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Voice: We can help lessen global warming

February 26, 2001

Global warming, also known as the "greenhouse effect," has become a serious problem in today's world.

Over the past 100 years, the Earth's climate has risen by 1-degree Fahrenheit and it is mainly caused by human activity. This increase in temperature is caused by larger amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the Earth's atmosphere.

According to "Nova" scientists, this rise in CO2 began at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which means human activity has had a direct impact on our Earth and its rapid climate change. If the CO2 level continues to go up, the sea level could rise up to 20 feet and there would be mass flooding and hurricanes in areas that were once stable in climate. It could even be so bad as to wipe out the entire state of Florida.

After watching a video by "Frontline" researchers, I learned each American is responsible for the release of 20 tons of CO2 each year, and a typical U.S. family spends close to $1,300 on home uti!

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lity bills, much of which is spent on wasted energy.

As humans, we need to start taking care of our environment and learn to conserve energy before we destroy the only Earth we have. If we continue burning horrendous amounts of fossil fuels, which pollute the air with excess carbon dioxide, we could wipe out our entire human race within the next century or two.

Conserving or eliminating the use of fossil fuels is the key to protecting our environment. Little things such as turning off computers, air conditioners and lights when not being used is a start in helping our Earth.

Solar energy, hydrogen-powered automobiles and high-energy density materials are what we must learn to use if we want to save our planet.

We CAN make a difference! No matter what we do with any energy source, we will affect some aspect of our planet, but perhaps using many different ways of generating energy will minimize the impact.

CHRISTINA LYON

San Luis Obispo

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