New reports on climate change show effects are intensifying

January 20, 2019 | Brent Trenga, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP | Kingspan Insulated Panels

Climate change is impacting the USA

"Climate change is the fundamental problem of our generation."

Climate change is the fundamental problem of our generation. The future of the planet is at stake, and the future predicted by this report is a warning of what our nation will become if radical measures are not taken.
The recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment shows what we already know: that the effects of climate change across the globe are intensifying and damage is accumulating. For proof, look to what we have encountered this year: more than 200 natural disasters have taken place, including the deadliest wildfires in California’s history and the “Beast from the East” in the UK.
 
Climate change is the fundamental problem of our generation. The future of the planet is at stake, and the future predicted by this report is a warning of what our nation will become if radical measures are not taken. It warns of thousands of deaths, more extreme weather like wildfires and floods, and losses of hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy.
 
This report has startled many readers with its findings. Health consequences will also worsen with climate change – a few issues associated with climate change include increases in heart and lung disease, heat stroke and bacterial infections. The assessment also reiterates that climate change will hit low-income communities the hardest.
 
On November 27, only a few days after the Fourth National Climate Assessment was made public, the UN released The Emissions Gap Report, its climate change report card. If this report card was made of letter grades, we’d all receive F’s this year. The report shows the largest gap ever between countries’ individual contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement and what is necessary to stay within the range of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius increases over pre-industrial temperatures.
 
All the details in these reports may be confusing, and some people may turn away from reading them due to fear or disbelief. If there’s only one thing to take away from these reports it is this: the future of this planet is in danger and if we don’t step up to save it, the effects of climate change will only worsen.
 
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" Let this be a reminder that to save our future, we need to begin today."

At Kingspan, we’ve observed the role that buildings play in contributing to climate change and have been making active efforts to reverse any negative effects. Buildings consume 40 percent of our energy annually, and they emit nearly half of the CO2 through greenfield development, cement production, and the burning of fossil fuels. We’re continually finding new ways to sustainably change our industry and mitigate the effects of climate change. 
 
The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program deliver a report to Congress and to the President no less than every four years, and the UN will continue to update its reports. Every assessment moving forward will only tell of worsening conditions. Let this be a reminder that to save our future, we need to begin today.
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