Collage created by Karmen with images from Pexels
Karmen Hasan highlights the impact of climate change and what we can do to address it
Climate change has been observed for over 100 years. Most of this is due to human activities. Primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of the world’s forests has resulted in an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere. This has led to global warming.
The climate emergency is truly upon us and it’s you and me, the young people, who will face the consequences.
One of the ways we contribute to global warming is by burning fossil fuels, in the form of petrol and diesel in our cars. This releases CO2 and is the primary greenhouse gas. According to a report by Statista, transport pollution causes roughly 27% of the UK’s CO2 emissions.
The BBC reports that under the government’s green plan new cars and vans powered totally by petrol and diesel are being phased out and will not be sold in the UK from 2030. Electric and hybrid cars are rising in popularity.
Another big factor in global warming is deforestation, the cutting down and removal of natural forests. Our trees absorb CO2 during photosynthesis. When they are cut down to clear land for agricultural use or for building materials, less CO2 is captured from the atmosphere.
Trees sustain life too. When a tree is felled hundreds of animal species lose their habitat, depleting our ecosystems. Trees are vital to our very existence. And right now, the world urgently needs more. You can help make a difference by using less paper, recycling the paper and cardboard you do use, and even planting trees. You can find more ways to help here.
Most of our rubbish ends up in landfill. When organic waste decomposes, CO2 and methane gas are created contributing a significant amount of additional greenhouse gases to the environment. So we need to think more deeply about what food we throw away. Cutting down our meal waste can help. Find out more here.
Climate change is leading to an increase in the occurrence and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and droughts
The possible effects and impacts of climate change will vary widely across the globe.
The negative impacts in the UK include rising sea levels leading to an increased risk of flooding in low-lying areas, particularly in southeast England. In addition, if we do nothing our future homes will need to cope with extreme summer heat and the increased risk of damaging storms.
As the CO2 builds up in the atmosphere and causes the Earth’s temperature to rise, the air we breathe will become more polluted. Higher temperatures can also lead to an increase in ground-level ozone. This is associated with many health problems, including diminished lung function, increased hospital admissions for asthmatics, and a rise in premature deaths.
Climate change is leading to an increase in the occurrence and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and droughts. Agriculture may be impacted which will, in turn, affect our lesser developed countries which rely heavily on crops for their survival.
So what can each of us do to help prevent and reverse some of the damage already done?
The good news is there is still time to be a part of the solution in creating a better, brighter and more promising future.
Raising awareness about this climate change crisis is a good start. So be sure to share this article. 💚
I’m very proud of what my generation (Z) is doing and continues to do to fight this emergency, with Greta Thunberg at the helm
While we need to rely on big organisations to drive changes toward net-zero carbon emissions, when the amount of CO2 released is zero or negative, there are still many things we can do to be more eco-friendly in our everyday lives. We can drink from reusable bottles, eat less meat, buy biodegradable products, use electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, and choose to walk instead of using transport. To learn about more things you can do please read this.
I’m very proud of what my generation (Z) is doing and continues to do to fight this emergency. Greta Thunberg, environmental activist, at only 18 has taken on the huge role of educating others on the seriousness of our climate crisis. She organises rallies, protests and gives speeches to advocate change!
Greta is an inspiration, with her movement #FridaysForFuture she compels young people to battle against climate issues. She uses social media platforms, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to reach an even bigger audience. I believe we should all do the same.
It’s time to turn and face the challenge!
Funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, distributed by CommUNITY Barnet Giving has helped us with this work. Thanks to National Lottery players for making this possible.