Whether you care for the planet or not, climate change is something that is going to affect you. From the day to day, we cannot physically see the effects we are having on our planet, but over the last few decades, the abuse and neglect that this planet has taken from mankind is becoming more and more evident.
We are all guilty of creating some form of pollution that is causing harm to this planet, whether it's from driving a car or from leaving the lights on. Climate change has been a talked about topic for so many years now that we all know some basic facts or figures without even realising such as:
The last decade was the hottest in 125,000 years
CO2 is at its highest in 2 million years
Global temperature is rising
Sea levels are rising
Melting of the ice caps
These are all facts that children born from the 2000s onwards have grown up hearing; but now as we reach our 20's, we are struck with the harsh truth that our planet is dying and there's very little we can do to save it. There are ways to prolong the planet's life expectancy, but we need to act now to make a change. We as a generation need to take action to help the planet and keep it healthy for our future children.
From atmospheric CO2 and rising sea levels to global warming and air pollution, these are just a few of the things killing our planet. Not only does climate change affect us as humans but it also harms the animals and plants of the planet. Many animals and plants over the past years have gone extinct due to no longer being able to survive in the conditions of our planet.
Problems when it comes to climate change:
1 Human beings
"Scientific evidence for the warming of the climate system is unequivocal." - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The UN’s intergovernmental panel kicked off its 2021 report by stating that the scientific evidence for humans being the main problem causing climate change was unequivocally true. Climate modeling is a refined science with today’s technology, and this is how scientists were able to predict how things would have gone without human influence, within a margin of error. The results have shown that what we as humans are observing today, is beyond the margin of error and therefore proving that we as a species have had a detrimental effect on the planet.
As humans and the inhabitants of this planet, we have to try and correct our ways – but many believe we are past the point of correction and that we are now in survival mode.
2 CO2 is at its highest in 2 million years
Although CO2 is needed for Earth's natural Greenhouse effect to work, we as humans are adding too much CO2 to the atmosphere which is causing the global temperature to rise. Carbon dioxide concentrations are increasing mostly because of the burning of fossil fuels we are using for energy. Fossil fuels such as coal and oil all contain carbon dioxide. Since the middle of the 20th century, annual emissions from burning fossil fuels have increased every decade. Because we put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the natural process can remove, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases every year.
3- Loss of ice each year
On average we are losing about 1.2 trillion tons of ice each year, this fact alone is hard to even comprehend. Since the 1990’s around 28 trillion tons of ice have been lost to melting due to the knock-on effect of rising temperatures of global warming. Not only does the ice help to keep plane earth cool it also is home to a lot of animals one of which being the polar bear, which is now regarded as a very endangered species due to the loss of its home.
We as humans are not only melting the ice caps but destroying the animal’s habitat.
The change that must occur for our future
We as a nation need to look to the future to set a better example and save the planet that we call home. Our children shouldn’t have to be left with our consequences, there are ways that we can begin to turn over a new leave and repair some of the wrongs we have done.
Saving energy at home
Much of our electricity and heat are powered by coal, gas, and oil. Use less energy by lowering heating and switching to LED light bulbs and more energy-efficient electric appliances. Washing up dishes and hanging clothes to dry instead of using the dishwasher and tumble dryer will save so much energy. There are ways to improve your home's energy efficiency, such as installing insulation to keep heat in, meaning you won’t have to have the heating on all the time. Replacing oil or gas appliances with an electric heat pump can reduce our house's carbon footprint.
Walk, bike or take public transport
The roads nowadays are clogged with vehicles, and most of them are burning diesel or gasoline walking or riding a bike instead of driving will help towards reducing greenhouse gasses emissions as well as having the added benefit of fitness and bettering your health. Taking a bus or carpooling can also be an effective way of cutting down your carbon footprint.
Eating more fruits, veg, whole grains, nuts, and seeds and less meat and dairy can significantly lower your environmental impact. Producing plant-based food generally results in fewer greenhouse gasses being produced and required less energy, land, and water. Also, by throwing away less food, every time you throw something away you waste resources and energy that were used to grow that produce. So, use what you buy and compost any leftovers.
Be the future, be more effective in your day-to-day life and think of the planet.