Excess CO2 acts as a blanket, trapping heat and warming the planet. CO2 survives in the atmosphere for a long time—up to many centuries—so its heat-trapping effects are compounded over time. If the global economy remains dependent on fossil fuels for its energy needs it poses severe risks to natural systems and to human health and well-being. The good news is we can do something about it. Any action to reduce or eliminate the release of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere helps slow the rate of warming and, likely, the pace and severity of change at any given hot spot. Local sources of carbon emissions vary from region to region, suggesting that solutions are often decided at the community level. Some regions, however, must rely upon global solutions such as international agreements to reduce the carbon overload in the atmosphere that threatens them. Individual, regional, and national actions can all add up to global solutions, slowing and eventually halting the upward climb of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. The question is – “What am I willing to do to contribute my share of the solution?”

Lisa James.

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