For many years, global warming experts refused to embrace adaptation strategies, fearing that a discussion about adapting to global warming would give governments an excuse for not taking action to mitigate climate change. Today, most experts continue to stress that strong and immediate intervention is needed to protect future generations from global warming, but they accept that humans also must begin to prepare for the consequences of the higher temperatures that now seem certain to occur in coming decades. As the IPCC's 2007 report explains, "Adaptation will be necessary to address impacts resulting from the warming which is already unavoidable due to past emissions."41 Many commentators agree that these adaptation efforts must be made very soon, because global warming is already upon us. As author Mark Hertsgaard explains:
For years, global warming was discussed in the hypothetical— a threat in the distant future. Now it is increasingly regarded as a clear, observable fact. . . . This sudden shift . . . [means]
The Thames Barrier in London, England, is the world's second-largest movable flood barrier and is used to control the water levels of the Thames River by raising and lowering a system of hydraulic gates.
we must start thinking about the many ways global warming will affect us, our loved ones, our property and our economic prospects in the years ahead. We must think—and then we must adapt to this new reality as best we can.42
At the same time, as IPCC coauthor Richard Klein of the Stockholm Environment Institute cautioned, "Adaptation . . . cannot be a substitute for mitigation."43 Instead, experts stress that both strategies—mitigation and adaptation—must take place simultaneously. During the next few decades, therefore, governments around the globe must act to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions significantly while also working to strengthen systems to protect against stronger hurricanes, heat waves, fires, droughts, rising seas, and other impacts of global warming. Commentators warn that this challenge is necessary even though it will require massive efforts and expenditures in many countries. As Hertsgaard puts it, "Adapting to global warming won't be cheap. It won't be optional either."44
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Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.