|by Laura Antuna,
||May 3, 2012
| Climate Change is a topic which has been circulating our everyday lives for some time. Increasing scientific data show that the earth has become warmer as a result of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trapping heat from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere. This problem perhaps has become one of the most complicated issues facing world leaders. According to the Global Carbon Project, emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010 and 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.
According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the average temperature has climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880. The result not only affects the earth, but also our health. Time published a report and stated that in 2003, 20,000 Europeans died because of the increase in temperature and rising temperatures could also result in larger mosquito population which could turn to the spread of malaria.
For two decades now, the United Nations has tried to tackle this issue by sponsoring annual global talks such as the IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Even though these global talks among nations help political progress, there is little real impact on the climate.
The victims of this issue are the future generations. Tetra Tech for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), examined the effects of global warming and water supply, finding out that by mid-century, 400 countries will face extremely high risks of water shortages.
The youths’ voices are valuable concerning this issue since they will be the ones shaping future generations. I asked fellow classmates and friends and many desired to fight for this phenomenon.
Vicky Liu, a high school student from a school in Missouri believes everyone should try to counteract global warming but being realistic, she says that the issue is easy to ignore because it doesn’t affect us directly. With this said, she has confidence that the solution to global warming is to spread awareness because if one person does their part for the planet, it won’t make much of a difference. So to conclude, her view is that the primary goal of anyone who cares about global warming is to spread awareness of the issue by participating in clubs in school and in the community.
Hannah Hemperly, a high school student living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia agreed with Vicky stating that global warming is especially easy to ignore in this era where “it’s not cool to care about anything”. She also emphasized how easy it is to point fingers at our governments and our school administration, but if the next generation really wants change, they have to take responsibility for what they can do rather than try to point to bigger parties for a larger solution. She also thinks that a major problem is the role the media plays in schools and out of school by targeting “earth day” or “week day” when they really should be shooting for year-round simple solutions. These simple solutions could be from taking out your plugs when you are not using them, to turning off the lights when leaving a room.
Most people don’t realize that small solutions such as travelling green, using less energy, switching to clean energy, watching your water use, and reducing waste make a great impact to the environment. You can take other actions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by planting a tree, considering buying locally grown food, and most importantly spreading the word.
This current cycle of global warming is changing the rhythms of climate that all living things rely upon. Students all around the world have a voice and are ready to take action towards this undesirable phenomenon. While we struggle to figure it out, natural resources such as mountains and coasts hang in the balance.
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