How to combat climate change at Tahoe-Truckee | Opinion | SierraSun.com

How to combat climate change at Tahoe-Truckee | Opinion

Rachel Burson
Special to the Sun

We have all heard of global warming and the greenhouse effect, and it is a real thing. We have also seen the product of global warming — Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake are slowly receding.

In addition to the lakes, we have also had a declining amount of snow over the past few years. There are hits the world has taken, too. For instance, there are the melting ice caps in Antarctica.

People who release emissions are part of the problem that is global warming. Driving our cars puts out harmful fumes. The six global warming gases that our cars emit are Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Hydrocarbons or Volatile Organic Compounds, and Water Vapor.

Nitrogen isn’t the main cause, but it is definitely harming in some ways. However in its gaseous form, nitrogen is very inert (unreactive) and only a small number of organisms are able to utilise it (thenakedscientists.com).

“Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved.”Bill Gates

Carbon Dioxide keeps some of the energy that we receive from the sun from returning to space, which makes our atmosphere hotter and helps global warming take place in Earth’s atmosphere (education.jlab.org).

Carbon Monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can poison us, leaks into our air from our tailpipes (auto.howstuffworks.com). Nitrogen Oxides cause irritation to human mucus membranes, which protects us from different illnesses, so if that gets eroded, then we’re open to any sickness around us (auto.howstuffworks.com).

Hydrocarbons or Volatile Organic Compounds are released into the air; these gases are toxic (education.jlab.org). Water Vapor is the last of the gases — when Water Vapor is in the air, it heats up and helps the Greenhouse Effect (auto.howstuffworks.com).

For every gallon of gas our cars burn, they emit about 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases (ucsa.com). There are 1.3 billion people residing in China, and we still put out seven times as much of the Greenhouse gases, and there are only 316.5 million people in America.

Also, the United States comprises of 4 percent of the world’s population, but we emit around 25 percent of the total gases (thehcf.com). These numbers can shrink if you use these ideas to reduce emissions.

There are many ways you can help bring down the outflow of these gases. There also are three ways that can bring down emissions, save you money, and help you get into shape: running, walking, and biking.

However, these suggestions may pose a problem because of the many hills in this town, but there are other solutions. For instance, you can carpool or you can use an non-emission vehicle.

These are only a few ideas that will slow down global warming, but there are definitely a lot more ways to help. So research, ask around, and come up with your own ideas to save our home.

Rachel Burson, a current student at Truckee High School, wrote this article for a school project last year, in which students had to pick one issue in our community and act on it. Her project was about global warming, the greenhouse effect and how people in the community can help with the solution.