The graph on the right shows carbon dioxide contributions from various sources in which fossil fuels are burned. The top contributors include electricity generation (power plants), transportation, and industrial factories. Deforestation is also a big contributor. This does not mean that cutting down trees produces carbon dioxide, however it takes less carbon dioxide out of the air because trees inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen. We can stop these contributors with simple changes. You alone can help, and the government can make changes too. However together we can all make a big impact on climate change if it means reduce our own personal emissions or passing laws to stop even bigger contributors.



45% of all CO2 emissions comes from transportation. This is why we should have a 25 miles per gallon minimum on all cars by the year 2020. This is a small step for now, but as the years go on we could always increase this minimum and pass more laws like this to reduce our emission standards.
This graph was produced by the Environmental Protection Agency for the total pollution emitted by an average passenger car in
one year. This car would have 21.5 mpg and would travel a total of only 12,500 miles per year.

How? We shouldn't allow any cars with less than 25 mpg to be sold in the country. Also, the government should put on more programs like Cash for Clunkers to provide deals and enthuse people about buying a more energy efficient car.
Pros: People will save money by having to buy less gas and this will also reduce their CO2 emissions.
Cons: Cash for Clunkers programs cost a lot of money,and this will also reduce our demand for gas which could raise the price. Also, this movement could cause car companies like Hummer to go bankrupt, which could further harm our economy.

Factory emissions are large contributors to Co2 emissions in the air. Alone, the United States emits 328,000 million metric tons of Co2 since the 1800’s. This is 3 times as much as China has. By reducing in each factory, it will make a big change. In Harris, Texas alone, over 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide have been released in one year! By putting a limit on these emissions we could drastically reduce greenhouse gasses.


We can reduce these emissions by decreasing the unneeded materials we produce. Also, our government should step up and take action by putting a limit to how much Co2 emissions a factory can produce each year. However, we would need to set standards per factory, which could pose a problem. For example, a factory that produces computers would have more emissions than a factory that produces folders. Obviously, some factories would release a larger amount of Co2 each year than the others. While setting these standards we need to take into consideration how large the factory is and what it produces. By doing this, overtime it will drastically help out and reduce emissions.
Pros: By setting standards on the emissions, less Co2 will be emitted in the air. Less Co2 causes fewer deaths caused from high Co2 levels and poor air quality. According to Mark Jacobson, “A new study details how far 1 degree Celsius caused by carbon dioxide, the resulting air pollution would lead annually to about a thousand additional deaths and many more cases of respiratory illness and asthma in the United States. Worldwide, upward of 20,000 air-pollution-related deaths per year per degree Celsius may be due to this greenhouse gas.” However reducing emissions will not only save lives, it will stop greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere and halt global warming.
Cons: Companies and factories could only produce so much of their product until they have reached the maximum level of CO2. This could result in a decrease of product or supply. On the contrary, they will look for greener ways to produce their item so they could make more of their product with less emissions.

Burning fossil fuels for electricity generation is our biggest carbon dioxide contributor. Many new green energy technologies are appearing however they are usually confined to a specific region in which all the specifications are met. This is why we should fund green energy research organizations and promote green energy usage across the country.
How? Green energy varies from hydroelectric, solar, wind and geothermal energy. However theses technologies are limited to a specific area where it is sunny or windy enough, where there is a flowing body of water, or where magma is closest to the crust. By funding the building of green energy in areas that meet these standards, we can be on our way to reducing our CO2 emissions. We should also fund organizations that are researching and developing new green energy technologies. This could provide new ways to generate electricity that is not confined to a specific region.
Pros: Most power plants burn fossil fuels or use dangerous nuclear fission to turn water to steam that spins a turbine and generator. By using green energy we can reduce our CO2 emissions and the risks posed by these options. The building of windmills or other power plants could also create many new jobs which could promote the economy.
Cons: This is a very costly proposal which could be a downturn to our economy. Also, some people worry about the appearance of windmills or dams. This could also disrupt the natural ecosystem. Dams could pose a problem of fish going up stream to breed or could cause flooding to the body of water the are in.


Forests cover 30% of Earth’s land area. However, each year parts of these forests as big as Panama are lost. The biggest contributor to deforestation is agriculture. Farmers need the land area to harvest crops; therefore, they cut down forests to make room.

