You turn on the news and a reporter, next to pictures of trees burning down, describes the latest story about forest fires raging across the world with a grave look on his/her face. It seems as if wherever you go, all you hear about is climate change and the disastrous effects that will happen some time in the future. That future is now, and those disastrous effects are happening right now. In order to explain it let me start from the beginning; because, if we don’t take action it will get a lot worse.
Carbon dioxide is released from several different sources like factories, agriculture, etc. It prevents heat from reaching space since it absorbs them and then re-emits it back into the atmosphere. In simpler times, carbon dioxide traps heat in earth’s atmosphere. This causes global warming. A common misconception is that global warming and climate change are the same. Climate change describes the changes as a whole, and global warming is only a part of this.
Looking at this in a broader perspective, it started around two centuries ago. When the Industrial Revolution began, there was an uptick in the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere due to an increase in the number of factories. A lot has changed since then, and the rate of climate change has increased dramatically.
Why does climate change matter though, and how does it affect our daily lives? The biggest way it affects our lives is by hurting our health. It can either worsen current problems or create new ones. Some illnesses that can ensue are temperature-related illnesses, illnesses caused by bad air-quality, increased natural disasters, vector-borne illnesses, water-related illnesses, and mental health problems. What’s worse is that certain communities are more vulnerable to these illnesses because of socioeconomic inequalities. Another way it affects our daily lives is by hurting our food supply. Climate change can be detrimental to agriculture in many ways! For these reasons, it is important that we do everything possible to stop climate change from happening.
Unfortunately, society doesn’t have much time, only a few years, to stop climate change from evolving to the point of no return, a possibility that may ultimately threaten- or even end- life as we know it on earth. The more we keep putting out carbon dioxide, the less time we have. Therefore, every action, no matter how small, matters significantly and together they can make a huge difference. This is a group effort, and we must act now. There are countless things that you can do to contribute towards stopping climate change; switching to solar power, eating less red meat, carpooling are some ways. I will be talking more about these in future blog posts, so see you then!