Floods, tornadoes, thinning of the ozone layer and droughts all of these are the effects of climate change, due to global warming.
Climate change is one of many important topics that we as humans must talk about since it plays a large part in our lives and survival of the human race.
Many efforts have been talked about around the world from Ted talks to classrooms with students but how can the world help the earth? Not to mention, how can us, as citizens of the earth, help the earth?
Climate change plays a huge part in our lives but the effects may not be seen to most of us, unfortunately, climate change can:
climate change affecting our seas rising levels.
- The high temperatures from climate change cause glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica to melt and cause water in seas and oceans to expand.
- This threatens coastal and low-lying cities to lose land to the seas. For example, Majuro Adoll in the Pacific ocean may lose 80% of its land if sea level rises by half a meter.
More extreme weathers to frequent
- Heat waves can cause vital organs to be at risk and possibly death if the body cannot cool down sufficiently. The victims being mostly young children and elderly being especially vulnerable to heat exhaustion.
- Tornadoes and floods resulted from an increase in temperature and rain falls. Both causes will always leave destruction in their paths. Spreads of infections and insect-borne or waterBorne disease spread easily in these areas. For example, in Nepal and Bhutan, dengue fever was reported in 2004 with 11 cases-all without any history of traveling to areas with dengue fevers, even though it was a cool climate.
Climate change may also affect our fruit and vegetable growth.
In some regions, there may be longer growing seasons due to higher temperatures. The longer seasons may threaten many of our food stock not being able to have enough time to grow whilst some countries and fruits are given the advantage of having more time being grown.
On the other hand, farmers may also earn lesser because of being unable to grow their crops. This threatens their livelihood and can have less money to pay to grow more crops.
This is to say how far climate change affects many of our lives from rain and our food stock to large scale things like tornadoes and flooding.
Fortunately, governments and treaties have been made to combat climate change.
Treaties like the Kyoto protocol, an international treaty that aims to decrease the global emissions to 18% lesser than the carbon emissions of the 1990s. This treaty is quite effective in many countries due to flexibility and includes countries to have their own goals. Unfortunately, the treaty only has a limited effect on the globe as it currently applies to 14% of the global emissions
Another treaty is the Paris agreement. A very interesting treaty, I might add. The treaty currently applies to 55% of global emissions which has effects to 55 countries. The treaty included that countries signed on to the treaty have goals and full disclosure so that it can be discussed over governments, to help decrease their carbon emissions.
Unfortunately, during 2017, The United States of America (USA) government withdrew from the treaty. The effects of this action may be drastic and may reverse the effects of efforts to stop climate change.
Both treaties are incredibly useful and help different countries put in efforts to decrease carbon emissions. Unfortunately, that is not enough for us to combat global warming!
Us as individuals must learn how to make small changes in our lives to try to decrease our carbon footprint. Currently, the global average is 4 metric tons per person. This alone is not enough to combat climate change. We can combat this by:
Using the 3Rs,(reduce, reuse and recycle)
What are the 3Rs? Well its simple, reduce, reuse and recycle!
–Reduce can mean many things, but in this example, reducing means reducing the use of plastics ( bottles, packaged foods, plastic bags etc.) which aren’t biodegradable.
–Reuse is to use it as intended again or, to give your items a second life. For example, if you are not using a plastic bottle, turn it into a vase, or a stationary holder, the possibilities are endless!
–Recycle, this one is simple to know. You should always try to recycle whether at home or at work(or school) by putting the right items in the right bin, it’s that simple!
- Decrease driving to your destination
Around the world, having cars may be a symbol of freedom, independence or personal investments. Unfortunately, cars release gases such as carbon monoxide which contribute to greenhouse gases. So instead of driving try:
Walking or riding a bicycle to your destination if it is closer to you. This helps decrease the amount of gas burnt to drive to your destination. You may also use public transport, that is if your area has public transport. This method is more cost effective, helping you save. Unfortunately, this is much more time consuming so do plan ahead before planning on taking the train!
- Most importantly, eat locally and/or organically.
Our carbon footprint is also increased when we buy produces flown in by airplanes and foods that are non-organic uses fertilizers and insecticides that release greenhouse gases when used on soil.
A simple alternative is to buy organic and locally produced foods. Fewer greenhouse gases are produced during growing and transportation of these foods. Also, these foods are fresher and might be healthier.
In reality, it may seem how changing our habits for the better seems difficult, but in reality, it is the small changes in our lives that help us. Small little things that can grow into a good habit.
So for the planet, we should try to decrease our carbon footprint one step at the time and hopefully it can help us save the earth.