Protecting the environment is something I am passionate about and I think we all should be. We need to save our planet before its to late. Already the average temperature is 1C warmer in the 21st century than it was in the mid 20th century, this is very worrying, if change like this continues it could cause irreversible changes to our environment and ultimately threaten our survival as a species. Is this a risk we want to take on behalf of our grand children?
The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by about 40% over the industrial era and is a major cause of Global warming. Carbon dioxide acts like a green house, trapping the heat. Ice reflects the sunlight so it helps reduce the temperature on earth by bouncing the energy back into space. The increased temperature causes the icecaps to shrink. So as we lose the ice the rise in temperature may accelerate even further.
We continue to add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at a rate greater than nature can remove it. This causes a rapid increase in the temperature which has deadly effects, the melting icecaps cause a rise in sea levels. This has lead to over 100 million people being displaced from low lying areas. Rising sea levels is having a profound effect on the world today and has lead to flooding which claimed the lives of over 1000 people in 2018. I myself witnessed some destruction when I was in Venice and found a city more than 70% inundated as water levels rose to over 5 foot above the normal. A local man I spoke to said that this was very unusual when he was a boy, but is now a frequent event. Alarmingly, floods are the new normal for the city. Have you ever dreamt about visiting the Maldives for a luxurious holiday? Well you may need to start planning soon because in 30 years’ time these beautiful islands may have completely disappeared.
Extreme weather is also caused by climate change, we have seen multiple hurricanes tearing through vulnerable landscapes this year and there will be more to come, so help stop them before there are more fatalities.
I am sure you are all aware of the California wildfires a couple months ago that ruined the homes of the rich and famous. Ironically the inferno also obliterated the town of Paradise. These fires cost 88 people their lives and destroyed more than 11,000 homes in 11 days. Global warming has made California an environment where wildfires thrive due to the hotter, drier conditions and before long wildfires could be a normal part of many more regions.
What can we do to make a change? Let’s think about the resources we consume, do I need to be driven to school, can I walk? can I cycle? can I get the bus? Should I buy these potatoes from Comber or these from Cyprus? Do those cucumbers need to be covered in plastic?
Each of these choices will only make a tiny difference but if we all start to change the choices we make, together we can make a change to our future and to the future of the generations of people that will hopefully follow in our footsteps. If we don’t stop our bad habits soon it will be too late. As Leonardo DiCaprio said ‘We only get one planet’ and so we must not let it perish before the future generations can experience its beauty.
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