Slowing Down Climate Change
Ever since Al gore came up with his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, awareness for the very real threats that global warming can create has increased exponentially. Every year, numerous programs, activities, gatherings, and projects are carried out just to promote this awareness, especially to the younger generations. However, is this all we can do: Be aware of our imminent doom (lest we put our foot down)? The odds of individual efforts making a huge impact is doubtful, but it should not stop us from doing whatever we can as much as we can, as pointed out by Michael Pollan in his article Why Bother. There are a lot of ways, however small we might think they are, in which people can take responsibility in slowing down climate change. It is just a matter of having the right attitude.
Responsibility of People
We are responsible for the earth’s welfare. We do live in it, in case some of us did not notice. Anything bad that happens to it can affect us dearly, so we must take responsibility in order to protect it. We owe that much to the earth and the future generations. Thus, the least we could do is keep her healthy and healthy enough for future generations.
As individuals, we have to be responsible for our own trash. The trash does not belong to the earth. We already took the raw material that created that trash from the earth, and it would be just wrong for us to it throw back at the earth when we have no more use for our things. Improper disposal of trash is harmful to our planet, especially non-biodegradable materials such as plastics and Styrofoam because they take a lot of time to decompose. Thus, segregation is one way of being responsible for our own trash. This involves separating things that can be recycled like cans and paper materials from biodegradable materials like left-over food or food residues.
Another thing that we should be responsible for is our use of energy, whether it is in the form of electricity or from oil-driven cars. Electricity is mostly produced by the burning of coal in power plants. This process causes CO2 to be dumped into our atmosphere, and the greenhouse gas causes global warming. All appliances when not in use should be unplugged from their power sources. New houses should be designed to be earth-friendly while old ones should be modified to be green as well. Solar panels may be used to supply electricity for the house. The design of the house would have to allow as much natural light as possible to limit the use of the lights in a way that people inside the house would be cool enough during summer and warm enough during winter to limit the use of heaters and air conditioning units. In terms of transportation, we must, as concerned citizens of the world, minimize our carbon emissions by limiting our oil consumption—if a place we have to go is just a few minutes away, we might as well walk or use a bicycle. If using a car is a must, then use hybrid cars or go to work through carpool.
These are just some of the responsibilities that we have to take in order to slow down the effects of climate change. The sad part is everything is happening so fast that small individual efforts will not suffice. However, even if it were true, we still have to do something to at least give our children a fighting chance to combat climate change. Individual small efforts, when combined together, can make a significant impact.
An Inconvenient Truth. Dir. Davis Guggenheim. Perf. Al Gore. DVD. Paramount Home
Pollan, Michael. “Why Bother?” The New York Times. 20 Apr. 2008.
21 Apr. 2009. <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/magazine/20wwln-lede-t.html?pagewanted=1>.