Written by Ella, Teen Volunteer
Halifax Public Libraries' Teen Blog is written by and for teens. Discover more posts here.
Climate change is real
According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), greater than 95% of current warming trends are caused by human activity and since the mid-20th century have increased at a rapid rate like never seen before. Satellites in space, as well as other technological advances, have allowed scientists to gather information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. The data has shown clear, overwhelming evidence of a changing climate.
Over the past 150 years, the industrial activities of modern civilization have raised the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 414 parts per million. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases have greatly increased the Earth’s temperature. Burning coal, oil, and gas, cutting down forests, overusing natural resources, livestock farming, and fertilizers are some of the human activities that have led to the worst effects of climate change.
Climate change has already had significant impacts on the globe, with rising temperatures, warming oceans, ocean acidification, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, decreased snow cover, rising sea levels, declining arctic sea ice, and other extreme events. These observable changes will continue and all the things we value and depend on will ultimately vanish if immediate action is not taken. Water, food, energy, ecosystems, and human health are all vulnerable to climate change and in the end, humanity will suffer.
It is not too late
It is not too late to prevent climate change and it can be done with global, local, and individual efforts. You, reading this blog, can also get involved! Saving the planet is not hard at all and every little thing that you do really makes a difference.
Here are a few tips to help you consider different ways you can interact with our planet.
1. Be informed
Keep yourself informed, because the more you know about the issue, the better it is for you when taking action. You will find yourself having fruitful conversations with your friends and family, as well as the people you want to influence and educate. Looking for a place to start? Check out the Library's Climate Action resource page.
2. Use your voice
Speaking up is one of the best things to do if you want to influence and motivate your community to join the movement. Talk with people, get in touch with the world.
3. Reuse items
Reusing is all about eliminating unnecessary waste and cleaning materials. You will mitigate your carbon footprint, while reducing pollution because the need for raw materials is reduced.
4. Reduce/recycle your waste
Waste takes up a lot of space in landfills and by the time it fully decomposes, has caused enormous impacts to our land and ocean. You can conserve natural resources, save energy, and prevent pollution by simply controlling your waste.
5. Eat sustainably
Food production is a major factor that impacts the environment. If you pay closer attention to what you eat, global greenhouse gas emissions and forest loss can be significantly reduced.
6. Avoid taking cars
You can lower your environmental impact by choosing a more sustainable way to travel. Cars are harmful to the environment, so instead consider walking, riding a bike, or taking public transportation to help both the environment and your budget, while keeping a healthy lifestyle.
Protecting our home
There is nothing to lose from taking action, but everything to gain. Combating climate change would enable us to focus on our well-being by ensuring a healthy environment, serving as an opportunity to improve human rights. For instance, more people will have access to cleaner and cheaper energy resources and new job opportunities will be created.
We have the knowledge, power, and ability to tackle climate change. From citizens to nations, people are actively participating in creative and innovative movements to address the problem and find solutions.
It's time to start making changes. It’s up to us what happens next. Let's protect our home.
Interested in learning more?
The Library has a fantastic Climate Action resource page.
Check out the websites I used to source information:
NASA Global Climate Change, opens a new window
WWF Things You Can Do, opens a new window
About the writer
Hey there! My name is Ella (Sunghyun) Kang and I’m 16 years old. I’m interested in everything related to STEAM, and I hope to go into biochemistry or medicine in the future. In my free time, you’ll probably find me reading, binge-watching Netflix, or practicing Taekwondo.