It's frightening to think that so much of life is out of our control, including possibly life-altering phenomena such as weather patterns and climate change. Sure we can combat a downpour with an umbrella or a heat wave with a fan, but what about the larger picture? What will we do if icebergs melt and the oceans swell, if crops die out because of scorching sunlight and skin cancer becomes rampant because we've punched too many holes in the ozone layer? Where will our children play if we use all of our grasslands for landfills and what will happen if whole species become extinct if we destroy their natural habitats? If this dire view of the future frightens you, read on for more information on how you can combat climate change.
Climate Change Review"Climate change" is a fairly self-explanatory term. When a location experiences changes in its climate over a given period of time, we can technically say that climate change has occurred. More often the phrase "climate change" is used synonymously with the terms "global warming" and "greenhouse effect" to describe the warmer temperatures that result when man-made gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides build up in the atmosphere. These gases trap the sun's warmth and higher temperatures result. Changes in local pressure, wind patterns, rainfall and sea levels, among other variables, may also follow.
The Dangers of Climate ChangeWhen weather patterns change they can catch local communities unaware and unable to combat the "freak" disasters that may result. Rapid rainfall can be a factor in rising sea levels and floods, while increased temperatures and winds can contribute to draughts, both of which can wipe out crops, destroy properties and lead to famine. These changes can affect our food and water supplies as well. Water-bourn illnesses flourish in floodwaters, and during droughts insects and animals can contaminate and limit the food supply. In areas of even moderate drought, the lack of moisture is also enough for fires and wildfires to rage out of control, once again leaving a trail of destruction.
Combating Climate ChangeWith most experts agreeing that climate change and global warming have already begun, there is no better time to take action to combat these processes. To do this, one of the most important steps we can take is to curb the amounts of man-made gas we send into the atmosphere. Leaving behind diesel fuel and embracing clean-burning alternatives will help lower pollution levels, while using less energy, and switching to renewable energy sources, will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced. A few easy ways to combat climate change include:
- Turning off and unplugging appliances when not in use.
- Choosing walking, biking or public transport over driving.
- Lowering our thermostats and home heating levels.
- Switching off lights when we leave the room.
- Changing our light bulbs to energy efficient models.
- Boiling only the amount of water we need for one cup of tea at a time.
- Limiting the length of our "power showers."