Climate change has been and still is a pressing issue globally. A brief timeline provided by BBC News demonstrates that climate change began in the early to mid 19th century and the problem persists along with the increase in population.
The article, “Scientists Detail Severe Future Impacts of Climate Change” from the Scientific American and written by Tiffany Stecker, discusses the gravity of the Earth’s deteriorating state. Stecker explains how “New Orleans will no longer exist” because of geographical changes that are furthering the rise of sea levels. Moreover, due to the unusual heat the Earth is facing, ice caps and glaciers are melting; this is one of the most direct effects of climate change.
Additionally, National Geographic states more effects on not just America, but worldwide as well. For example, “Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earth’s poles. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice.” Once again, ice melting is a persisting issue, caused by extreme heat in the atmosphere, that is affecting parts all around the world. These major oceans are losing their immense glaciers that once served as a habitat for many animals such as polar bears. Without these ice sheets, polar bears are struggling to find a home. More affected species include penguins as the article writes, “Researcher Bill Fraser has tracked the decline of the Adélie penguins on Antarctica, where their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to 11,000 in 30 years.” Not only are species losing their habitats, but are close to becoming extinct as well.
Humans are facilitating rising temperatures due to burning fossil fuels, using an exorbitant amount of energy, and our large carbon footprint. Climate change is most prevalent in areas such as Bangladesh, Sudan, the Caribbean, and Australia due to various reasons: floods, rising temperatures, forest fires, etc. However, we as a community need to protect our environment; we can’t destroy the planet that’s provided us with so many resources.
However, some believe that attempts to address climate change can be more harmful than beneficial, according to The Telegraph. In an economic sense, “Climate policies can easily cost much more than the global warming damage will – while helping very little” (The Telegraph), meaning that an exorbitant amount of money will be devoted to essentially, nothing in the long run. The article goes on to give a specific example in which Germany’s tax paying citizens have contributed $130 billion dollars to solar efforts that “at the end of the century just postpone global warming by a trivial 37 hours” (The Telegraph). While this may be the case, at least the world is giving their best foot forward to take action. There is still more change to be done.
Though we can’t completely stop climate change, there are several ways we can reduce it, according to the David Suzuki Foundation which helps to preserve, protect, and defend the environment. A simple thing we can start with is by slightly changing our diet by purchasing organic and locally grown foods. The Foundation says it’s better to eat low on the food chain, meaning mostly plants “since 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from meat and dairy production” (David Suzuki Foundation). Moreover, we can help by being energy efficient: unplugging electronics when not in use, hang dry clothing when possible, and wash clothing in cold or warm water, not hot.
Together, as a community, we can combat climate change. There are evidently a multitude of ways we can help the Earth. It’s imperative that we do so.