Addressing Climate Change: The Urgent Need for Collective Action
Human Activities and Greenhouse Gas Impact
As we all know, things around us change, whether they are constructing a new building or building up a new factory. We try to create new things for either our survival, taste, or to help. We try to create things for everyone to use happily, but we end up destroying the majority of things around us even without noticing it. Due to the cause of human activities, there is a negative impact on climate change, such as. Hence, there should be a course of action that helps us avoid climate change.
As some of us know, one of the most common causes of climate change is Green House Gas. It is a heat-trapping gas found in the atmosphere of the earth. You can tell the greenhouse is good, but greenhouse gases aren’t good because the greenhouse is beneficial and part of the environment as it keeps our planet warm. If the greenhouse didn’t exist, the planet’s temperature would be minus degrees, and there would be ice everywhere. The cause of greenhouse becoming bad is human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels for energy to generate electricity, vehicles, etc., making greenhouse gases with different chemical gases in the air.
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And because of human activities, there is a rise in global warming that is drastically affecting the earth’s climate system. According to an analysis done in the United States, it is found that “Carbon dioxide accounted for the largest percentage of greenhouse gases (79%), followed by methane (11%), nitrous oxide (7%), and other greenhouse gases (3%)” (“U.S. Emissions”). These are some of the gases that are the cause of global warming, and not just that, but due to these chemicals being found in the air, we can get the idea of how they affect people’s or animals’ health.
Impacts of Factories and Pollution
Since we breathe daily, we can be conscious of what we live along with oxygen. Originally, the planet was warm due to the greenhouse being part of the environment for heat-trapping, which occurs when gases in the atmosphere capture solar heat, which would return back to space. But human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, etc., create different gases in the air. The gases in the air capture the solar energy that we get from the sun during the day, which is released into space during the night as it cools down and the sun is gone.
Let’s take the phone, for example; if we use too many phones, it heats up, and after we leave a place and do other activities, the phone releases the heat into the air and comes back to an average temperature. The sunlight or heat we get during the day is absorbed by everything around us and gets reflected back into the atmosphere or space, but due to different gases in the atmosphere, only a little percent is able to get through the atmosphere to space, but the rest is absorbed by the atmosphere, which is then deflected to the earth’s increasing global warming.
Above all, the major source that is causing climate change is factories because all the gases emitted from the factories go directly into the atmosphere, thus increasing the temperature and contaminating the air. The factory doesn’t just affect land and air but also water because the factories dispose of most of their wastes into the water. Thus leading to water contamination. And because of that, it results in the death of the sea plants and animals, or even have them carry the diseases. Consequently, the disease is spread in the water. Whether it’s land, air, or water, because of climate change, there is an increase in the extinction rate of animals.
Factory Emissions and Environmental Impacts
“A study by the University of Connecticut (United States), published in the Science journal, indicates that climate change is accelerating this, as climate change by itself will cause the disappearance of nearly 8% of the current species” (Corporativa). This is just one part of it, but if we research the rate of extinction rate in past years, we can get an idea of how fast the animals are getting extinct or getting endangered. This is not just because of factories but due to other climate changes that are affecting the planet’s atmosphere and environment.
And analysis shows that “Factories alone are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the emissions to blame for global climate change” (Harveston). As mentioned earlier at the beginning of this paragraph, this is one of the major impacts of climate change, and here is a piece of evidence to prove my claim. The other problem factories could be blamed for is most factories use large amounts of water for many things like cleaning, washing, etc., which they don’t think of or worry about how much water is being wasted and where the dirty water must be going.
Moreover, climate change is also caused by other various kinds of things like a wasteland where waste is thrown in a particular area, and since there are all kinds of waste mixed together, there might be different chemicals that get mixed. The climate change dilemma is made worse by food loss and waste because of the large greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions it produces. Food is a substantial source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions throughout its manufacturing, processing, and shipping, and if it winds up in the wasteland, it releases methane, a much more powerful greenhouse gas.
Waste Impact, Health Consequences, and Economic Burden
And because of waste thrown in a particular area, the area or the soil underneath and surrounding it dies. According to the research, “Americans dumped twice as much trash into landfills in 2012 as previously estimated, according to new research, suggesting trash may be contributing to climate change more than scientists believed” (Worland). If we look at what the research says, then if we think about other countries, how much waste land they may be having and how much harm it must be causing altogether. Looking at the land, it is a home to a different kind of species that we are destroying. We try to keep our house clean but do not bother keeping the environment clean.
By throwing waste here and there, we are bringing diseases to ourselves and animals and contaminating the environment. It is affecting animals and the environment, which aren’t even to be blamed for the results of our actions. According to the World Health Organization, “Poor waste collection…Resulting flooding and other standing waters in waste items favor cholera and vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue” (“Guidance on Solid Waste and Health”). Exposure to improperly disposed waste is deleterious to our health, especially for the vulnerable groups. It also has a negative impact on the development of children.
Also, Climate change affects not only the surroundings but also the economic GDP and the cost of repair of houses or other buildings. Not only that, they have to pay the people who have lost their families due to climate change and are not earning. According to “(2019), The study projected that if the higher-temperature scenario prevails, climate change impacts on these 22 sectors could cost the U.S. $520 billion each year.” This study shows how much money they have to spend on health, housing, or structure that was destroyed in production. Since climate change can happen anywhere and any place, it can cause transportation of production between countries to slow a little at a particular place.
