People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!Greta Thunberg, teen climate activist at the United Nations General Assembly
As most of you probably already know, climate change has been affecting more and more of the earth for quite some time now. Is it worth fighting for? Will it affect our children’s lives? And even our lives? The short answer is yes.
But, instead of worrying so much about our futures as individuals, we should be worrying about our planetary future. Things have been getting out of hand, species are rapidly going extinct, forests are burning, and ecosystems as a whole are breaking down. Nevertheless, some people still believe it is all a hoax. People have the right to an opinion, but I am writing this article to voice my own.
Motherboard Tech by Vice recently published an article titled “New Report Suggests ‘High Likelihood of Human Civilization Coming to an End’ Starting in 2050” states
The scenario warns that our current trajectory will likely lock in at least 3 degrees Celsius (C) of global heating, which in turn could trigger further amplifying feedbacks unleashing further warming. This would drive the accelerating collapse of key ecosystems “including coral reef systems, the Amazon rainforest and in the Arctic.”Nafeez Ahmed, Vice Media
Basically what this statement is implying, is that if the average temperature of the Earth goes up by at least 3 degrees Celsius, we’re screwed. This could lead into further collapse of ecosystems. One environmental tragedy inevitably leads to another.
If the Amazon disappears, 20% of Earth’s oxygen producers disappear. And if 20% of the Earth’s oxygen producers disappear, oxygen levels in the air will go down and carbon dioxide levels will rise. And, once that happens, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions rise, trapping more heat inside of the atmosphere. This then leads to melting glaciers, which raises sea levels, which can eventually flood out much of our civilization. I could keep going, but I think you should understand my point by now.
Climate change is sweeping the globe and things are changing. And a major tragedy that can further fuel climate change has already struck. The Amazon rainforest is burning and emitting extreme amounts of carbon dioxide into our planet.
Since CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it will trap more heat in our planet. As I explained before, heating up the planet is not a conducive to our survival. The reason why the fires started was partially the fault of all of us.
Cattle farmers have found very high demands for red meat production. One way to make room for cattle is to burn some trees down to clear land. By buying red meat, we incidentally support this horrible cause. So, before you go posting “pray for the rainforest”, put down the hamburger and have a chicken sandwich or try a veggie burger, they’re amazing.
Obviously, many people just cannot live without meat. That’s fine, just remember the damage it may cause and try to cut down on your average meat consumption or buy meat from responsible sources. Everything helps.
As alluded to earlier, a 16 year old climate change activist Greta Thunberg was in attendance at a recent United Nations meeting. She explained the importance of making a difference and how her childhood has been stolen from her due to climate change and its effects on her future. “This is all wrong,” she said at the meeting. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!”
Greta has made it clear that our world is in danger, but she is also making it clear that us kids can’t do this on our own. Yes, adults come to us for hope, I’m sure you have heard before that our generation is the future and one day our generation will be future leaders.
We need help from everyone. We all should be reducing plastic waste, reducing red meat consumption, and use eco-friendly materials. It’s not that difficult.
I haven’t eaten meat in two and a half years without a problem and I use reusable containers as often as possible. If everyone made these simple changes, we’d be in a much better spot than we are now. But most of all, always stay educated on the topic of climate change.
The more you know, the easier it is to make a difference.
Editor’s note: Human driven climate change is a scientific fact recognized by most of the global community and US Government (including NASA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, The Geological Society of America, about 200 other science organizations and 97%+ of the scientific community as a whole. Read more here.
This year Gavin is a freshman at Sweet Home High School. He is an animal rights advocate as well as a climate change advocate.