Stopping Climate Change One Step at a Time

We all know that the climate is undergoing continual and constant changes and most of them are for the worst, unfortunately. What is even worse is that most of the adverse changes are a result of our actions. This also means that there are some things we can do, even on a daily basis, that might potentially have significant long-term benefits.

But we should not stop there. Many people are not even aware as to how bad the situation is. The polar caps are melting, temperatures are on the rise every year, and even diseases are starting to plague us at a higher rate than in previous years.

The ideal scenario for planet Earth might be gone, but there is still much that can be done to make our planet habitable for generations to come. It is imperative that we act quickly and that our future steps are carefully planned out.

A few scientists even believe it is a matter of years and not decades in which we have to adopt new ways of protecting our environment. One of the major issues is the emission of greenhouse gases as we burn fossil fuels. Another big problem is the number of cattle currently present on Earth and the gases that they emit every day. As a side-effect of these emissions, a layer of gas forms around the Earth and this layer traps the sun’s heat. This trapped heat then starts to melt the polar ice caps which in turn raises the sea level and creates weather patterns previously unrecorded. This process has been going on since the industrial revolution, and the sad fact is we cannot repair the damage that has already been done. What people can do is limit the current emissions to stop a further rise in temperature.

Four things that people can immediately do to improve the situation are: having fewer children (not ideal for everyone), living without a car, not flying across oceans as much, and adopting a plant-based diet. These are all things that are not difficult to implement into everyday life but would have a significant effect on the environment.

Some other things that may potentially help are exchanging old lightbulbs for a more efficient kind. Unfortunately, this causes a reduction of only .2 tons of carbon emissions per year. This might seem significant, but it pales in comparison to the average person’s emission which is somewhere in the neighborhood of 16.1 tons of carbon. That is per person. This is still a lot better than what we had in the past when an average person emitted around 22.5 tons of carbon per person. This was recorded as recently as the 1970s — the ideal scenario in which the impact on the environment has people producing some 2.1 tons of carbon per person.  So, there is still a way to go to reach the number set by the Paris Climate Accords.

This is all highly achievable. If people stopped using their car, they would see a reduction of around 3 tons. Having one child less lowers the emissions by 120 tons per year. This number factors in the emissions needed to provide everything the child needs as well as the emissions the child itself creates.

Some people consider electric cars as the solution for this, but if the electricity is produced in an unclean way, a hybrid vehicle is a much better option.

People need to think about the bigger picture. There is always the possibility that by lowering emissions in one area we risk a rise in emissions in another. Careful planning is key.

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