Global warming. So, we hear this phrase all the time, every single day. In fact, global warming is mentioned so frequently on the television, radio, and Internet, that it has been ingrained in our minds. Headlines like raging wildfires in California, tropical cyclones in Hawaii, heavy flooding in Canada and New Zealand, winter storms in Nepal, and severe drought in Africa and the Middle East have dominated newspapers for years. And as a population, we are all fully aware of the fact that global warming does indeed exist. I pose a question to everyone today: are we truly taking global warming as seriously as we should?
Scientists predict that if global warming continues unabated, that by the year 2040, the entire Artic region will have completely disappeared, as a direct result of none other than global warming. Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, and it is permanently changing the Earth’s climate. Without prompt response from our generation, global warming may cause an irrevocable catastrophe, which will affect future generations to come.
The earth is most definitely getting warmer. Within the next fifty to one hundred years, the earth may be at its record hottest than it has been in the past million years. The main cause of global warming worldwide is the attitude of mankind towards nature. Humans are warming the Earth’s atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, deforestation, landfills, overpopulation, mining, and the use of fertilizers.
Burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas release greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere. This has an adverse effect on our planet, causing significant damage to the ozone layer, allowing more harmful ultraviolet rays to reach Earth. And every single year, humans release 37 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, making each year of the 21st century is among the hottest in recorded history.
So why is this relevant? What impact does global warming have on countries today?
Events like the El Niño weather system, and nature-destroying actions like acid rain have scarred our Earth beyond belief. As oceans warm and glaciers melt, land and cities in coastal areas will be affected. Extreme heat and drought will definitely cause forests to die, and food crops to fail. Global warming will affect weather everywhere, plants and animals everywhere, and people everywhere.
By making simple changes to our lifestyle, we can be the generation to stop global warming in its tracks. And as human beings, we must never forget the power of a single individual. Little things like recycling products when possible, and driving less and driving smart can, over time, lead to something huge.
I’ve always been interested in preserving our planet, ever since I can remember. Over the years, I have joined many campaigns that raise awareness for pressing environmental issues that face our world today, such as the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards. At the Young Environmentalist Awards, I participated in a project debating the merits of using solar energy to power a vehicle, and the project qualified for the All-Ireland Finals. At my school, I am a member of the Green Schools Committee, which is internationally known as the Eco-Schools program. Green-Schools is a global environmental education program, which advocates for long-term, whole school action for the environment. I believe in the power of a single individual. And I will make an effort to do everything in my power to stop global warming.
Global warming is happening NOW. This is most urgent of messages in the most urgent of times. We, as humanity, need to rally together to save our wonderful planet that we call home. Not only do we need to save Earth for us, but also for future generations. I will leave you with the words of a wise Native American proverb: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”