Working Together for Our Environment

Jian M.

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Imagine a world where severe hurricanes, wildfires, flash floods, heat waves and droughts are a common occurrence.  Imagine a world where several species we know today such as polar bears, moose and salmon are almost, if not totally extinct.  Imagine a world where diseases such as lyme disease, cholera, babesiosis, ebola, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and several other diseases are spreading at an alarming rate.  Imagine a world where there is starvation and overpopulation inland due to rising sea levels.  Is this the kind of world we want for the future of our young population?  I would be greatly taken aback if you even think about what your answer would be.

The overall goal of the Paris Agreement is to not let the global temperature rise above 1.5 degrees celsius.  If the temperature goes above two degrees celsius, there is no way to prevent climate change.  According to professor Chris Field, co-chair of work group two for the international energy conservation code, the only realistic way to do that would be to decrease carbon emissions to zero ¨somewhere in the second half of the twenty-first century.¨

The way we are emitting carbon, it doesn’t look like we are going to reach that goal.  Luckily, there are things that you can do to slow climate change.  Although the only real way for these tips to take affect is for masses of people to do them, here are some things to get you started:  The first simple and surprisingly effective thing you can do is to move your thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees in the winter.  By doing this, you can save up to two-thousand pounds of carbon dioxide per year!

The second thing you can do it buy a compact fluorescent or LED light bulb rather than your average incandescent light bulb.  Although they might seem to be more expensive, they last a heck of a lot longer.  So in the long run, they save you money and time.  Another thing you can do is to not let heat escape from your house over a long period of time.  Even if you let your window open a crack all day long in below freezing temperatures, you could waste up to one ton of Carbon Dioxide.  That’s the energy required to heat your home for six months of below freezing temperatures.  So remember, SHUT ALL YOUR WINDOWS!  

One last easy and effective thing you can do to reduce carbon emissions is to wrap your heaters in insulation blankets.  This could save up to 1,000 pounds of carbon emissions a year!

Negin Mostaghim, an environmental attorney that works for the EPA, (Environmental Protection Agency,) when asked what she thought was the most concerning thing about global warming responded, “never before has the world faced such a daunting issue that humanity has to work together to resolve.”  What intrigued me the most about her response was when she said, “humanity has to work together to resolve” this problem.

I would like to conclude this article by expanding upon how critical it is for humanity to work together to solve this problem.  Looking at the state of our world today, the prospect of working together may seem hardly possible.  Although, think about it this way: as the issue of climate change and several other global issues become more and more relevant to the way we live our lives, we will be forced to face them.  The only realistic way to do this would be to work together.

In addition, we should all feel a duty to take care of the Earth.  It’s our home, after all.  “We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life molds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other and every abiding change in the life of man is the result of these mutual reactions.”

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