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Take Urgent Action To Combat Climate Change And Its Impacts
"The Earth is not dying, it is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses." said Utah Phillips, an American Poet. 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.
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 now 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!
Global Climate change has a profound impact on the survival and development of mankind. It is a foremost challenge in front of all countries. To highlight the changes, we have evident proofs, as we saw that 6.2 million square miles of Northern Hemisphere's ice and snow melted in just one month between April and May 2013. The global temperature on an average has increased by 0.6 to 1 degree Celsius till the 20th century. Around 15% of the carbon released in the environment is due to deforestation and change in use of land. According to World Food Program (WPF.org), by 2015, the number of people affected by climate change disasters could reach 375 million per year. Above 600000 deaths occur worldwide every year due to climate change. 95% of these deaths take place in developing countries. Depending upon the carbon emissions, a rise in temperature from 1.1 degree up to 6.4 degree is expected by the end of this century.
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 then 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 core “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.
As Mr. Tyson rightly said, " Climate change has taken on political dimensions... That's odd because I don't see people choosing sides over E=MC2 or other fundamental facts of science " , it is clear that humans as a species should fight in unison towards Climate change. History teaches us that Unity is Strength, and cautions us to submerge and overcome our differences in the quest for common goals. We all now have a common goal and that is, "Climate Change". Unity, It starts with you. If not you, then who?