Essay #2 Our planet is getting warmer, while this may seem like a benign fact the consequences are actually graver than we realize and the causes are just as daunting. It is no longer debatable that carbon emissions are a real thing, and it is just as evident that we are the cause of the greenhouse gases that carbon emissions produce. Everything we do whether it is driving our cars to work or just having a barbeque in the back yard all add to the carbon emissions we produce. With the rise in sea level, large wildfires, and unseasonal typhoons it seems that the time to take action is waning. So what can we do to slow down the rise of greenhouse gas emissions? Well, we should be doing the right thing, but the right thing is not always cost effective nor is it, at this point, a realistic option. To see a drastic drop in carbon emissions that would mean we would have to freeze every activity that causes carbon emissions, and in our technologically based world that would be hard to do. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation”. Shutting down the energy and transportation sectors would not be a realistic, although very effective, way to reduce carbon emissions. Where does that leave us then? Are we to continue with same mode of living that has brought us to this point, which threatens to engulf port cities into the ocean, that has surface temperatures rising slightly? No, there is one thing that we can do. By encouraging urban development we would be taking a positive step forward in eliminating greenhouse gases.
Why cities? Well, according to “The Greenness of Cities: Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development” by Edward Glaeser and Matthew Kahn, “Cities generally have significantly lower emissions than suburban areas, and the