Dealing with Climate Change: Strategies for Success

Global warming is currently on the minds of many Americans, in part because President Obama highlighted the importance of addressing this issue in his recent inaugural speech. Shortly after the President’s appearance, several MIT researchers, as well as government officials, came together in Massachusetts to talk about how best to handle climate change. Two MIT professors took the lead, focusing the discussion on the impact the rising temperatures could have on the world’s population.

global warmingThe side effects of climate change

Most people won’t be upset if the average temperature in their city or town fluctuates by a degree or two. However, when discussing global warming, rising temperatures are actually the least of our worries; instead, it is important to consider everything else that could happen as a result of climate change. Because of global warming, severe storms, including hurricanes and blizzards, as well as periods of drought and rising sea levels are all possible.

Facing global warming head on

One way to deal with climate change is through mitigation, or by cutting back on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. However, this idea has not gained much popularity in other countries or even at home in the United States. One thing is clear, though; it is important for the U.S. to lead by example and show others how best to handle global warming. In part, that means that scientists and government leaders must work together to come up with ways to adapt.

Leading the way: How Massachusetts is raising awareness

Massachusetts is taking their role in this process very seriously. A few years ago, the state published a report outlining global warming strategies. Stephen Estes-Smargiassi, an employee at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, mentioned the Deer Island treatment plant in the article; his example highlights why adaptation will be so crucial in the years to come. When work on the Deer Island plant was first underway, engineers determined that the plant could be damaged if water levels near the structure ever increased. To combat this problem, the plant’s design was raised by about 24 inches, and it became the perfect example of climate adaptation at work. In the future, a new way of life will need to be embraced by all; for instance Jersey City pest control companies will have to adapt to global warming as coastal waters rise and flood towns, as will many other businesses.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is also leading the nation as it strives to be more efficient, conserve more water and install renewable energy such as solar panels. Because approximately 33 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are a result of the food system, the MWRA engages in composting, uses an organic charcoal substitute to encourage fertility and more.

While Massachusetts and other areas of the United States are making progress, there is much left to accomplish when it comes to preparing for climate change. When new leaders are elected, progress occasionally stalls or initiatives are altered in some way. It is vitally important that strategies are developed, followed through on and implemented for the long-term if they are to be successful.

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