The current heat wave that is traversing some parts of the United State and Europe has given further credence to the phenomenon known as climate change. While a surge in temperature is not something that is not expected, what makes this particularly erratic is the timing as high temperatures are not expected until around July and August. In addition, the frequency and intensity are something that has not been witnessed before. Welcome to the climate throes gentlemen and ladies, please fasten your seatbelts!
How did we get here? Of course, that is no longer news for those who are interested in the scientific explanation. We have simply failed to conserve our environment and the earth's ecosystem at large. Our nonchalant attitude has led to a continuous increase in the concentration of heat-trapping greenhouse gases that form a layer of a blanket in the atmosphere, thereby preventing reflected solar radiation from escaping back into space.
Many people, especially laymen, believe that the environment has a way of healing itself irrespective of the damages done to it by man. While this may be true to an extent, the environment simply cannot heal when the disturbances that brought about the damages are yet to cease. In other words, if a damaged environment is left undisturbed for an ample time, it is possible for it to get totally healed. The implication is that in order to mitigate many of the ecosystem issues being faced by the planet if we cannot undo some of our actions, we will need to stop them and turn a new leaf.
The high average global temperature is not the only climate-related issue we are facing. Because of the centrality of temperature to other climatic factors such as precipitation, wind speed, etc, climate generally has become erratic with during consequences for mankind in most cases. A good example is the flooding that is currently being experienced in parts of India and Bangladesh. According to reports, over 4 million people are directly impacted by the phenomenon with a couple of lives lost.
Moving away from climate, lack of adequate conservation effort by humans has both immediate and long-term negative effects in other areas such as food production, raw materials for industries, drugs for the treatment of diseases, the average life span of humans, and so on. In addition, natural disasters such as landslides, tornadoes, and tsunamis cannot be ruled out to be due to inadequate conservation efforts.
Many people are of the opinion that conservation efforts have to start from the top and trickle down to the bottom. In other words, government policies are to come first and then the enforcement of the policies in order to get things right. While this kind of mindset may not be totally wrong, we should just not wait for the government if they are not coming through as when due. When things go south due to the non-existence of conservation efforts on the environment, those in government might be the last to feel the effects.
As individuals, some of the simple, not-so-expensive efforts that we can inculcate into our lifestyle in order to protect the environment include:
- living a low-emission lifestyle. This includes substituting emission-based lifestyles with low to zero-emission alternatives. For example, one can choose to carpool with their coworkers instead of driving personal cars to work.
- unnecessary removal of vegetation and other plant/animal biodiversities should be avoided. Where necessary, mechanical removal should take the place of chemicals. Chemicals persist in the environment and contaminate the food chain.
- augmented lifestyles should be replaced with organic ones. For example, 100% organic farming is preferable for the good of the environment over fertilizer farming.
- non-biodegradable products should be replaced with biodegradable ones. All non-biodegradable products are inimical to the environment.
- recycle products as much as possible.
The above are just a few of some of the things we can do at the individual level to save the environment. Individuals make up the family units, families make up the society, and governments are collections of people selected from different parts of the society.
What do you think?
Posted with STEMGeeks