Climate change is the whole other pandemic that we’ve been trying to solve for many years; well, not solve but convince people to stop. It has melted glaciers, destroyed homes, flooded buildings, and so much more. Climate change is—if you don’t already know—the effect of greenhouse gasses (mainly carbon dioxide) on the atmosphere. Greenhouse gasses are very important to our atmosphere, as they trap in heat. Climate change, however, is horrible because there is too much heat being trapped. Even a slight 0.1 of a degree warmer, which you might not even feel, could kill entire species of animals, as they have adapted only to particular conditions. Therefore, in summary, climate change is the result of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere trapping too much heat and causing the temperature to rise faster than animals can evolve.
My experience with climate change has been pretty massive. When I first heard about climate change, I must have been in preschool because I don’t even remember when I first thought about it. Late second grade is when I realized how much of a massive problem this is. At the very beginning of third grade, I joined a small climate activist group with my friends. It was called EPG (Eco Preservation Group), and I remember we had notoriety for constantly having protests at school. We would walk around the enormous lower school main building and chant stuff like “There’s only one Earth!” and “Stop the fires!” When the group heard that there were two huge protests in Chapel Hill and Durham, we were over the moon, and that would be an understatement! We eventually started protesting even longer for practice, and it inspired more than half the school (including teachers) to go on strike and protest. Since my school (Carolina Friends School) is so awesome, we went to one of the protests for a field trip, bringing homemade signs and holding them until our arms were ready to fall off. We even got on the news! From then on, I vowed to reduce my carbon footprint.
Here are a few things I think we can all do to help our earth:
- Recycle! This one is obvious, but it had to be said! Recycling old objects and turning them into something amazing helps reduce a massive amount of fossil fuel emitted.
- Eat less red meat! This is pretty straightforward. Listen, I know all of us love a McDonald’s burger every once in a while, and that’s ok! But try to reduce the number that you consume. Not only does this help prevent animal cruelty, but this helps prevent climate change as well! Funnily enough, a big part of greenhouse gas emissions comes from cows farting: yes, cows farting. Because their farts (and ours) contain methane, a greenhouse gas that acts similar to CO2, every time that happens, a tiny bit of gas is released into the atmosphere. Now, since there are so many cows—around one billion—and since they are so big, they release a lot more methane when they fart. And that doesn’t count the billions and billions that have been slaughtered so people can have those McDonald’s burgers. So, reduce the amount of red meat you consume! Simple!
- Speak up! There are so many useless factories and other buildings and practices that are horrible for the climate, and so if we want them to go, we need to speak up! Post online; make a blog; tell people you meet; and overall, just spread awareness.