Target: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy
Goal: Protect our planet from the effects of global climate change.
What is causing increased flooding and droughts? More frequent and severe heat waves? Widespread melting of snow and ice? Rising sea levels? Oceans warming and acidifying? Air temperature increases and extreme temperature changes? The increase in severity of tropical cyclones? Climate change. Climate change affects our water supply, health, safety, agriculture, and power and transportation systems.
Despite deniers’ claims, Earth is warming and humans are responsible for the climate changes. Activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, industrial processes, and agricultural practices emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. The GHG surround the earth and trap energy in the atmosphere which causes it to warm. Carbon dioxide stays trapped in the atmosphere for nearly a century, which will cause Earth to warm.
If we do not change our habits drastically, we could witness increasing species’ extinctions, a reduction of coral reefs, mangrove forests, and tropical rainforests, increasing droughts in Africa, more severe flooding along river deltas in Asia, and more severe weather in hurricane zones.
Individuals can have an effect on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by recycling, using less water, powering down electronics, carpooling, biking, or using public transportation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is promoting a clean energy policy, but it’s not enough. Collecting data and voluntary programs are not reducing the amount of GHG in the atmosphere fast enough. Plans they are putting in place will not demonstrate noticeable effects until 2025 and 2030 – and that could be too late.
The most significant amount of GHG are emitted by automobiles and trucks, coal-fired power plants, large industrial operations, and ships and airplanes. While individuals are taking steps to decrease their carbon footprint, businesses need to participate as well. They need to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency, and buy renewable energy.
Fossil fuel companies openly challenge the assertions of 97 percent of climate scientists and insist that climate change is not an environmental crisis. For example, Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, believes that climate change is based on flawed computer models. Fossil fuel companies have mounted persuasive advertising campaigns to defend the expansion of tar sands and coal production – putting their reach for profits above the health of our planet.
When 97 percent of scientists agree that human activities are to blame for climate change, they are probably right. By signing this petition below, you will urge U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to enact rules and regulations to reduce GHG that will have results now, not in 15-20 years. We only have one planet. Let’s save it together.
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
The United States needs to implement policies and plans to reduce and eliminate our dependence on fossils fuels now. The longer we delay, the greater the risks to our environment and our lives.
Fossil fuel companies are openly challenging the results of 97 percent of climate change scientists, calling the data irrelevant. Their greedy grasp at profits and total disregard for the environment is atrocious and they need to accept the consensus of governments and scientists. Large oil and gas companies openly doubt that regulations restricting the use of fossil fuels will ever be enforced and continue to make plans to expand their production.
We only have one Earth. Let’s work together to be responsible citizens and reduce or eliminate greenhouse gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels. I urge you to pursue policies and regulations to reduce emissions and include punitive measures for those companies who do not comply. Please save the only planet we have.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kagemusha