Climate Change’s Economic Ramifications and Mitigation Strategies
And due to production being slowed, their earnings will get slowed. Climate change is a factor that is probable to worsen inflation. According to an analysis by Colombia University’s Climate School, “Every degree Celsius that the Earth warms, there’s an estimated 5 to 15 percent decrease in overall crop production” (Shirin Ali). This will have a major impact on the farmers who would, especially, be struggling to maintain their fields and adjust to these weather conditions that keep changing. This, in turn, leads to an increase in prices.
Increases in costs might also be seen through the loss of wages and through medical bills, as global warming increases the risk of foodborne and waterborne diseases. Another example is California, “with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) noting in July that U.S. orange production is expected to drop 13 percent to the lowest in 55 years due to poor fruit set, the stage where a flower turns into berry – driven by California’s severe drought” (Shirin Ali). This implies that climate change can and is disrupting the availability of food due to the reduction of agricultural productivity and interruption of food delivery.
One of the actions that could be taken to reduce greenhouse gases would be to use energy-saving light bulbs in your house, such as LED lights. If everyone uses an energy-saving light bulb, it would benefit not only us but also the environment. Such bulbs reduce the damage to the environment and help reduce your house’s electricity bills. “The annual energy consumption for an LED bulb is around 30 times lower than for a corresponding incandescent bulb…LED lights can bring lighting costs to 5 percent of the total electricity consumption in homes” (LED lighting). For every watt of light energy released, LED lights use less energy (LED lighting). In doing so, it lowers power plant greenhouse gas emissions.
LED Lights and Energy Efficiency: Environmental Impact and Innovations
Furthermore, LEDs have reduced carbon dioxide emissions. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced from one LED bulb is approximately comparable to one-half tons. Using stuff that saves energy generates less heat when using it, and since it generates less heat, it cools down very fast. Normally, as we all might see, the use of too much light in our room or house makes us feel the temperature of our room is different from the temperature outside. We feel too hot, and sometimes so much light use disturbs our sleep due to the room temperature getting high.
Using light that saves energy might help the temperature of our room to not change much and help us sleep at night. And from what I have observed in different places or countries that I have visited, there is the use of light when there is nobody in the building. Some places use light to just make their town or city look good, but if we turn off all the lights that are not used and just close at night, that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions a lot. According to a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. could cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 9 billion pounds by simply switching out one light bulb in every house for an LED bulb (CPS LED Lighting).
Looking at what the research has brought, sometimes I think people who develop stuff should work more on creating things that help the environment and don’t harm ourselves and the animals. If a single LED bulb can bring this much change to the world, there is stuff that we can create that might bring a better result to save the environment. Looking at the circumstances and building up a product may reduce most of the stuff happening in this world, including our health.
Recycling: Addressing Climate Change through Waste Management
The problem of wastelands and the contamination caused by factories, two of the leading causes of climate change, can be managed by recycling waste. Looking around the world, some countries don’t have machines to recycle waste. So, if we share what we have developed with other countries, it would help reduce waste that is being dumped in an area. Recycling products can help reduce mining that is done to create new products, and it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this world, everyone uses paper to work on different things; if all this paper goes into recycling, we can save trees.
Recycling has been a major thing to discuss since when the new products started to develop. There wasn’t any solution to what they should do with the waste, and they ended up throwing waste in a particular land, which is called the wasteland. Even in the factories, if a product isn’t built properly, it becomes a waste, and it either goes into the water or the wasteland. One of the solutions to reduce waste is to stop using the new material and try to recycle the old material.
Limiting the stuff can reduce the things to end in the wasteland. “Project Drawdown estimates that recycling between 2020 and 2050 will reduce emissions by 5.5-6.02 gigatons of carbon dioxide (equivalent to taking over 1 billion cars off the streets for one year)” (recycling). For good things to happen, it takes time, but if we all help, we can reduce the amount of years it would take. Recycling product just doesn’t become what it originally was but made into a different product. We should buy recycled products rather than products that are created entirely with new materials.
- U.S. Emissions by Gas. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/us-greenhouse-gas-inventory-report-2020
- Corporativa. Climate Change and Biodiversity. Retrieved from https://corporativa.economia.gob.mx/en/CEIEG/climate-change-and-biodiversity
- Harveston, T. (2019). Factories Responsible for Nearly Two-Thirds of Emissions Blamed for Climate Change. SciTechDaily. Retrieved from https://scitechdaily.com/factories-responsible-for-nearly-two-thirds-of-emissions-blamed-for-climate-change/
- Worland, J. (2015). America Throws Away Twice as Much Trash as Previously Thought. Time. Retrieved from https://time.com/4004252/america-trash-waste/
- Guidance on Solid Waste and Health. World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/waste/guidance/en/
- Shirin Ali, A. Climate Change Economics Explained. Columbia University – The Earth Institute. Retrieved from https://climate.columbia.edu/news-events/climate-change-economics-explained
- LED Lighting. Energy.gov. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/save-electricity-and-fuel/lighting-choices-save-you-money/led-lighting
- CPS LED Lighting. CPS Energy. Retrieved from https://www.cpsenergy.com/en/customer-support/energy-saving-tips/led-lighting.html
- Recycling. Project Drawdown. Retrieved from https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/materials/recycling