4 mins read

It’s time to start taking climate change seriously

A report issued last Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the planet will reach the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030.

Many consequences will arise if we exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius, including “more heatwaves and hot summers, greater sea level rise, and, for many parts of the world, worse droughts and rainfall extremes,” Andrew King, a lecturer in climate science at the University of Melbourne, said in a statement.

So are we aware of the impact we have on the environment?

It’s important that we learn to take care of the planet we live on.

A clean environment is essential for living a healthy life. If you don’t care about the environment, chances are it will become more and more polluted by your actions. More contaminants and toxins may be released, which may very well negatively affect your health.

For example, the CDC reports, “water pollution can lead to gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders.”

Air and water are a basic necessity, it’s important that what we get is clean and not contaminated with toxins.

The temperature of Earth is increasing as time goes on. Small changes in the temperature can lead to frequent occurrences of dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms, like hurricane Michael.

The worst part of it all is we as humans are largely responsible for the changes in climate because our actions have caused a continuous increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

Human activities, such as deforestation, land use changes, and burning fossil fuels all contribute to the change in climate.

We need to start being more aware of how our actions are affecting the world around us. We are not going to live forever, what kind of world should we be leaving for the future?

For someone who drives to class, it could be as simple as choosing to ride a bike. Instead of buying plastic water bottles every day, buy one that you can wash and reuse to eliminate plastic waste.

Many things, you can do from the comfort of your home, like switching from paper bank statements to online statements, turning off your lights when they’re not needed, or recycling old papers instead of throwing them away.

According to Northern Colorado Disposal, Inc., the average American uses 650 pounds of paper a year. Consider the difference one person could make if they recycled all of that.

One person can’t fix climate change on their own, but if even half of the U.S. population decided to recycle their paper, that would make a huge difference. In addition, the placement of some commercial recycling containers in construction sites and other strategic locations may become beneficial in the long run and can create a safe way to dispose scrap metals and encourage metal recycling. Business and home owners may also work with a metal recycling center if they produce a significant amount of metal waste.

If you think about it, the health concerns are not only for us: they are for future generations as well, because the same issues that we are dealing with today are going to be the same issues the future generations face, only worse if we continue on the way we are now.

Honestly, I believe the way we care for the planet can be a display of our character.

Nature is not just a warehouse of resources to serve humans’ needs. When I was young, I was always taught, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Nature gives us so many things for free: clean air, clean water, beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views. We take so many things from nature, but what have we given in return?

The least we can do is show our appreciation by protecting and preserving our environment in any way possible.

The truth is: you don’t have to be a scientist or an expert to help save the planet — everyone is capable of doing their own small part. If each of us is willing to be more conscious of environmental issues and be willing to make small changes to fix them, the impact could be huge.