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A Student’s Role to Help Slow, Stop or Solve Climate Change

Climate change has been a serious issue and threatens the whole world. If we don’t do something together now then it will be too late for world to address the dangers of climate change. Everyone has part to play in the fight against climate change, especially college students. So many students across the country want to do something but they lack leadership. Here, I am going to describe what can we do as student below.

First, we must educate ourselves. They say that knowing is half the battle, that’s why being educated on the effects of climate change goes a long way. However, educating individually is not enough, so advocating for change and getting involved is also important as well. Also, for everyone who is involved, it is vital that they know the reasons behind everything. Doing something knowingly will help you be able to make more informed decisions and make sustainable changes in your behavior and lifestyle.

Knowing how to reduce our the carbon footprint is essential. What somebody can do to reduce their carbon footprint in college may not be immediately obvious, but there are so many ways you can live more sustainably. For example, if you are the last one leaving the classroom, then turning off the lights before leaving helps reduce the footprint because using less electricity means conserving energy that might be produced by fossil fuels. Also, taking shorter showers is saving water, a valuable resource and consuming less meat and dairy products means not supporting industrial farms that produce methane and other gases that contribute to greenhouse gases, the main cause of climate change.

Another important step we can take is that we can focus on our community. Taking time to get involved in conservation efforts in our areas is a great way we can help fight climate change. We also can work with other students or local groups to organize and institute changes in the community that will really help in the long term. Not only that, when we work in a local group, it helps to get connected to other larger groups which can ultimately form a global initiative.  Think about the political impacts: our vote is our voice on the national stage. Voting for candidates who support climate change policies is one of the best ways to get the government involved. If we vote for a wrong candidate then it’s going to affect badly to the whole initiative. For example, Donald Trump, the former President of the United States, withdrew the US form the Paris Agreement which is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. When the former president stepped back from the agreement and received lot of criticism. Now, current President Joe Biden is again promising to go back to the agreement and support renewable energy and start new initiatives to reduce carbon footprints. So, our vote matters the most when it comes to these such major issues, that’s why we must choose political candidates very wisely.

We also can join larger groups that have already been working toward conservation and climate action across the country. Joining with one of these groups can allow us to join with like-minded people and make a much larger difference. We also can make our commute green which make us healthier, happier and save some money as well. So, whenever and wherever we are, we can try to take public transit, ride a bike or advocate for bike lanes in our community, use car-share, if we have fuel run vehicles then we can switch to the electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles at least. There  are so many electric vehicles on the market such as Tesla, Toyota and Ford. Also we can choose a utility company that generates at least half its power from wind or solar and has been certified. Our light bulbs at home makes a big difference and choosing LED lightbulbs is wise because they use up to 80% less energy than conventional incandescent lights. Those LED lights are cheaper in the long run as well: A 10-watt LED that replaces our traditional 60-watt bulb and is money well spent.  

We can counterbalance our annual carbon dioxide emissions by investing in commercial services that draw down an equal amount of carbon out of the atmosphere, such as planting trees or using carbon capture and storage techniques. Planting tree has so many benefits including the preservation of water under the ground.  Forests can help us lower the surface temperature and most importantly take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and give us the oxygen which is necessary thing for every form of life in the universe. Nowadays, there are companies and businesses using technology to capture the carbon. Carbon dioxide capture and sequestration is a set of technologies that can greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing coal-and gas-fired power plants and large industrial sources.

Capturing carbon dioxide is so important that it could play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while enabling low-carbon electricity generation from power plants. As estimated in the U.S Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and sinks, more than 40% of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States are from electric power generation. Carbon Capture technologies are currently available and can dramatically reduce by 80-90% carbon dioxide emissions from power plants that burn fossil fuels, the amount of GHG emissions avoided would be equivalent to planting more than 62 million trees, and waiting at least 10 years for them to grow, and avoiding annual electricity-related emissions from more than 300,000 homes.

To sum, as a college student we can do much more than we think. We are the future of the world and it’s our responsibility to save the earth for ourselves and for the upcoming generations. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist, started her initiatives to stop climate change at the age of 15, she is trying to wake up world leaders who have been failing to take any action; she has acted against climate change continuously and has already been the talk of the town all around the world. We are much older than she  and perhaps have more understanding and knowledge about the world , so we also can do such things which motivate, educate, and pressurize the world leaders to act.

image: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/GP0STTXTB_Medium_res_with_credit_line.jpg

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