• Elizabeth Son

A Plea on Behalf of the Planet

Updated: Jul 27, 2019

Climate change is real. And we need to do something about it before it’s too late.

Scientists around the world have determined that we only have 12 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius. So what happens if we exceed this limit? The risks of droughts, floods, and extreme heat will increase. Sea levels will rise and hurricanes will become more frequent and even worse.

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, is a pact sponsored by the United Nations (UN) made up of countries fighting against climate change. The US was a part of it, but Donald Trump in 2017 proposed that the US will withdraw from the agreement in 2020. The reaction to US withdrawal has been widely negative, with political figures such as Joe Biden and Bill Clinton denouncing the act.

The US never should’ve left the Paris Agreement because global warming is an issue that affects everybody. Global warming transcends the man-made boundaries separating states, countries, and continents. The effects of it, therefore, are worldwide. The consequences of global warming will become irreversible if we let it continue at this rate. We, and the few generations before us, have caused much of the pollution that led to record-breaking levels of global warming. Therefore, we have to do something to solve this issue, soon, before we ruin the earth for future generations.

Here are 10 small, mindful things that you can do to help prevent global warming:

1. Eat less meat.

The United States is one of the largest consumers of meat in the world. Methane emissions contribute to global warming, and cows breathe this chemical out. Stop funding the meat industry that contributes to climate change, water waste, deforestation, and pollution. 2 pounds of beef causes more greenhouse gas emissions than driving the car for three hours.

2. Take your car less.

Some alternatives are to carpool, take public transport, walk, take a bike. Cars release carbon monoxide, a greenhouse gas that warms the planet.

3. Save water.

Take shorter showers, turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, wash larger piles of clothing in one cycle.

4. Avoid using plastic.

Instead of using plastic straws, use metal ones. Replace the plastic water bottles that you throw away daily with a reusable one that you can fill with water every morning.

5. Garden.

Planting just one tree will absorb over a ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.

6. Turn off the lights.

When you’re not using a room or are away from home, turn off the lights to conserve energy. You don’t need it anyway.

7. Recycle.

There’s a statistic that shows that by recycling just half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

8. Produce less waste.

Landfills are the biggest contributors to methane and other greenhouse gases. Instead, reuse things such as paper bags and reduce the waste that you produce.

9. Buy used products

Buying second hand goods (such as furniture or clothes) can have a huge impact on our earth. Less consumer goods being produced reduces the emissions that factories release into the air.

10. Use solar energy.

Solar panels are expensive, and they’re not a viable option for everybody. That’s okay. If you do have the means to go solar, however, using energy from the sun can have a huge impact on the earth.

It’s hard to look at the world around us and really feel that we can make an impact. What is one less plastic bag, one less hamburger, one less car drive to school going to do for the earth? Think about it this way. What if, every day, we did a little bit less of the things that harm the earth? One plastic bag turns into 365 turns into 36,500 less plastic bags. Don’t just stop there. Spread the world. Tell your friends, urge your family, write an article about it for your school newspaper. Now, take that number. Multiply it by 10 for each person that you tell. We do have an impact. We can make a difference. If we have the power to cause global warming, we have the power to stop it.

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