By Ariana Cristille Pagdanganan
If the supply decreases, the demand increases.
This basic principle in economics holds true on addressing today’s one of the most pressing issues which is climate change. What causes this has always something to do with mankind’s day-to-day activities, consequently becoming unaware that they have already depleted the earth’s natural resources.
According to the Department of Ecology in the state of Washington, climate “is usually defined as the average weather in a place. It includes patterns of temperature, precipitation (rain or snow), humidity, wind and seasons.” This weather condition affects every human interaction in the world, may it be in one’s culture or economy. But yet again, today’s climate has been changing drastically. Scientists call this earthly condition as climate change. This sudden change will continue to flourish and destroy every life faster than anyone can fathom in the last 2,000 years (“What is climate change”, n.d., para 1).
Global warming is brought by climate change. The 2009 Time Almanac for Kids deems this as “the most serious and immediate threat” to the planet today. This is because of the emission of gases such as carbon dioxide that tends to warm the earth’s atmosphere. Though the atmosphere also needs carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to block the sun’s heat, people are producing more of them than the atmosphere needs. The accumulated gases would help keep the temperature of the earth warmer, as if the sun’s rays are not even warm enough for the whole planet (“Pollution’s Deadly Effects,” 2009).
Industries, transportation, and other household fixtures and appliances produce the greenhouse gases. These gases come from the remains of plants and animals that lived long ago (fossil fuels) which are actually burned to produce energy needed to run machines. Too much emission of greenhouse gases truly has its side effects. Aside from causing Global warming, its havoc includes the melting of the ice in the North and South poles which would also leads to the rising of the sea level that creates strong typhoons, rains, and flash floods. Changing seasons and the extinction of animals are the other unfortunate effects too (“What is the Greenhouse Effect,” 2011).
What does it have to do with what we are going through right now?
Given the economic principle written above, when earth’s natural resources become insufficient for the people’s needs, the demand would tend to go higher which would all the more ruin the natural supply required for their worldly endeavors.
The recent typhoon Yolanda is actually a symbol of climate change. The Philippine Climate Change Commissioner, Naderev “Yeb” Saño, said in an ANC interview that
“Global warming may have fueled the strength of Yolanda… Based on actual measurements, the Philippine sea has had the highest rate of sea level rise in the last 20 years. It has risen around 6 inches in the last 20 years, pataas ng pataas. Six inches is not a joke. It could have contributed to the storm surge” (“PH envoy: Climate change may have fueled Yolanda,” 2013, para 8).
Under any circumstances, humans are not the only ones affected by this. It affects the animals as well. Animals have gone into extinction, which upsets the earth’s ecosystem even more.
There are ways on why animals have gone extinct. Increasing temperature, change in ecosystems, and seasons are the many reasons why. With the change in ecosystem for example, the ice covering parts of the Hudson Bay in Canada breaks up two weeks earlier than usual. Polar bears would, then, find it difficult to hunt for fish. They have been losing weight and that they also tend to get sick. Scientists have also found out that fishes are hardly in the bay anymore. Because of global warming, the waters of the bay have actually grown warmer which, in response, puts the fishes at risk (“Climate Change and Endangered Animals,” 2009, para 9, p. 8-9).
How to respond to it
For some reason, people tend to be so demanding these days. Probably because their lifestyle has gone to a different level wherein the food they eat, the way they get around and live are actually playing a major role in tolerating climate change.
In order for them to protect the planet for the future generations, the David Suzuki Foundation suggested ten ways humans can do to reduce climate change.
1. Green your commute
Transportation causes about 25 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, so walk, cycle or take transit whenever you can. You’ll save money and get into better shape! If you can’t go car-free, try carpooling or car sharing, and use the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle possible.
2. Be energy efficient
You already switch off lights — what’s next? Change light bulbs to compact fluorescents or LEDs. Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when not in use. Wash clothes in cold or warm (not hot) water. Dryers are energy hogs, so hang dry when you can. Install a programmable thermostat. Look for the Energy Star® label when buying new appliances. And a home energy audit is cheaper than you think — book one today to find even more ways to save energy.
3. Choose renewable power
Ask your utility to switch your account to clean, renewable power, such as from wind farms. If it doesn’t offer this option yet, ask it to.
4. Eat wisely
Buy organic and locally grown foods. Avoid processed items. Grow some of your own food. And eat low on the food chain — at least one meat-free meal a day — since 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from meat and dairy production. Food writer Michael Pollan sums it up best: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
5. Trim your waste
Garbage buried in landfills produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Keep stuff out of landfills by composting kitchen scraps and garden trimmings, and recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass. Let store managers and manufacturers know you want products with minimal or recyclable packaging.
6. Let polluters pay
Carbon taxes make polluting activities more expensive and green solutions more affordable, allowing energy-efficient businesses and households to save money. They are one of the most effective ways to reduce Canada’s climate impact. If your province doesn’t have a carbon tax, ask your premier and MLA to implement one.
7. Fly less
Air travel leaves behind a huge carbon footprint. Before you book your next airline ticket, consider greener options such as buses or trains, or try vacationing closer to home. You can also stay in touch with people by videoconferencing, which saves time as well as travel and accommodation costs.
8. Get informed
9. Get involved
Take a few minutes to contact your political representatives and the media to tell them you want immediate action on climate change. Remind them that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also build healthier communities, spur economic innovation and create new jobs. And next time you’re at the polls, vote for politicians who support effective climate policies.
10. Support and Donate
Many organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, are working hard on solutions to climate change and rely on financial support from citizens like you. Consider making a donation today by calling 1-800-453-1533 or by visiting our secure website.
(“Top 10 ways you can stop climate change,” n.d.)
Reference List – Books:
Parvis, S. (Ed.). (2009). Time for Kids Almanac 2009. New York: Time Inc.
Parvis, S. (Ed.). (2011). Time for Kids Almanac 2011. New York: Time Inc.
Reference List – Periodicals:
Olegario, I. (2009). Climate Change and Endangered Animals. Sci-tech, Volume XXII (Issue No. 0116-
5682), p. 8-9.
Perez, M. (2010). Save Our Species: A Deeper Look at the World’s Most Endangered Animals. The
Catalyst 2, Volume VI (Issue No.3), p. 18-19.
Reference List – Online Articles:
ABS-CBN News (2013). PH envoy: Climate change may have fueled ‘Yolanda’ . Retrieved December
Walsh, B. (2013). Climate Change Didn’t Cause Supertyphoon Haiyan. But the Storm Is Still a Reason to
Fight Warming. Time Science & Space. Retrieved December 3, 2013, from
Reference List – Web Sites:
David Suzuki Foundation (2013). Top 10 ways you can stop climate change [n.d.]. Retrieved December
Department of Ecology State of Washington (2013). What is climate change [n.d.]. Retrieved December
3, 2013, from http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/whatis.htm