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Fast Facts: Climate Change,
Coal, Cars, and Corporate America
Once in the atmosphere, CO2 remains there for a long time and the effects of its presence continue to play out. Even if CO2 emissions stabilize at 450 ppm in the next few decades, the Earth's temperature will still continue to increase, causing dangerous climate events. Some ecosystems will be permanently and irreversibly damaged.
Some have tried to deny that humans are responsible for climate change, because the Earth has its own natural cycle of warming and cooling. However, after extensive research throughout the world, scientists are finding that the Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate; the top 10 warmest years in the past century have occurred in the last 15 years. According to NOA, 2010 is on pace to become the hottest year on record. [source: UCS]
Climate change impacts are happening right now, resulting in damage to fragile ecosystems and human communities. The largest known insect infestation in North American history is happening now, says the Canadian Forest Service. Millions of acres of Mountain Pine are dying, turning the once-lush green landscape of British Columbia to a sickly burnt orange, all because of a tiny beetle. Consistently mild winters are resulting in uncontrolled reproduction. The infestation has destroyed more trees than wildfires and logging, drastically inhibiting the forest’s future growth and worsening the Earth’s ability to balance its changing climate. . [source: Washington Post]
As one of the largest utilities in the U.S. with more than 4.3 million customers, Southern Company owns the worst polluting coal plant in the US, which emits an astonishing 26 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. Take our action, telling Southern Company to clean up its act.