We are late, but it is not too late to prevent even bigger crisis. Earth is experiencing most serious and substantial predicament – Climate Change. This global phenomenon has happened by virtue of man-made and natural driven factors. Climate change have already marked devastating and far reaching negative impacts. Direct consequences such as booming greenhouse emission are worsening our environment, society and economy.
Do a quick search in Google. Go through the present situation of our flood plains and coastal areas. Climate change has triggered record breaking floods every year and now, this is our new normal?
Extreme weather fluctuations all around the world. Rising sea level leads to frequent floods storms in coastal zones like India, China and Nepal. Acute hot and dry condition causing bush fire in Amazon, Australia and Central Asia. This is insane!
Why Should You Care?
Within 10 years, a considerable portion of coastal areas of various countries will be submerged in ocean because of climate change. It will be long gone! Can you imagine talking to your grandchildren or even your children about the city of Venice that is now completely submerged in the Adriatic Sea? How about a Taj Mahal that turned yellow due to air pollution? – About that – this already happened!
We need to slow down any further damage! This is our responsibility. Earth is facing accelerating detrimental effects of climate change also referred to as global warming. What we can do best is, understanding the past climate change and coming up with fast adaptive measures for the future.
Why Climate Change is Happening?
Climate change can be explained as a long term change in earth’s overall temperature with massive and permanent ramifications. We all know that earth’s atmosphere consists of gases like oxygen and nitrogen and other gases known as greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide nitrous oxide and methane.
When incoming light rays from the sun hit the earth surface, some of the energy is absorbed by the atmosphere to heat the planet (to maintain the temperature balance) and rest get reflected back. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, trap the energy (light rays) and send it back to earth. It heats up the earth’s atmosphere. This is how greenhouse gases causes increase in earth’s climate changes in an accelerating rate.
Let Us Look At The Major Contributors of Greenhouse Gases:
- Fossil fuel burning
- Animal agriculture
- Waste and recycle pollution
Fossil Fuel Burning
Burning of coal, oil, natural gas and gasoline are the largest pollutants of air. The gases formed from burning will get mixed with heat and thus smog is created. Smog is a thick air pollutant which is highly toxic. Have you heard of Beijing city in China? – Because of thick and heavy smog in the city, we can’t go out without some type of surgical mask or breathing filter.
Massive amount of excrement (waste) produced by livestock farms emit toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and methane. You think they are harmless? Methane traps heat 23 times more effective than CO2. That means they are top reasons why earth’s temperature is steadily increasing. In USA, 80% of these emissions (methane) comes from animal waste.
Over 56 billion animals are globally raised a year for food purposes. That is freaking 8 times more than the human population (7 billion). Can you believe the land used for animal agriculture is almost 30% of earth’s land? This means cutting away plants trees and forest for animal agriculture. Not only greenhouse gas from livestock farms but also things that actually absorb Carbon dioxide. More we cut them more amount of Carbon dioxide will stay in atmosphere.
How do we know human activity? Why couldn’t all this be just natural phenomenon?
Over the course of thousands of years, our climate goes through a natural cycle. CO2 being absorbed and released. This is a balanced cycle. After industrial revolution kicked in, CO2 emission became inevitable. Burning fossil fuels became a necessity of manufacturing and production plants. Earth has not seen this much carbon dioxide in its surface, in all these millions of years.
40 billion tons of carbon dioxide were emitted last year (just one year). It is approximately equal to 100 Mount Everest of carbon dioxide. Earth’s atmospheric temperature have increased 1.5 degree Fahrenheit in past century. It is expected to increase up to 8 degree Fh in next 100 years. You think this climate change is normal? Or it is something we can cop up with? Animal and plant life are struggling to adapt with this for survival. They don’t have the ability or intelligence to deal with it using artificial measures like humans. If one species goes instinct, it will be chaos. It will cause a domino effect in food chain.
Rise in earth’s temperature makes oceans warmer. Acid level in the ocean rises because of Carbon dioxide reacting with salt water. All these constitutes a major threat to Marine life and creatures.
Melting of Ice – Floods?
Polar Icecaps are melting and they have already lost 65% since 1979. 400 billion tons of ice melts each year. That is almost equal to 4 miles long square ice block. Too much of ice is melted and added to ocean which in turn increase sea level. Now you know the reasons behind these massive floods!
Still think flood and hurricanes occurs by coincidence?
Flood, hurricanes, tornados, heat waves and droughts – We have successfully managed to bring all calamities together. – Now these are the new normal!
There is Hope!
Yes I am talking about Renewable energy. I cannot see anything that can offend this idea, which in fact is capable of saving our planet. There is no better alternative. Renewable energy has zero carbon emissions when operating. Unlike fossil fuels we will never run out of them. More solar energy falls on earth in one hour than all energy our civilizations consume in a year (Read it AGAIN). Civil engineers from The Solutions Project claims that we could power the entire world using renewable energy if we actually decided to do it.
Here are some efficient and healthy ideas we can implement in our daily routine which can contribute to control this catastrophe.
- If we cut out deforestation, not only it reduces the amount of fossil fuels but also increase number of plants and trees forest activity which can absorb unwanted gases like CO2.
- If we use more reusable and renewable resources this will be reduce the amount of waste (plastic) and energy to create new products. Bulk amount of plastic dumping can also be prevented. Reduce – Reuse – Recycle.
- Promote and use Electric cars and bikes. Yea! Not everyone can afford it – you can also use public transportation which leads to less vehicles on road. Less vehicles means less carbon emission.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs (LED).
- Go vegan! Not completely – But you can take initiate to try vegan foods more. At least you can promote Plant centric diets. Lesser the demand for animal meat, there is a better chance of controlling animal agriculture.
- Share your knowledge. It will be inspiration for others. What we need is a chain reaction, each and every one of us should contribute – For our planet.
Let me share some right away –
- On shore wind energy. Bloomberg Green reports Denmark produces 40% of their electricity from wind power.
- Thanks to its unique geography, Costa Rica has produced 95% of its electricity from hydro, geothermal, solar and wind over the past four years.
- Uruguay is now almost 100% powered by renewables almost after less than 10 years of concerted effort. The country invested heavily in wind and solar, rising from just 40% renewables as recently as 2012. The secret? “Clear decision-making, a supportive regulatory environment, and a strong partnership between the public and private sector.”
If they can do it, why couldn’t other countries at least give it a try?
Climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening now, it is happening here. Floods, Bush fires, Drought, Tornados and Cyclones – These environmental crises are signals of this approaching catastrophe. we have been given a warning by science and a wake-up call by nature; its up to us now to heed them.
We are the problem, so we can also be the solution.