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Being a Global Citizen - Article by Angela, Teen Blogger


It is approaching that time of the year again: when the sun arrives and the greens start to grow. The blizzards and frosts have disappeared, and it makes you want to take a walk outside and embrace nature. You can feel the sun softly warming your smile, while the breeze rustles your hair. If you wake up early in the morning, you can see the golden sunrise and hear the sparrows sing. After the sun colours the evening sky with its grand departure, under a cloudless sky, you can see countless stars bidding you goodnight. But what if you couldn’t enjoy being outside anymore? What if we ran out of supplies and resources and our world fell apart?

Uglies series-book coversIn the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, there was this civilization called the Rusties. They cut down trees, excessively used fossil fuels, and polluted the environment. When bacteria infected the oil supply, the gasoline exploded and most humans were killed. To rebuild civilization, the government relied on technology and gave everyone aged 16 and up cosmetic surgeries. (Editor's Note: click here for potential spoilers)

Bogus to Bubbly- book cover

Imagine living in the world of the Rusties. What would our future be like? The scary part is, if we don’t change our lifestyle, we might end up like the Rusties. How? Keep reading to find out.

(To learn more about the Rusties and the future technologies, read Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld)

As you may have heard, there is worldwide discussion concerning the issues of global warming and our waste management. In short, we are consuming more resources than we should and in the future, we will be lacking the resources that we take for granted such as fossil fuels, coal, and even renewable resources like trees. At the rate that we are exploiting these natural resources and creating tremendous amounts of waste, we are changing the environment in various ways (as seen in the following graphs and images obtained from a website by Chris Colose):

We are producing of a large amount of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), from industrialized factories with improper gas excretion.

Graph of Atmosphere CO2 levels

These greenhouse gases decrease the speed at which heat from the sun escapes to space and they help to warm Earth. However, the average global temperature has risen significantly in the last 50 years.

Graph of Global Temperatures

 

A temperature increase could lead to the melting of the polar ice caps.

Graph of Glacier thickness

 

If the ice caps disappeared, the polar bears’ habitats would be destroyed, which would also endanger other arctic species and alter the food web. This would disrupt the stability and the harmony of the ecosystem, but more importantly, where would the melted glacier water go? Not only are we wasting the fresh water on Earth, we are contributing to the rise of the sea level. 

Graph of Sea Level Rise

If all the glaciers melted, imagine what would happen to those us who are living close to the Atlantic Ocean. The sea level could rise by more than 60 meters. And where would that leave us? In the salty seawater?

 

For more statistical images and information related to climate change and global warming:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change

Government of Canada - Canada's Action on Climate Change

The Guardian - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) Articles

Planet Earth-DVD cover

If you are not as analytical, you might want to consider watching this great film series, Planet Earth. It portrays the diversity of life in different ecosystems and the relationship between species. The pictures are absolutely marvelous and you will be amazed by the filmmakers’ efforts to produce this piece of work. It is my all-time favourite, and I would recommend it for everyone. And of course, it is available at Halifax Public Libraries.

So what can we do?

You can start by doing something small, like turning off the light when you are not in a room and turning off the tap when water is not needed. Or you can do things beyond your household, like picking up trash in the community park or promoting walking instead of driving.

 Holding the Earth-photo

And don’t forget, Earth Day is April 22. It is the day we celebrate our planet, Earth. Please show your love for the planet we live in and contribute a little something for the environment, the community, and for Earth.

I really hope you watch the movies and read the books. And think about being a responsible global citizen.

Angela,

Teen Blogger

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Editor's Note: Potential spoilers below.

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The government also altered people’s brains with implants so they could control them. In Dr. Cable’s eyes, this was the only way to ensure that society wouldn’t fall into the abyss of destruction like with the Rusties.

 

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