Global Warming Affects Students – How Can We Have an Effect?

| M.K.R. Alexander, Contributor |Anomalies in the earth’s average temperature and its escalation are a result of human-influenced global warming. The ozone layer keeps earth cozy, helping to regulate the living system to perpetuate; however, adverse effects emerge due to industries and pollutions. This human activity has exceeded the Co2 threshold where now it fundamentally contributes to global warming and “the greenhouse effect.” Though climate change is natural to some extent, it is greatly compounded by human activity and has many types of impacts on people, especially those most marginalised. The adversities we must face together are immense, with the results of climate change ultimately destroying our home: earth. 

This enhanced natural phenomenon is majorly contributed by CO2 while other greenhouse gasses such as CH4, N2O and H2O(g) entail. Incidentally, skyrocketing CO2 concentration level marked the 400ppm threshold worldwide in 2016, emphasized by the intensity of anthropogenic activities. Markedly, since the industrial revolution, humans are burning fossil fuels immoderately; thereupon resulting in carbon emission via factories, automobiles and machines. Besides aforesaid additions, deforestation eliminates photosynthesis, a mechanism of CO2 absorption. Natural calamities are accounted for the rising temperature as well; but according to NASA’s observations, human causes are beyond question as the dominating contributing factor for global warming. 

Different parts of the earth experience climate change differently. Covering 70% of the planet’s surface, the oceans show the prominent changes as it is the main source of consuming earth’s heat (90%) and excessive CO2 (93%). Simultaneously, the land is initially affected by severe heatwaves and droughts. Catastrophes like extreme weather conditions, wildfire, melting glaciers leading to natural habitat devastation are influencing further environmental changes. These signs of climate change could be hard to notice or to relate to at the beginning, as they could appear small, yet it is doom without any room to escape at the end due to its notion of chain reaction and escalation. When the 400ppm threshold is passed, it is no longer a warning about warming – we are burning! We might not be severely affected in the Kootenays now, but those around the world are as will future generations of living beings who may not survive.

Lastly, although stopping global warming is difficult to imagine for various reasons, we as individuals and communities can intervene to decline its acceleration by planting/ reserving trees, using less fossil fuel-based machinery and attaining sustainability, keeping earth live longer and healthier. Therefore, it matters to act now. Realistically, it is late; but not too late. 

As students, as the next generation of the working force, as knowledgeable human beings on our one and only habitat, we are responsible for our actions now. Knowledge is power. We can make a difference by acknowledging the cause-effect phenomena to all the citizens around us. No one wants to suffer. Many people perpetuate their harmful day to day activities due to the lack of knowledge about its contribution to global warming. Bring consciousness to your life by emphasizing the importance of responsible and mindful sustainable habits. In order to live all our busy lives, we need to live and we need a place to live, first of all. That is why it is crucial for us to take active steps to intervene and raise awareness.

a student present at the climate strike in nelson on sept 20th. photo courtesy of Nikita McDaniel.

The Climate Strike that took place on 20th September was such an intervention that took place as a larger global movement. Over 1,500 people attended the Climate Strike in Nelson, many of whom were students.

Sustainability can be only achieved if we change our habits into eco-friendly means within ourselves. They are small things that contribute to an enormous change altogether.

A few small steps the have big impact to consider:

  • Unplug the electronics when not in use
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and when you leave a room
  • Walk or bike to college (+points for health!)
  • Use more public transport or carpooling
  • Use reusable water bottles, grocery bags, cups, plates and cutlery.
  • Use cold water to wash your clothes
  • Reduce using paper – use eBooks, use reusable cloths instead of paper towels
  • Reduce buying new books – Borrow (Library!) or reuse secondhand books
  • Reduce wastage – Donate excess resources/ Reuse and recycle 
a crowd of approximately 1500 was present for Nelson’s Sept 20th climate strike.
photo courtesy of Nikita McDaniel.