By Makenzie MacDonald
There is a reason scientists have stressed the importance of saving the Earth now rather than later. When glaciers melt, forests are burnt down, sea levels rise, and the extinction of animals increase, the idea is to act on it to prevent any future harm, not make matters worse. Global warming is a serious topic that is to be discussed in order to maintain the place we call home.
What is the cause of these environmental changes? Us. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the increase of global temperature is due to human actions, resulting in largely increased greenhouse gases.
When the temperature increases, though it may seem exciting, problems increase for places across the world that thrive in the colder temperatures, like Antarctica. When it is warmer, the ice in Antarctica will begin to melt, causing glaciers to break off into the ocean.
These melting glaciers, increase water levels, as well as eliminate roaming space for polar bears, penguins, etc. This limited amount of space, melting ice and heat causes such animals like polar bears to starve.
What can be done to reduce the rapid growth of destroying Earth? Reducing emissions. According to the Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS): Science for a Healthy Planet and Safer World, eliminating the amount of “heat-trapping emissions we are putting into the atmosphere” would significantly improve the Earth.
The Union aims to “expand the use of renewable energy, less dependent on coal and other fossil fuels. Increase fuel efficiency, place limits on the amount of carbon that polluters are allowed to emit. Build a clean energy economy by investing in efficient energy technologies, industries and approaches, and reduce tropical deforestation.”
However, many of our polluted actions against the Earth will receive larger scaled consequences that we cannot stop. Historian and professor Ben Lieberman from Fitchburg State University stated, “At this point the entire period of Tom Brady’s professional career is already longer than the amount of time we have to make sharp cuts in emissions to reduce the likelihood of severe consequences.”
That does not mean we should stop helping to prevent Earth’s success. You can always find ways to better your impact on Earth. Reduce, reuse, recycle, of course. Buy foods locally, don’t waste your food, and believe it or not, eating less meat benefits your footprint left on the Earth. Beef is greenhouse gas intensive, poultry being less, but being vegetarian saves 3,000 pounds of CO2 per year according to the carbon fund organization. (make clear why this is important)
There are many other ways to benefit the earth, stop using plastic and styrofoam, driving environmentally friendly cars, using compact fluorescent light bulbs, using ‘Energy Star’ appliances and heating and cooling systems, etc. The United Kingdom, according to an article from the Global Citizen by Imogen Calderwood, is working on their 25-year plan to ban plastic straws, plastic bags, cutting down on plastic bottles, disposable coffee cups, and more.
There are other organizations, like 4ocean that are working to better the Earth’s oceans and create bracelets out of recycled materials to promote funds behind their actions. “In less than 2 years, 4ocean has removed 4,033,977 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines,” according to the organization’s website.
Something can always be done, taking care of Earth is not only important but crucial. Global Warming is real and not going away, but there are actions that can be taken to better live for animals, humans and Earth’s atmosphere.