How? Forests are naturally moist, however when the tree tops are not blocking the sun they dry up. Trees also take part in the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the air. When these roles are not in action, the forest lands will become barren deserts. Also, trees and vegetation absorb carbon dioxide. When there are more trees and plants, less carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. However with climbing deforestation rates, less trees are on earth causing more CO2 in the air. Also, another main problem is the slash-and-burn method. Particularly in rain forests, trees are cut down and burned to make room for farmlands. This releases greenhouse gasses as well. The Amazon rain forest is one of the many rain forests affected by deforestation. In the past 40 years about 20% of the Amazon rain forest has been cut down. Because the Amazon rain forest is located in Brazil, Brazil needs to take action. They need to make laws to protect not only the rain forest but many animals’ habitats.
Pros: Lowers animal extinction & habitat loss. Lowers Co2 emissions.
Cons: Less land for farming, particularly in the Amazon. People will need to now how to keep their land fertile instead of moving onto a new plot every few years.


Buy Local :

Should you buy oranges transported from Florida or California? Most people would not exactly care. However, looking deeper down on the situation, you should buy goods that are produced closer to you. This reduces emissions that pollute the Earth every day. An orange that was washed at a local factory in California, transported to numerous supermarkets across America and taken home by you travels a long distance if you live in New England. The tractor- trailer trucks that transports these items emit more pollution and carbon dioxide than any other type of truck. By buying at a local store or farmer's market can reduce pollution emissions drastically. Even simple actions, such as, buying fresh foods grown by yourself or made at a store nearby, reduces the emissions that would have been emitted by buying food that was frozen and shipped to your supermarket.

Recycling :Recycling is one of those actions you can take that is just small but makes a big difference. When you recyclerecycle22.jpg plastic, cans, paper, cardboard, or metals you decrease the need for new resources including trees. Not only does this help out you, but also the Co2 emissions created when producing a new product. Stanford University’s recycling efforts in 2008 alone reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by about 3,568 metric tons. This is equal to taking 2,692 cars off the road for a year. It takes approximately 1 million years for a glass bottle to break down in a landfill. So why do we bother using these types of materials? Because we are so used to it, no one wants to give it up. However, if we did things such as recycling one aluminum beverage can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours or a TV for 2 hours.

http://recycling.stanford.edu/5r/benefits.htm http://www.headwatersrecycle.com/why.htm
Keeping Warm :
We could lower our usage of oil each winter by simply building smaller houses or even dressing warmer. By building a smaller house it will not only cost less but it will also take less oil to heat your house. Oil is already a nonrenewable resource which means it can not be produced as fast as we use it. By reducing the oil, you can also reduce the burning of fossil fuels which emits large amounts of CO2 in the air everyday. So do you really need to keep your house at 80 degrees during those tough winter days, or can you simply put on a sweatshirt?

Local Transportation :
Using trains, buses, subways, bicycles, and even walking can help reduce Co2 emissions. By taking these around town more people can be transported from one place to another more efficiently. If you were to travel 1000 miles in a 21 mpg average sized car you would produce 6.6 tons of Co2 each year. However, if you went the same distance on a train you would only produce 2.7 tons of Co2 a year. That’s 3.9 tons less than a car! Not only is that a large amount but using just the car you would need 33 trees to offset the emissions per year. For the train however you would need 13.5 trees. Now do you really need to be brought into school each morning from your parents or can you simply hop on the bus?


Reducing Electricity :

Most electricity is made when coal is burned and heats water until it turns to steam. The steam then spins a turbine which is connected to a generator, producing electrical energy. By reducing electricity use in your home it could not only save your money, but reduce CO2 emissions.You could also choose another path. Solar panels use the sun’s renewable energy to convert it into electricity. This is a more costly choice but could save lots of money and emissions in the long run.

To help save electricity you could

  • Check your house to make sure it is insulated well and update your windows. This keeps the heat in your house instead of having to raise the thermostat because of leaks.
  • Plant trees to shade your home or even repaint your house! Light colors will reflect heat keeping it cooler and dark colors will absorb heat keeping your house warmer if you live in a cold climate.
  • Buy new Energy Star brands, or replace your old appliances with new efficient ones.bulb.jpg
  • Turn your refrigerator on an energy saver setting, or around 37 degrees and your freezer to 3 degrees. Refrigerators account for almost 20% of your household electricity use, so this can help a lot.
  • Set your clothes washer to warm, not hot.
  • Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Switch to compact florescent light bulbs. They are a bit costly but save energy and last longer than the average incandescent.
  • Instead of turning up the heat or air conditioning, open a window, use a blanket or change your clothes.
  • Turn off anything that is not in use. Unplug your chargers, power down your computer of turn off the screen. All the little things help.