Though many might not realize it, our world is slowly slipping away from our fingers. According to the . Department of Transportation, since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels have increased by 30 percent, methane concentrations have doubled, and nitrous oxide levels have gone up 15 percent. When greenhouse gases accumulate in extraordinary levels, the amount of heat trapped in our atmosphere increases as well. This warming of the planet, termed global warming, has disastrous effects, ranging from the melting of polar ice caps to the extinction of many wildlife species. Our responsibility for this global issue, as well as our duty to fix it, is immense. Thus, the need to heed Pope Francis’ call to “protect our common home” must not be taken lightly, or we run the risk of losing our planet forever.