The world around us is changing and it’s changing rather quickly and dangerously. These rapid changes are so lethal that they’re threatening our very existence. But what can we do? And who will put it right?
In this statement, we’re going to discuss what climate change actually is, and what we and charities can do to slow this process down.
You only need to turn on the TV or scroll down your social media to find that a large focus is on the effects on our environment and the ways in which this impacts us, wildlife, in fact, the entire planetary system.
Even in newspapers and radio, you’ll find people talking about the sustainability crisis. So, if everybody’s talking about it, why is it not stopping?
If world leaders are really taking it seriously, why haven’t we made any significant progress? If every one of us is genuinely concerned about climate change, why are we not making extreme effort to combat it?
To answer all these questions, we must first find out exactly what we’re doing wrong – in order to understand how we can address it.
How Can We Save The Planet?
You may be sceptical about climate change but whether you believe it or not, it is indeed happening and we need to do more about it.
Instead of simply laying out the data, we need to focus on what we can do in order to save ourselves and all the inhabitants of the planet. Since climate change is believed to be caused by human activity, it’s our responsibility to take steps in order to prevent these changes from happening.
We can still fix this… To survive we need to take drastic and quick measures, one area that could make a significant impact is to stop the burning of fossil fuels.
One way to achieve that goal is to drive less, for every 2-mile car trip you take, 2 pounds (907.185 grams) of CO2 is put into the atmosphere. It helps to find alternative methods to get around, such as public transport or cycling. Kids riding skateboards have actually got the right kind of idea.
If emissions have to stop then we must stop them, and there are natural resources available on earth to help us do that. Trees are one of the examples of a natural climate solution. Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere and lock it in.
Nature is a tool we can use to combat climate change. Afforestation is another way to help the planet recover. We need to plant more trees on a larger scale and let them do what they do best. We can grow bio-energy crops that not only collect carbon dioxide but can be burned as a fuel.
How Can Charities Help?
If you’re reading this, it means you are already concerned about this drastic ‘climate change’ and you want to help. While planting trees and opting to ride a bicycle instead of driving a car might help, there are more things that you can do to contribute to this great cause.
Fortunately, there are a number of organisations and charities such as Rutakirwa Foundation that are already working towards saving the planet from the detrimental effects of climate change.
There are also numerous projects that help the environment, and many of these are focused on harnessing renewable energy sources.
This energy cannot be exhausted and can be renewed, and the best part is that it doesn’t harm the environment in any way. It can help offset fossil fuels and reduce the number of greenhouse gases released into the air.
You can help fund these projects in order to support them and play your part by saving our planet. Moreover, with your support, these charities can help raise awareness around the world regarding climate change and its alarming effects.
But what is climate change … exactly? Let’s discuss some of the principles around climate change, and the causes and effects of this process.
What Is Climate Change?
Let’s start off with some basic science to explain climate change.
The Sun is the source of warmth for the Earth.
When sunlight strikes the planet the Earth’s atmosphere and ozone layer reflect some of its light away before it hits the surface. The rest of the light is absorbed by land and water.
This absorbed light is re-emitted into the air as heat. Some heat manages to escape into space, but the rest of it becomes trapped in the environment by environmental gases and the planet gets warmer.
This is known as The Greenhouse Effect and the gases involved in this are called greenhouse gases. These gases are mainly Carbon dioxide, methane, chloroform, carbon, and water vapour.
The greenhouse effect is essential in order to keep our planet warm. In the absence of this effect, the Earth’s atmosphere could fall to below -4° to -40° F (-20° to -40° C).
The insulating effect of Earth’s greenhouse gases is the reason life exists as we know it. The rising level of these gases, primarily carbon dioxide into the atmosphere results in an increased greenhouse effect which causes global warming.
Climate change encompasses global warming, but it also refers to other broader range of changes that are happening to our planet including, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, severe weather conditions, and droughts.
But is it really happening? Or are we exaggerating what is simply a normal planetary cycle?
How Do We Know Climate Change Is Real?
As time has progressed, there has been shown to be little doubt Climate change is real, it’s serious, it is happening, and largely speaking – we are causing it.
The Earth’s climate has changed throughout our planet’s history, most of these slight climatic alterations are caused by minor variations in Earth’s orbit that changing the amount of solar energy our planet is exposed to.
Climate change as we know it today is an abrupt increase in Earth’s temperature. The concern is not that the Earth is getting warmer, the concern here is that it is warming far too rapidly.
The evidence of rising temperature is striking, the average temperature of Earth has gone up 1.4° F over the past century and is expected to rise as much as 11.5° F.
The impact of long-term global warming is already being felt in the form of coastal flooding, heatwaves, and changes in the ecosystem. By 2050 drought and chronic water shortages could impact the wider population if the temperature rises up to 2 C. Almost every part of the earth could end up in a long-lasting state of drought.
It’s important to note that the rates of drought across the world today have already increased beyond human expectations. Arctic summer sea ice cover has shrunk dramatically in recent years.
Causes and Effects
The main cause of climate change is the phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbon trap the heat in the earth’s atmosphere.
The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the more heat gets trapped.
Scientists around the world believe that 95% of climatic change is the result of human activity. Burning of fossil fuel increases carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere by more than 1/3 since the industrial revolution.
The rapid increase in greenhouse gases has warmed the planet at an alarming rate. Climate change has consequences on oceans as well as food sources, weather, and health.
Ice sheets are melting which are causing the sea level to rise – which will eventually result in flooding. Changes in weather pose challenges to our food sources as well. The climate in areas where animals live shifts and water supplies are diminishing.
Climate change can also affect our physical health by producing smog. Smog can cause asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer.
One person alone cannot reverse the effects of climate change, but as a collective, we can do our very best to save our environment. With the help of foundations like those set up by myself, Rutakirwa Foundation and our efforts in supporting charitable projects, we can make a difference. Join us, support our charitable projects and let’s make a difference!
Till next month,
I remain truly yours,
Serving since 28th December 2008.