energy sources.