By: Ashtun Welling
Global warming is a growing issue in today’s world. Nobody wants to believe that the Earth’s temperature has been drastically rising over the past 50 years. Rising temperatures may seem like a good thing but news flash: it’s not. We can all agree that a white Christmas is enjoyable but if there is a possibility that that will be a thing of the past. Would you make a change?
Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that bounces off the earth’s surface. These pollutants can last for years to centuries in the atmosphere, which results in trapping in more heat from the sun causing the planet to get hotter. The earth’s rising temperatures are fueling longer and hotter heat waves, more frequent droughts, heavier rainfall, and more powerful hurricanes. Extreme heat waves cause tens of thousands of deaths around the world in recent years. Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion metric tons of ice per year since 2002.
In the United States, the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity is the largest source of heat-trapping pollution, producing about two billion tons of CO2 every year. The second-largest source of carbon is transportation which generates about 1.7 billion tons of CO2 a year.
In 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine announced that it’s now possible to confidently attribute certain weather events, like some heat waves, directly to climate change. While the ocean temperatures are getting warmer this results in more powerful tropical storms can pick up more energy.
Meat production is also a leading cause of climate change, water waste, and deforestation. As the human population grows this results in a higher demand for meat. As our appetite increases, countries across the globe are bulldozed to make more room for animals as well as the crops to feed them. Entire ecosystems such as tropical rainforests in Brazil to ancient pine forests in China are destroyed to fuel our demand for meat. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that at least 51% of greenhouse gas can be attributed to “livestock and their byproducts.” Instead, we could grow food to reverse some of the destruction we’ve done.
In order for future generations to enjoy mother nature as we do now, we must make a change. Even little things such as recycling, remembering to turn off lights when you leave a room, or limiting your shower time could turn things around? Instead of throwing away those paper assignments, take them to the recycling center. Teachers have access to paper recycling here at school. For plastics, cans, and cardboard boxes. here are many recycling centers located here such as the one next to the old Snow Biz building in Ravenswood, the one right before you pass C-mart in Cottageville, or the one right behind Save-A-Lot near the Whiting Ballpark.Overall we should all try to make little changes in our lives, so the future generations can enjoy earth as we do. Don’t take little things such as nature, clean air, and water for granted. One day it could all change, but not if you take small changes in life for the better of the future.