A Convenient Truth: How saving the planet benefits all of us
Climate change is an increasingly urgent problem, we see its effects everyday from the smallest things. Even as I’m writing this, it is pouring down with rain in the middle of summer. As much as I love the rain, it shouldn’t be happening. These small changes spell out an even worse problem that manifest into droughts, floods and fires causing irreparable damage to habitats, crops and species.
While the term ‘climate change’ can refer to the Earth’s natural processes of warming and cooling, climate science confirms that human activity is the primary cause of global warming, influencing unusual weather patterns and impacting Earth’s ecosystems.
At the moment we’re heading towards a 2°C increase around the planet. It doesn’t sound like much, but it comes with catastrophic changes. Extra heat around the world will make extreme weather events more common - fires, floods and droughts will devastate crops, habitats and species.
These environmental changes will impact humans through famine and disease, as food security becomes a more pressing issue; increased geopolitical turmoil as climate refugees flee their devastated communities; and resources like clean water become more sought-after. The world’s poorest and most vulnerable people will be the first to experience this change. In fact, small island countries like Kiribati and Tuvalu are already battling sea level rise and coastal erosion, impacting their food supply and housing.
Considering these dire circumstances, it’s clear why making the effort to reduce your carbon footprint will benefit all of us. If we seize this opportunity to take action now, it is still possible to slow the pace of warming and reduce the impact of extreme weather events on human societies.
There are so many ways to reduce your carbon footprint - using energy-saving light bulbs, installing water saving equipment and taking shorter showers. Driving less and switching to public transport, a bicycle or your own two feet will save you money and improve your health. Buying local, seasonal food and eating less meat significantly reduces greenhouse gases, as well as choosing energy efficient appliances, using solar power or buying a more fuel-efficient car.
Pressuring our leaders to put climate change higher on national and global agendas will ensure more action is taken to tackle the causes of global warming and contribute to meaningful and effective solutions.
Whether it be personal change or system change, saving the planet means taking action today. For a cleaner, healthier and safer planet, it’s everyone for everyone.
Written by Sophia Joyce
WA Outreach Organiser