People have been hearing about climate change for the last twenty years, and yet there still seems to be confusion on what exactly is happening to the planet and why it is everyone’s job to care. Climate change refers to “long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns… primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas.” (U.N.). The burning of these fuels generates what is known as ‘greenhouse gasses’, which include gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane. The climate change conversation has largely centered around greenhouse gasses and how they can be reduced. These greenhouse gas emissions have been on the rise since the late 1800’s, which has resulted in higher temperatures.
Such higher temperatures offset a chain reaction where the environment as a whole has seen itself affected. Warmer temperatures have brought on environmental concerns such droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and rising sea levels, amongst many other extreme weather. While these might all have been events that had taken place in the past, the planet is now seeing an increase in natural catastrophes and the frequency in which these are happening. The rise in temperatures that causes natural disasters continues setting off the chain reaction further and has affected everything from livelihood, to health, and even safety. Despite all of the scientific and environmental data to back up climate change, there are people who don’t believe that climate change is real, or simply don’t care about it because of the idea that it will not affect them personally.
While this generation might not be affected by the rise of greenhouse gasses and the consequences those have on the planet, it is important to remember that we need to strive to leave a better world for those who will come after the current generation. In order to preserve the environment as we know it, everyone must come together and do what they can to offset the path that the planet is on.Corporations that are putting the planet at risk need to be held accountable for their actions, and people need to be actively conscious of the environment in order to keep the momentum for climate reform going. Simply put: everyone should care about climate change because it is home.
Millions of animal species, plants, and people have suffered the consequences of climate change today, and the world is still at a point where this damage can be reversible. If nothing continues to be done, and everyone simply goes on ignoring the problem - climate change will not go away, it will only get worse. Scientists have warned that if the world continues down this path, the damage to the planet will be irreversible as early as 2030.
So where is a good place to start? The best changes can be made when one implements them in their life first! Consider making small changes, like actively trying to reuse and recycle, being aware of one’s personal carbon footprint, supporting businesses that employ sustainable practices, buying organic when it is affordable to do so, and supporting those who implement policies to positively impact climate change. It is only through everyone working together that the world will be able to get back on track to a healthier planet.
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