Our planet is gradually deteriorating, as an individual could do a few simple things to save the Earth.
It is no secret that our world is gradually deteriorating. The Earth as we know it faces a magnitude of environmental issues whose effects have become more and more prominent to humankind. The pressing issues of pollution, global warming, climate change, ozone depletion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and overpopulation, all contribute to the worsening condition of the world.
Globalization and massive industrialization are one of the major culprits of environmental degradation. Their upscaled processes have led to threatening levels of environmental pollution. The gas emissions from vehicles, burning of fossil fuels, manufacturing plants, and other sources accumulate in the atmosphere, decreasing the overall quality of air for living organisms. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 4 million deaths every year are linked to air pollution. The bodies of water are also no exception to pollution. Our oceans, rivers, aquifers, and lakes are now being devoured by harmful chemical wastes, plastics, and human wastes. Studies suggest that with the current consumption rate of the world, about two-thirds of the entire population will suffer from water shortages in the year 2025. Whilst the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers in farming pollutes the land, degrading the quality of the soil and groundwater.
The impacts of climate change are also staggering. With the shifting climatic patterns, more catastrophic weather conditions are most likely to occur which pose major threats to livelihoods, food production, and human safety. Recent models show that the global temperature will increase by 0.05 °C by the end of 2020. The melting of ice caps, ravening wildfires, and intense droughts are some of the major effects of global warming. Scientists that also warn us that with our disappearing forests and decreasing biodiversity, more viral diseases are expected to break out. Due to wildlife’s loss of habitat, they are forced to share living space with humans leading to increased contact and transmission of unprecedented diseases. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is iron-proof evidence of this said dilemma. The viral disease is zoonotic which means that it originated from an animal host before it was transmitted to humans. As of writing, many countries are still struggling to control the spread of the disease and no vaccine is yet made available to the public.
Several efforts have been exercised to mitigate the threats of worsening environmental conditions and climate change. United Nations for example has called for international cooperation to strengthen the global response to challenges of climate change. The Paris Agreement was convened to encourage global leaders to reduce emissions and to rely on environment-friendly alternatives. Several organizations like the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were established to closely monitor the status of the world. However, these efforts remain insufficient to address this major problem. Scientists and environmental activists believe that solving the problem requires contribution from every citizen of the world. It is a social movement. The governing bodies together with their people must work hand in hand to stop the Earth from getting more and more destroyed.
Be a leader of change. Take the initiative to encourage your family and friends to participate in movements to save the world. Invite more people to attend protests, discussions, and seminars focused on climate solutions. It is definitely up to us to make a great change in our world. It is our responsibility to take care of the world and everything in it including the animals, plants, and non-living components. It is in our hands to save them, to save the world. Remember that environmentalism is a social movement that calls for cumulative efforts. For the results to become tangible and visible, the 8-billion world population must wake and move arm-in-arm to save and improve what is left of our planet.
As an individual, there are several actions you can take to contribute to solving the global problem. One of which is to convert to 100% green-powered electricity by relying on cleaner and renewable sources of energy. About 80% of the total greenhouse gas emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels like oils, natural gas, and carbon. Today, many organizations and tools are made available to harness energy from the sun, water, and wind. By encouraging more people to transition, we could force leading corporations to give up on the burning of coal and other fuels. In fact, the global phaseout of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in 2019 was a product of global call that led to an agreement among 170 countries.
To further help the cause, you are also encouraged to take sustainable travels. Planes emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide every flight as well as long daily car rides. According to scientific data, the world can reduce as much as 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide if every people can substitute one-hour worth of bike ride every week for an 8-km car ride. You can also participate in forest restoration projects that aim to replace the deforested areas lost to loggers and land conversions. Engage in urban farming and composting. It can provide you with food while reducing the pressure on agricultural lands to produce tons of food to supply the ever-growing population. Furthermore, re-think your daily diet. The majority of global emissions are produced by agricultural livestock, so the reduction of dairy product consumption is a huge help too. Last but the most important way is to become a well-informed consumer. About 70% of global emissions are caused by big corporations. As a responsible citizen, you must stir away from using any of their produce. Participate in various protests calling out these big corporations. Force the state and lawmakers to create policies that can protect the interest of the environment and the population; encourage them to hold the abusive corporations accountable for the long decades of exploitative use of the environment.
Barrack Obama once said, “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now.”. This is a wake-up call to everyone to extend their arms in saving the planet.