Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo by Patrick Chin
Temperatures are rising. Coral reefs are dying. Glaciers are receding. Entire rivers are completely changing direction. Climate change is happening and we will have to come together as humans to reverse this disturbing trend.
If you’re looking for ways to help (and you should be!) here are some facts on climate change... along with some steps you can take right now:
Q. First of all, what is climate change?
- Starting in the mid- to late-20th century, climate patterns around the world began to change in unprecedented ways. The Earth’s temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century, and is expected to increase even more in the coming years. Our planet’s CO2 levels are higher than ever before, having been called “relentless” by NASA. The coral reefs are dying. Weather patterns are changing. And these are just a few examples of what’s been taking place around the world for the past several decades.
What’s behind climate change? Experts say climate change and our current global warming trends are attributed to an increased CO2 level in the Earth’s atmosphere. The increase in carbon dioxide is believed to be the direct result of emissions from human usage of fossil fuels ever since the Industrial Revolution.
- I know what climate change is, but I’m not sure how I can help reduce CO2 levels. Is there anything I can do?
- We can start to feel helpless when we are constantly hearing depressing stories on the news about how temperatures are rising to irreversible levels, massive sinkholes are opening in Siberia, and the coral reefs are bleaching on the other side of the planet. As just one person, what are you supposed to do to stop these trends?
The good news is that there are many ways you can help. One way is by making your home green and eco-friendly. Using renewable energies such as solar power roof panels; switching to compostable toilets; insulating your walls to reduce the need for heat and air conditioning; and reducing your water usage will help you create a more eco-friendly and sustainable home.
Whenever you can, make a habit of unplugging your appliances whenever you’re not using them. Although this might not be ideal for your refrigerator and freezer, it’s certainly a technique that you can put into practice for your computers, televisions, and other electronic devices. Not only does it protect them from lightning and power surges; it also helps the environment because these devices continue using electricity even when they are turned off! The money you’ll save on your electric bill each month is just an added benefit.
- What else can I do to help combat climate change?
- Contact your local politician. Let him or her know that you are concerned about the climate change trend, and urge him or her to push for laws protecting the environment.
It’s also true that we vote with our dollars. Do some research about the products you use each day. Are you funneling your hard-earned dollars into companies that are “green” and eco-friendly? Or are you unknowingly supporting companies and industries that are harming the planet? The future of the planet - and our children and grandchildren - depends on the actions we take today.