“The Earth is not dying, it is being killed and the people who are killing it have names and addresses.”. Global warming and consequently climate change are the most alarming issues in present days. In the past 10-15 years the world has witnessed a drastic change in the global climate scenario. Extremes of temperature, natural disasters, are all its immediate consequences.
Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.
People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea level, and more extreme weather events. The greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are driving climate change and continue to rise. They are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century and is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius this century—with some areas of the world expected to warm even more. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.
Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies. The pace of change is quickening as more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts.
But climate change is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. Emissions anywhere affect people everywhere. It is an issue that requires solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level and it requires international cooperation to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy.
Nature has shown us its supremacy over the human race by various ways by means of floods, temperature changes and much more. Let us take Chennai for example, it has a river which runs called the Cooum river which is 72 Km long and runs in and out of the city. The river is highly polluted by humans. Nature cleaned itself by way of Tsunami which cleaned the mouth of the river in 2004. People did not realise the need to keep the river clean and in 2015 by way of huge floods in the city, nature has cleaned itself claiming many lives. Nature gives us shelter and if we try to exploit our mother nature, she is not going to remain silent!
Climate change does not respect borders, it does not care who you are – rich or poor, small or big, white or black. Therefore, this is what we should call a Global Confront and it requires Global unity. Climate changes in India represents an additional stress on a Country that is already facing tremendous pressures due to rapid development. On June 30, 2008, our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released India’s first National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) outlining existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation. The plan identifies eight cores “national missions” running through 2017.
As we all think of changing the world, none of us think of changing ourselves. Here are some simple yet effective steps that can be taken by each of us to combat Climate change: –
1. Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl). CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
2. Install a programmable thermostat. It will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save a huge sum of money on the energy consumption bill.
3. Move the thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer. Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. We can save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide with this simple adjustment.
4. Clean or replace filters on the furnace and air conditioner. Cleaning dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
5. Choose energy efficient appliances while making new purchases. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most energy efficient products.
6. Do not leave appliances on standby. Use on/off function on the machine itself. A TV in its standby mode uses almost 40% of energy.
7. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly. Even better is to replace them with newer models which all have automatic defrost cycles and are up to two or more times energy efficient than their predecessors.
8. Replace old single glazed windows with double glazing. This requires a bit of upfront investment, but will halve the energy lost through windows and pay off in long term.
9. Cover pots while cooking. Doing so saves lot of energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%.
10. Use washing machine only when they are full.
11. Take a shower instead of bath. A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath.
12. Use less hot water. It takes lot of energy to heat water.
13. Recycle the organic wastes in home. We can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste that our household generates.
14. Reuse shopping bag when shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges carbon dioxide and methane into atmosphere, it can also pollute air, groundwater and soil.
15. Plant a tree. A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide in its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce air conditioning bill by 10-15%.
16. Avoid 10miles of driving every week to eliminate about 500pounds of carbon dioxide emission a year.
17. Keep cars tuned up. Maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions.
Encouraging people to switch to renewable energy such as solar, wind and biomass can effectively the ever-growing global warming, greenhouse effects and thus can combat climate change to a huge extent. Forests must be protected worldwide as forests play a critical role in global warming, they store carbon. When forests are cut down the stored carbon is released into the atmosphere accounting for 20% carbon dioxide emission each year. People must be made aware of their investments. If they invest they must consider the impact that their investment and savings will have on global warming.