It's time for a change ... not climate change

By: Lauren Turner | Published: March 22, 2019 | Updated: Aug 23, 2019

Climate change and pollution are on the rise, but let’s be honest, you probably already know that. 

In the past, air pollution and landfills have been something to be aware of, but never as big of an issue as they are now. Some people argue that scientists in the ‘80s and ‘90s predicted disasters and nothing drastic ever happened, but I would beg to differ. Just because it seemed like nothing happened, doesn’t mean that negative changes haven’t occurred. 

Our future is now at an increased risk because steps were not taken in the past to prevent this ongoing global crisis. We don’t have time to wait for some major event to happen, changes need to be made now so that the climate monster that’s lurking around the corner can skedaddle.

While my mini-rant about air pollution and trash is valid, I have another point to make. The public is using ground pollution as an easy way out – the simpler way to say “I helped save the planet!” Ground pollution, simply put, is the trash you see when you’re driving around town or walking your dog – basically trash not in a trash can – however, it also consists of the harmful fertilizers used to grow our food and make our yards look nice. While this type of pollution is terrible and is causing species to die out, it’s not the major crisis we need to focus on right now. Don’t get me wrong though, I appreciate every organization and volunteer that is cleaning up our beaches and cities. 

Y’all are doing great – keep it up! 

The real culprit here is air pollution. This guy is the real ring leader of all other subgroups of contamination. Air pollution is causing climate change, health problems, and killing off species. He’s quite obviously the bigger of the two evils. The toxic chemicals that we’ve been releasing into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution are coming back to haunt us. We’re burning a hole in the atmosphere right now, all because we want more stuff. A hole. In the atmosphere. The thing that keeps us out of the never-ending vacuum that is outer space. I find it hard to believe that anyone would be okay with running out of air because all of our oxygen is lost in the Milky Way. No thank you.

The hole in the atmosphere isn’t the only atmospheric problem we’ve created, which in my opinion is quite sad. Greenhouse gasses are the main cause of climate change. These chemicals are produced during the manufacturing process and by electronics we use every day. The reason that these greenhouse gasses are so harmful is the fact that they trap radiation. This means that the infrared rays from the sun are trapped in the gasses and have nowhere to go. This process is what has brought us to the dramatic climate and weather changes we see today. The basic arguments we hear frequently are the melting glaciers and dramatic natural disasters. Both of these are real issues that need to be faced, but we also need to consider that the alteration of our climate leads to even more changes in our natural environment. 

Climate change will alter the ecosystems that support our means of life. This means that our food sources will be forced to adapt, and many species will die out from incompatibility with the new circumstances and overconsumption. Dramatic changes will need to be made once we are forced to eat from a smaller group of foods, so why isn’t anything being done on a large enough scale to prevent this from taking place?

I know that making changes in our daily lives isn’t ideal, trust me. I love being able to drive to my next activity in a timely manner and I love to use the dryer to dry my clothes, but these activities are two of the most polluting from many peoples’ lives. 

Small changes can be made in our lives to make a change – letting clothes air dry, taking shorter showers, cutting down on meat consumption (the meat industry is one of the most wasteful and harmful industries), carpooling when possible, using reusable plastics, and making sure the products we use were produced in an eco-friendly way. 

Bigger changes can be made by signing petitions and working with others to fight for laws that will further enforce positive environmental changes in the industries that impact us daily. Action needs to be taken now, and on a much larger scale than it currently is. 

The classic “Global warming was a threat when I was a kid – we’ll be fine,” isn’t making the cut. No more excuses.

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