2016 Applicant – Rachel Bednarski
2016 Apllicant – Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. Ohio Problem-Solving Scholarship
Rachel Bednarski – Rocky River, Ohio
Sea levels are predicted to rise 1-4 feet by 2100 according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This prediction means that a coastal city like Miami, Florida, or small islands like those in Indonesia could be completely underwater in less than 100 years. Global warming, the largest contributing factor to rising sea levels, among other environmental problems, is an international dilemma I would like to improve as soon as possible. While global warming most likely can never be completely stopped, there are many ways to slow down the process.
Before describing how I would solve global warming, it is important to know why global warming is such a big issue. One of the biggest problems caused by global warming are elevated levels of human death and disease. As temperatures rise across the world, people are dying from extreme heat waves because their bodies are not adapted to such high temperatures. In 2003, over 70,000 people died from implications caused by severe heat alone. Essentially, we are killing ourselves. This needs to stop! Additionally, more individuals are being diagnosed with asthma and other air-borne diseases because of the combination of high levels of smog created by too much fossil fuel emission and the heat. Furthermore, wildlife is continuously being destroyed by increasing global temperatures. Scientists predict that when temperatures rise by 3.6F, 97% of the world’s coral reefs will die. Because the environment is so meticulously balanced, the disappearance of the coral reefs would send almost all ecological systems into a downward spiral. Scientists also predict that about two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population will be extinct by 2050 because of the rising sea levels (Natural Resources Defense Council). Clearly, it is important to all living things that global warming needs to be slowed down. If we did not try to solve global warming, Earth may not be able to support life in the very near future.
Fixing global warming has increasingly become a larger issue in the past decades as predictions have gotten more and more devastating. For example, the Paris Agreement, a legally binding global climate deal that was signed by 195 countries in December 2015, was a major political step towards reducing global warming, but it still is not strict enough. There needs to be more connection between political bodies and those who invent and produce technologies that will help reduce increasing global temperatures. One specific way involving technology that would diminish global warming is using alternative sources of energy like solar panels or hydroelectric power instead of non-renewable fossil fuels that release unhealthy emissions. The solar panel industry has been growing exponentially as a result of increased knowledge regarding the effects of global warming. Installing solar panels on every possible building that gets adequate sunlight would be a giant step towards reducing fossil fuel emission, which is a major contributor to global warming. However, there are many places in the world that do not get enough sunlight for solar panels to perform efficiently. For example, places like Alaska or northern Russia do not get the amount of sunlight Southern California would get on a daily basis. As a result, places like these could use other forms of alternative energy, like hydroelectricity. Hydroelectricity can come in many different and helpful forms. Whether harnessing power from dams or ocean waves, increased hydroelectric power can also ease the effects of global warming. Alternative energy sources are extremely important because they reduce the amount of “greenhouse gas” emissions created by fossil fuels, which are non-renewable. Although alternative energy sources can be expensive, there are ways to reduce cost and make it affordable for most people. Each government should give monetary aid to those who are willing to install and use alternative energy in place of fossil fuels. If individuals had a rebate system or a discount provided by their federal government for solar panels or hydroelectric sources or other renewable energies, it would be much easier for every one to afford. Combined with the beneficial and positive thoughts about helping the environment, affordable and renewable energy sources would make for a much improved Earth. There should be no argument as to why we should not use more alternative energy sources than we do now. In order to preserve the remaining fossil fuels left, and maintain the world as we know it today, alternative energy would be the best solution for this issue. Global warming is extremely important to me because it affects the way we live every single day. Although there has been increased media attention, many people still do not believe or recognize that this is an immense problem. Therefore, I genuinely believe that slowing down global warming would lead to a highly improved quality of life.
Thank you to all of our applicants. Please check out the annual Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. Ohio Problem-Solving Scholarship for current opportunities.