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Climate Change: What can We Do as Students Do to Help Slow It?

According to NASA, if we were to stop emitting greenhouse gases today, global warming would continue to occur and remain as a national issue for several more decades, if not centuries. This would be because the planet takes a while to respond as carbon dioxide, which is the main heat trapping gas, remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, it may be too late to prevent climate change as there are still affects that are waiting to occur, however, there are several ways in which we, as students, can do to help slow down or stop climate change.

One way that students can help slow down or stop climate change is to switch to renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind energy, to power our homes and buildings. According to Antonia Čirjak on World Atlas, by switching to renewable sources of energy whenever possible, we would be “emitting far less heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere”. Renewable energy sources produce very little emissions, as well as provide and support more job opportunities as the renewable energy industry becomes more labor-oriented compared to the fossil fuel industry. Another way is to switch up your eating habits. You can stop wasting food, buying local or organic food, growing your own food, or even going easy with the meat. According to World Atlas, “meat and dairy are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases”. Meat and Dairy contribute the most to climate change because forests are cleared causing large amounts of carbon to be released in order to create more farms for livestock to live on.  When livestock digest the food, their burps and their manure contain methane, which is a greenhouse gas. Thus, reducing our consumption of meat would lead to less emissions, whether from deforestation, fossil fuel usage, or digestion.  

Another way to slow or stop climate change is to reduce pollution emissions. One way to do this is to reconsider transportation. This can be done by choosing to walk, using public transportation and using fuel-efficient vehicles such as hybrids or electric vehicles. Less driving leads to less money being spent on fuel, which in turn leads to less air pollution. According to Melissa Denchak from nrdc.org, “Less frequent flying can make a big difference, too. Air transport is a big source of climate pollution.” Reducing transportation usage and transitioning to one that is more eco-friendly can emit less pollution into the air. Next, one can stop or slow climate change by reducing water waste. According to Denchak, this can be done by saving water by “taking shorter showers, turn off tap while brushing your teeth, and switch to WaterSense-labeled fixtures and appliances.” Water usage results in carbon pollution because it takes a lot of energy to pump, heat and treat your water. It is estimated by the EPA that if one of every 100 Americans switched to fixtures that are water-efficient, then about 100 million kilowatt hours of energy is saved per year, which avoids about 80,000 tons of global warming pollution.

In conclusion, global warming would continue for several decades, if not centuries, even if we were to stop emitting greenhouse gases today. This occurs as a result of carbon dioxide, which is the main heat trapping gas, remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years because the planet takes a while to respond. The ways in which we can help slow or stop climate change would include switching to renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind to power homes and buildings, switching up our eating habits such as reducing food wastes and switching away from meat and dairy, reducing pollution emissions through transportation, and reducing water waste by switching to water efficient fixtures and appliances.  

Image: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/year-of-living-better/how-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint

Works Cited

“Is It Too Late to Prevent Climate Change? – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet.” NASA, NASA, climate.nasa.gov/faq/16/is-it-too-late-to-prevent-climate-change/.

Denchak, Melissa. “How You Can Stop Global Warming.” NRDC, 5 Nov. 2020, www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming. Čirjak, Antonia. “10 Ways We Can Help Slow Down Climate Change.” WorldAtlas, WorldAtlas, 28 Feb. 2020, www.worldatlas.com/articles/10-ways-we-can-help-slow-down-climate-change.html

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