Climate Change, Invisible Killer

Are you wondering why our weather patterns seem to go crazy?   The weather has gone nuts like us.   When it’s hot, we complain and ask for rain.  When it rains, we complain and wish for warmer weather.  We don’t seem to be satisfied.  That could be the reason why the heavens got mad.

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But nah! Don’t worry, the gods haven’t gone crazy yet despite our naggings about the climate.  On the other hand, it is our own doing that cause environmental damage.  Nature got confused.  She is taking the toll on us.  Many are not convinced for they don’t believe in things they don’t see.  But when it comes to climate change, understand that it’s real and is slowly killing humanity.

Climate Change

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the advocates for innovative projects concerning Earth’s well-being.  He supports projects for the protection of the wildlife from complete annihilation and bringing back balance in the ecosystem.   According to him, some people treat climate change like the fictitious problems he solves in his movies.

Climate change is the gradual increase in the temperature of the earth.  Because we disregard the issue, global warming has reached two-degree Fahrenheit increase in the surface temperature and 0.3-degree Fahrenheit increase in ocean temperature compared to the past century.  This increase in temperature threatened many species.

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People may say, “Well it’s so little increase, why bother?”

It may be true.  But the continuing increase in temperature is showing a dangerous pattern, and that should be enough reason for us to be concerned.

Impact Of Climate Change On Our Health

Malaria is a life-threatening disease.  It causes around 429,000 death each year, mostly children.  The virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitos (Anopheles).   These mosquitoes are susceptible to climatic variations.  Scientists said that the rising temperature of Earth could cause the disease to spread further.  And the same goes in the case of dengue.

Infectious diseases like diarrhea can be related to climate conditions.  Heat stress can increase the risk of respiratory, renal, and cardiovascular diseases.  Allergies and asthma conditions could increase due to the high levels of air pollution.

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Climate change can also affect the food production industry which can lead to malnutrition.  Developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are already concerned because of excessive flooding and drought.

Children, elderly, pregnant women, those belonging to indigenous group and poverty status are prone to diseases caused by climate change.  And there is very little their community can do for them.

Is There Something We Can Still Do?

Climate change can be reversible.  But it cannot be done by one country alone.  It should be a combined effort of countries all over the world.

The Paris Agreement is joined by 159 countries who promised to limit their carbon emissions.  Many believed that we are ready to take that first step in finding a solution to climate change.  The agreement aims to keep the temperature of the Earth below 2 degrees Celsius.

Former President Barack Obama was a supporter of this cause, but not President Trump, making the United States one of the three countries not signing the agreement.  Donald Trump does not believe that climate change is a threat to America’s national security.

Your country may be one of those few countries that still do not believe in this ideology.  But you, as an individual, can do something for the environment that nourishes you.

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Start Right In Your Kitchen

Are you aware that your refrigerator and air conditioner use chemicals that affect the stratospheric ozone layer?  Though some actions have been taken to solve the problem, refrigerants continue to cause trouble.

In 2016, more than 170 countries meet to talk about on how they would address this problem, and they reached an agreement.   They have come up with substitutes which are already available in the market.  Some appliances are going to use natural refrigerants like propane and ammonia.  This will be a successful drive if we are to start using them in our very own homes and offices.

Food Waste

Hunger has been a serious problem worldwide.  Yet, it is said that the third part of the food raised or prepared just go to waste.  This happens due to poor infrastructure that delays the transportation and distribution of food products.  Poor packaging and humidity can also be a factor for food to spoil and rot quickly.  Food waste contributes to 8% of total anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emission, meaning it adds to the carbon dioxide we sent into our atmosphere each year.

Source:commons.wikimedia.org

Improvement in infrastructure, packaging, and food storage can help lessen food waste.  But as individuals, we must shop wisely, buying only those we are to consume.   If there are leftovers, learn to store and recreate them the proper way.  You can think of them as ingredients for other menu and not “leftovers.”   Creativity is the key.

Consume Less Meat More Greens

Raising livestock contributes so much to global greenhouse gases emission.  The use of agricultural land and energy consumption in raising this livestock also cause the release of carbon dioxide.   When cows digest their food, they generate greenhouse gas methane.  Plus, the manure and fertilizers emit nitrous oxide.

Less consumption of livestock can lessen the risk of having cancers, strokes, and heart diseases.  That is beneficial for your health.  Transitioning to plant-based diets (vegan and vegetarian diet) could reduce these greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 60 to 70%.   Nowadays, food preparation has evolved considerably making meat substitutes from plants, which tastes even better.  If you will learn to plant the food you are to consume, what would be healthier than that?

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Recycle And Dispose of Packaging And Plastics Properly

Practice segregation and learn the proper way to recycle product packaging.   If possible avoid plastic and Styrofoam.

Many communities, like ours, have been practicing near to possible plastic-free life.  Plastic pollution has been a significant problem in every city.  It may be durable and cheap, but the long-lasting damage it causes the environment makes us pay a very high price.  You can limit the use of plastic right in your very own home.  You can carry your recyclable bags when shopping.  It’s not that hard to take your containers when going to the wet market.  Many food businesses have followed the no plastic and Styrofoam policy.  It is better to patronize them so other companies would follow.   They are healthier for our body and to our environment.

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Support Drives In Forest Restoration  

Many forests have suffered exploitation.   This damage causes depletion of our flora and fauna.  Based on World Resources Institute report, more than 80% of the natural forests that covered the earth have been destroyed.  Deforestation is primarily for agricultural expansion and human settlement.   This means 16 to 19% of greenhouse emissions due to human activity.

Reforestation is now a growing trend in many countries.  Different sectors/groups of concerned citizens campaign on how we can revive the forests by planting trees.

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort in saving forests.   Their goal is to restore 150 million hectares of natural forest around the world by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.  This drive cannot be done by a single group or country alone.  Making it a collaborative effort of every local community can help stop continual forest damage.  If we work together, the restoration of destroyed natural forests is possible.

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Believe And Commit

Climate change is real, and so is the damage it has been causing us.  Can’t you see how many people have died and are suffering brought by drought, flooding, famine, and diseases?  Is what happening now with our weather, not enough proof?

Climate change can put our well-being as a whole in danger.  Once our physical health suffers, our mental well-being is also at risk.  If we will put off our self-interest, nothing is impossible.   Reversing climate change can be doable.

Many cities voluntarily commit to this cause for they believe that they can help reverse climate change.  There may be some world leaders whose decision have become the flipside to the progress of these campaigns.  But we as individuals can commit to things we believe in.  Believing that we can change the world by starting right within ourselves will go a long way in saving the only planet that embraced and loved us.

Believing that climate change can kill you, and committing to things you can do not to let it happen, can inspire you to do something about it.

 

References:

Climate change impacts human health. (2017, April 12). Retrieved from https://unfccc.int/news/climate-change-impacts-human-health.

 

Top 10 solutions to reverse climate change.  Retrieved from https://www.greenamerica.org/climate-change-100-reasons-hope/top-10-solutions-reverse-climate-change.

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