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“Climate Change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here, it is happening now.” — Barack Obama
Imagine a planet where more than one million species are expected to go extinct. A planet where more resources are used than the planet can renew itself. To sustain this planet, there would need to be one more planet to give it resources. No, this isn’t some sort of dystopian book setting. This is real life, and this planet is the state of our earth. These are all true facts, and there are more problems than that. Based on an article by Nasa, global temperatures have risen about three degrees Fahrenheit in about 50 years. The sea level has risen over eight inches in the last century. The acidity of the ocean has increased by over 30 percent since the Industrial Revolution. And why is this all happening? Is it because of the sun? No. Is it because of something we don’t know about? Not quite, we know why. Who is it? Who is this earth destroyer, this threat to mankind? Well, it’s us. It’s our lavish lifestyle, our costly actions, and our greed. As we use our devices and our cars, we produce a substance called carbon dioxide (CO2). This CO2 goes up in the air, but can’t leave because of Earth’s atmosphere. This has increased the warmth of our planet, which causes it to be warmer, leading to these well-known side effects. So why is no one doing anything about it then, if we know how it comes and where it comes from, then why don’t we take action? The reason why is because we’ve never been told extensively about how we should act on it to stop it. This is going to change today, and after reading this article, you will learn what to do to stop this catastrophe.
The most obvious and easiest way we can stop climate change is by making our own sacrifices. Some sacrifices are fairly obvious, such as recycling and reusing equipment, riding in your car less, etc. These actions are good options, and are obvious because it is easy to directly see the impact: Recycling and reusing helps to reduce the amount of trash produced, the trash that eventually pollutes the environment. Riding in your car less helps to stop the burning of fuel, which leads to fewer CO2 emissions. These actions are a great place to start, but there are some lesser-known and arguably better ways to approach this situation. One big way you can take action is by eating less meat. The reason why eating less meat is better for the environment is because in a data report released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, food production makes up about 60 billion tonnes of greenhouse emissions. 60% of all those emissions come from mass-producing meats. Switching to a purely vegetarian diet would drastically reduce the amount of meat being produced, thus reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. The problem with this is that meat consumption is a firmly established tradition. This is why switching to insects may be a better option. The carbon emissions they produce are negligible because it takes less energy to keep insects warm and there is a surplus of them. Another way you can reduce your carbon emissions is by optimizing your energy usage. There are many ways to optimize your energy usage, and one way is by switching to renewable energy. Another way to save energy is by looking for the Energy Star when buying electronics. You can also winterize your home to keep in the cold, so you don’t use the heater as much. You can also unplug your devices when they are not in use. Additionally, you can stop wasting food. The reasoning behind this is because when food gets wasted, all the energy used to make it is also wasted. And when the food goes to a landfill and rots, it will produce methane, which is even worse than CO2.
The personal solutions I have suggested to you previously are good personal solutions, but to make an effective change, we need to push people in power such as companies and governments to make the right choices. And no, I’m not talking about removing wall chargers from your box, Apple. I mean real changes, perhaps using a smaller box or removing unnecessary legal papers and making them digital. But the only way companies will change and do something is if they are forced to. And what forces companies to change? Laws. The government has the power to reduce the negative impacts, but so far they have not done anything impactful. In fact, some people in the government are denying climate change exists, even though the overwhelming evidence from scientists states otherwise. Excerpted from an article by Chris Cillizza at CNN, Donald Trump was quoted for saying “, Record low temperatures and massive amounts of snow. Where is GLOBAL WARMING?” (Cillizza, 2017). This quotation shows how the government does not care about this dilemma, and they’re even trying to cover it up. It’s winter; it’s obviously going to be cold, and temperatures fluctuate regularly. In order for the government to change laws, we need to push them to. This is why I suggest that if you can, please protest and spread the word about climate change and solutions. The more people that know, the more pressure will be put onto governments. Speaking of solutions, what are some examples of laws the government can pass? One idea for a law could be to turn off the power for houses from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. During this time, lighting will not be needed because of sunlight. Another indirect effect of this conceived law is that people will be more active and go outside more. Another approach to climate change that has been used in some highly emitting countries is to ban the usage of cars on Sundays. While this law is in effect, people who need to get somewhere can use other forms of transportation to get to their desired destination, such as buses and trains. A downside to this is that in some rural areas, there are no trains or buses. This is why this law should only be implemented in cities with the proper infrastructure. These are all great laws, but how do we pass these laws? It’s not like we work in Congress, so how do we make a change? One way is that we can mail or email our representatives and senators. A drawback of this form of contact is that usually, they won’t reply because it won’t reach them or they don’t care enough to do anything. A quick way to express your ideas and cause change is to inform others and to push others to protest. A good step in notifying others is by creating blogs, social media posts, and organizing events. You can organize peaceful protesting events using social platforms such as Facebook, or you can email your representative if you feel more comfortable doing so. Do what is most accessible to you, just share the word to make a change.
All things considered, the evidence of climate change is undeniable, and that unless we change our lifestyle, things will get worse from here. But there is a way to avoid this, as stated previously in the article. These solutions to this climate calamity include personal solutions such as eating less meat and higher-level solutions such as protesting for governments to change laws. While this article may be really negative and shine climate change in a way that makes it feel like an impossible boss to beat in a video game; it’s not. We have time to change this. If we all work together, then we can all make a change for the betterment of everyone. On occasion, it just takes a few moments of unity to get past any problem.
“Every problem has a solution. Sometimes it just takes a long time to find the solution — even if it’s right in front of your nose.” — Daniel Handler