There are a multitude of negative impacts from these byproducts. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and one of the leading causes of global warming. Sulfur Dioxide causes acid rain, which harms plants and creates respiratory illnesses and heart diseases in children or the elderly. NOX and VOC’s irritate and damage the lungs through ground level ozone.
Not only do the byproducts negatively influence the air you breathe, but drilling disturbs ocean and land habitats. While there is a vast amount of oil being seeped naturally in through the ocean floor, the impact of a man-made oil spill can be devastating. In the past, most oil spills were created by issues with tankers that would begin to leak. The BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, however, unleashed over 206 million gallons of oil into the Gulf in April of 2010, free flowing at a rate of about 2.5 million gallons a day for almost 3 months before they could successfully plug the well.
THE CONCEPT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change, in a nutshell, is the concept that the unnatural amount of fossil fuels that humans are burning are emitting greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide) in such quantity that they get trapped within the Earth’s atmosphere. Skeptical Science breaks it down fairly well, also addressing the fact that climate and “weather” are completely different. The climate has no connection with your daily “hurricane, snowstorm or drought” but focuses on more long term trends in the variability of temperatures. As you can see by the NASA powered chart below, while there is major variability each year in highs and lows, the overall trend since the 1950s has increased dramatically.
Even El Nino/La Nina – which notoriously create tumultuous weather – have drastically increased since the 1950s according to NASA.
WHAT IS BEING DONE TO PREVENT CLIMATE CHANGE
DiCaprio’s foundation and the concept of divesting money from fossil fuel companies is a giant step in the right direction for reducing CO2 and other toxic gas emissions. Just in the US, according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, there is over $6.5 trillion currently invested in sustainable energy. Major countries such as the US and China have resolved to reduce their current greenhouse gas emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, which is great; the US and China currently produce the highest amount of greenhouse gases in the world.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AT HOME
The National Resource Defense Council has compiled a list of the most effective ways you can start helping out to reduce carbon emissions in your home. Some of which include reducing your heat and cooling usage or finding energy-efficient appliances that are certified with an Energy Star label, cut down on food consumption (40% of all food ends up in the landfill), and invest in greener transportation.
With unified action, we can leave a better world for generations to come./SOURCE