The world is Lit.
And I don't mean lit as in exciting or captivating,
I mean lit as in it's literally on fire.
The average temperature of our planets has been increasing on a yearly basis with the last decade being the hottest decade on record in human history.
But why is this happening? Why is earth warming up?
Well, the state of our beloved planet can be attributed to a phenomenon called climate change, or to be more precise—global warming.
But what exactly is global warming?
Wikipedia defines global warming as "the current rise in temperature of the air and oceans"
Okay, we know what the term means. But what actually causes global warming? Why is the globe warming up?
To answer your burning questions (pun intended), I will have to bring in a little science.
You see, the planet Earth has something called an atmosphere, and it can be defined as a layer of gases that envelope a planet and is held in place by the gravity of said planet.
Of all these gases in the atmosphere, there is a subgroup that is the most important when talking about global warming, and they are greenhouse gases.
These gases have a tendency to absorb infrared radiation, which is heat from the sun.
So when the sun emits heat greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorbs it, and since the atmosphere is spread all around the Earth, the planet stays warm and habitable.
The best known greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide with carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide making up the most amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
So how does this relate to global warming?
As I said earlier, greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation and that keeps the Earth warm.
From this explanation, it only makes sense that the more greenhouse gases that are present in the atmosphere, the more infrared radiation is absorbed and the warmer Earth gets.
That is the entire phenomenon behind global warming.
And it turns out that we (humanity) are the main cause of global warming.
A new question then arises; how are humans aiding global warming?
Upon extensive research, I have isolated the four most prevalent ways humans contribute to global warming.
1. BURNING FOSSIL FUELS
This is by far the largest human contributing factor to global warming.
Fossil fuels include petroleum, coal and natural gas, and they have been powering Earth's economies for over 150 years and account for about 80% of the world's energy.
Burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the air and about 15 trillion kilograms of fossil fuels are consumed each year.
Do you have any idea how much carbon dioxide that would release?
Well, I tried to do the math and my calculator exploded. But thankfully, I was able to see the answer before it did and after approximating, my results were... Shit-ton kilograms.
It is estimated that trees absorb about 400 trillion kilograms of carbon dioxide every year. But unfortunately, that number is reducing drastically as we keep cutting trees down at an alarming rate.
The more trees humans cut down, the more carbon dioxide gets to stay in the air and the warmer the Earth gets.
3. LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION
Livestock are mostly farm animals — with the exception of poultry — and they include cows, goats , pigs and sheep, with cows making up the most amount of livestock in the world.
Now you might ask, "how does a cow eating grass and pooping all day translate to global warming?"
You see that poop you mentioned, that's exactly the problem.
Let me explain.
When these farm animals eat, the food ferments in their stomach and that produces methane along with their excretion.
That means burps, flatulence and poop contain methane... And animals drop A LOT of poop.
Now you might say, "but that shouldn't really impact anything, how much methane can be in cow poop anyways?"
Well you'd be surprised to know that 14.5% of greenhouse gases comes from methane released by livestock.
And at the rate humans are breeding these animals and consuming them, that number doesn't look like it's gonna go down anytime soon.
Livestock poop is a major contributing factor to global warming.
Livestock poop is dangerous.
I know that sounds silly but it's just the truth, and it stinks (pun intended).
Bitcoin, ethereum, doge coin, squidgame coin...
All of these require massive amounts of energy to perform computations associated with their mining.
These "coins" use more energy than some entire countries put together.
And how is this energy gotten?
Mostly by burning of fossil fuels which links us back to our first cause, and boy oh boy does crypto consume a lot of fuel.
Cryptocurrencies alone produce 37 billion kg of carbon dioxide per year, and at the rate it's booming, studies have shown that bitcoin alone could raise global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius within the next decade.
That doesn't seem like a lot, but trust me, it is a lot. And if you won't take my word for it, maybe you'll believe the 97% of all scientists in the world that support this hypothesis.
CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBAL WARMING
Forest fires and wildfires:
This one is a no-brainer. When the Earth gets hotter it gets drier and this increases the risk of forest fires by significant amounts.
•A rise in sea level:
Polar ice caps are already melting at an alarming rate. This extra water gets into the ocean and can make it rise, which leads to flooding and loss of land mass.
•Health impacts in cities due to heat:
We all know how uncomfortable a hot day is, now imagine several what days along with the crampedness of congested cities.
There are many more consequences but I'll stop here for now.
The point is; global warming is extremely BAD.
And humans should try their best to reduce climate change.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Well, individually, what we can do is honestly not much.
All that reduce, reuse, and recycle... Yeah, that's all cow poop.
The major sources of greenhouse gas emission has always been large corporations and industries.
Now I'm not saying you shouldn't do your parts and just sit down and blame "the man",
I'm saying there are better ways to go about it than just throwing plastic into a separate can from paper.
We can reduce the use of our vehicles or get more energy efficient vehicles,
We can exercise our rights as citizens and consumers and speak up against these dubious industries,
We can invest in renewable energy...
And many more.
But all these are just potential solutions that will never work if you don't act on them together.
And history has shown that humans might not be the best at working together if it doesn't involve personal benefits.
Humanity hasn't even learned how to live harmoniously, So can we even treat our planet right?
Well that question will soon be answered... one way or another.
But before then, we should continue to do our part and enlighten others to do theirs.
This is the only planet we've got, and we all have to take care of it.
And yes, humans might be the ones ruining the planet...
But we are also the only ones that will be able to fix it.
Thank you for reading.