How We Can Respond to Climate Change

Right now, in the U.S. and around the world, climate change is causing major weather events and catastrophic situations to occur, negatively impacting everyone in its path. This includes flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and many other dangerous disasters. It’s important to know what is causing this and do our best to figure out ways to prevent these causes from further damaging our environment. 

The key to slowing down and eventually stopping climate change is reducing the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. For carbon dioxide, that means either a transition away from burning fossil fuels as our primary source of energy or the development of some way of capturing that carbon dioxide so that it doesn’t enter the atmosphere.

There are two things that could help in this instance: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation involves reducing emissions of and stabilizing the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This can include refraining from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, or transport or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store these gases, like the oceans, forests, and soils. Adaptation deals with adapting to the climate change already in the pipeline. Reducing our risks from the harmful effects of climate change, like sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and food insecurity, is the goal of adaptation. The faster the climate changes, the more difficult it will be to adapt. 

With governments working to build flood defenses, planning for heat waves and higher temperatures, and installing better-draining pavements to deal with floods and stormwater to improve water storage and use, it’s important to consider taking your local issues into account before trying to tackle the bigger, wide-spread issues. If everyone takes all of these things into account and starts taking small steps to help with these issues, our environment may hold up a little better for future generations to come. 

Here are some useful websites with more information regarding this crisis:

  1. Mitigation and Adaptation | Solutions – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet (
  2. Effects of Climate Change on Future Generations | Save the Children
  3. How Can We Respond to Climate Change? – New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center (
  4. How We Respond: Community Responses to Climate Change | U.S. Geological Survey (
  5. Response Options |


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