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The Burning issue of Climate Change

On April 22 ,1970 Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator who was concerned about

environmental pollution started an environmental movement called Earth Day. (Earthday.Org,2021). Within a year of starting the movement the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created and laws focused on environment protection such the Clean Air Act was passed two years after. Fast forward to the year 2022, what has happened to the Earth since then? According to the United Nations (n.d.), climate change can be defined as long-term changes in the Earth’s temperature and weather patterns. Even though these shifts may occur naturally, human beings have contributed significantly to climate change mostly due to the burning of fossil fuel and deforestation. The United Nations continued and shared that greenhouse concentrations are at the highest it has been in 2 million years resulting in the Earth being 1.1 ℃ warmer and it is expected to reach a temperature of approximately 3.2 ℃ by the end of the century. However, the increase in the Earth’s temperature doesn’t simply stop with the Earth being warmer. Effects of global warming include rising sea levels due to the melting of the ice caps, droughts and severe fires as a result of higher temperatures and a decline in biodiversity as species are faced with threats of extreme weather conditions, loss of habitats and diseases.

It is evident that climate change is a colossal problem for planet Earth, fortunately it is a problem for which many solutions exist. Practices to mitigate climate change include using renewable energy as an energy source, reforestation and recycling. Unfortunately, climate action will require large sums of money to effectively implement, however, these investments are definitely worthwhile as it will outweigh the innumerable cost we will pay if climate change continues to worsen. Firstly, making more energy systems dependent on renewable sources of energy such as solar energy would gradually eliminate the need for burning fossil fuel which emits greenhouse gases. Secondly, reforestation which involves planting trees in an area where their

numbers have been diminishing (Drax,2020) is another solution to combat climate change. Lai (2021), shared that each year approximately 10 million hectares of forest is lost which eliminates trees which are needed to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide habitats for many organisms and reduce flooding and erosion and this is quite concerning. Finally, recycling, which is the practice of converting waste into a material which can be used again, aids in reducing our carbon footprint, reducing the fossil fuels used by factories to create items we see and use everyday.

In closing, climate change continues to affect the Earth with effects such as drought, wildfires and floods worldwide, however we do have the ability to reduce its effects by switching to sustainable energy, replanting trees and recycling. Annually, on April 22 Earth Day buzz fills the air and on social media sites #EarthDay trends but there is so much more we can do to mitigate climate change.

By Moné Wilmot



References

Communities for Recycling. (2021). 16 Fun Recycling Facts for Kids. https://recyclingpartnership.org/communitiesforrecycling/16-fun-recycling-facts-for-kids/#:%7E:text=More%20than%2052%20million%20tons,a%20television%20for%2020%20minutes.

Drax. (2020). What is reforestation and afforestation? Drax Global. https://www.drax.com/sustainable-bioenergy/what-is-reforestation-and-afforestation/

EARTHDAY.ORG. (2021). The History of Earth Day. Earth Day. https://www.earthday.org/history/

Lai, O. (2021). 10 Deforestation Facts You Should Know About. Earth.Org - Past | Present | Future. https://earth.org/deforestation-facts/

United Nations. (n.d.). What Is Climate Change? https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/what-is-climate-change


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