Frustrated, angry, and desperate, scientists are taking action to draw attention to a crisis that affects us all. We only have three to five years to save the earth! For decades, scientists have been warning us about the ongoing climate crisis. Unfortunately, more needs to happen. Fossil fuel infrastructure continues to grow while greenhouse gas emissions have hit an all-time high in recorded history. Because of that, our window of time to avert catastrophic consequences is rapidly shrinking. That’s why scientists have resorted to more radical action, hoping to show the dire urgency of the climate crisis.
A few months ago, Peter Kalmus, a NASA scientist and climate activist, was arrested, alongside other scientists, for protesting to end the use of fossil fuels and other harmful energy sources contributing to rising global temperatures. Kalmus and three other scientists chained themselves to the front doors of JP Morgan Chase because of the bank’s role in global warming and funding fossil fuel projects. According to him, we have less than three years to do something about climate change before facing the catastrophic consequences of global warming.
Kalmus is just one of more than 1,200 scientists from twenty-six countries calling on big companies, policymakers, and world governments to listen. The protest came following an IPCC report that said the world is on “a fast track to climate disaster.” Now is the time to take these warnings seriously. You don’t have to be a policymaker to take action. Environmental health starts with you and me.
- Save the Earth: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Things You Can Do to Help Our Climate
- Climate-Advocacy: Join the Fight to Save the Earth
Save the Earth: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
A hike in the woods or a walk on the beach is just some things that should remind us why we need to take care of the environment. Forests, coral reefs, and even deserts are all part of a sustainable system. Environmental sustainability is at the center of saving the planet.
The UN World Commission on Environment and Development defines environmental sustainability as responsible interaction with the environment. It’s important to be responsible so that future generations have available natural resources to live an equal or better life as we currently do. For instance, learning to conserve water will help ensure future generations don’t have water problems.
Here’s the thing: Nature has a way of rejuvenating itself when left alone. The problems arise when humans overuse many of the natural resources. Human actions also contribute to environmental degradation. Greenhouse gas emissions and the continuous use of fossil fuels are rapidly threatening the needs of future generations. There is a massive need to practice sustainability.
Things You Can Do to Help Our Climate
Evidence shows that climate change is rapid and intensifying. The world we live in today is already 1.2°C warmer than it was over the years, which is already bad enough. If we continue emitting greenhouse gasses, research shows that in a few years, global temperatures could spike to 2°C warmer.
So, what are the consequences? More wildfires, storms, intense droughts, and devastating floods. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the situation as “our fragile planet hanging by a thread.” While the outlook seems depressing, the good news is that there is still a lot we can do as individuals to change the narrative.
Reduce the Use of Fossil Fuels
Most of the energy consumed in the United States comes from fossil fuels. According to the US Energy Information Administration, petroleum, natural gas, and coal have accounted for 81.5% of US energy consumption for over a century. But here’s the problem: Burning fossil fuels is one of the leading causes of global warming.
When fossil fuels burn, they release nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. Nitrogen oxide contributes to the formation of acid rain and smog. Sources of nitrogen oxide include trucks, cars, ships, airplanes, coal-fired plants, and large industrial operations.
So, what can you do to reduce the usage of fossil fuels? Consider zero-carbon or renewable sources of energy, if possible. Install solar panels, for instance. Turn off lights, televisions, video games, and computers when not in use. Also, consider buying energy star-certified appliances and equipment that uses less electricity. You can also help by minimizing your miles, opting for public transport, walking, or cycling rather than driving. When it comes to traveling, fly only when it’s necessary.
Avoid Burning Garbage
Burning garbage harms your health but also wreaks havoc on the environment, contributing to increasing global temperatures. No matter how small the fire is, garbage burning produces a lot of smoke and toxic substances.
Considering that garbage has become mostly plastic and paper with coatings, inks, and other chemicals, you should consider alternative garbage disposal methods. With waste management, consider the three Rs—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
- Reduce—cutting back on the amount of trash you generate.
- Reuse—finding new ways of using something that would otherwise be trash, like cans.
- Recycling—turning something old and otherwise deemed useless into something useful, like old car tires, into beautiful park benches. Why is recycling important? Simple—everything you buy, including food, has a carbon footprint, and recycling helps reduce that.
Save Energy and Supplies
You can start by making small changes at home to reduce your carbon footprint. The less energy we consume, the fewer fossil fuels we burn. Turn off appliances and lights when not in use. You might also replace your light bulbs with low-energy LEDs.
You can also save the climate by reducing your heating by a degree or two. Insulate your roof or loft to stay warm during winter and cooler during the summer months.
Plant a Tree, Donate, and Support NGO Activities that Help Fight Global Warming
While you can’t take on the world alone, there’s so much you can do from home. If possible, donate to organizations fighting global warming. Your donation, no matter how small, will go a long way in helping them meet their objectives and increase awareness.
You can also participate in environmental activities organized by some of the NGOs. Plant a tree or advocate for the production of sustainable foods and sustainable shopping within your circles.
Climate-Advocacy: Join the Fight to Save the Earth
We’re already in a climate emergency that demands action from all of us. If we don’t act now, we could plunge into a climatic catastrophe that may never recover. That’s why we need to take these warnings seriously. The message is that by 2050, we need to have achieved a net zero greenhouse gas emission. Everyone has a part to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, living more sustainably, and caring for the planet.