Looking at the report released by NASA and NOAA, 2018 has been featured as the fourth hottest year on record. On average, the highest temperatures, in the 20th Century, were recorded on global land and ocean surface amounting to 1.42 degree Fahrenheit. The trend isn’t new, nine out of the ten warmest winters have occurred between 2005 and 2018. The five warmest years have been recorded between 2014- 2018.
Rethinking this information, the underlying message is that the planet is rigorously warming, and if we don’t take practical actions, the normal cycles of drought, heat stress and floods will intensify. Perhaps the question we should ask ourselves is, why this information is relevant and how do we use it. Our thinking should be more focused on climate change issues.
To quote David Suzuki, ‘a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket, but with enough drops, we can fill a bucket’. So ideally everyone has a role to play. From individuals, organizations, non-governmental organizations and government in general.
The greatest impact is generated, when efforts are concentrated to government and individuals. Government should implement regulations that are aimed at combating global warming. For instance, oil and gas industries have been associated with the release of methane gas which is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a span of 20 years. Scientists have estimated nearly a quarter of the observed earth’s climate change being attributed to methane phenomena that is lowly reported. The good news is that cutting down methane emission is one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective things a government can do.
Still focusing on the government, it can create incentives that push for cleaner healthier energy. The cost of investing on renewable energy is reducing and the government can take advantage of these opportunities to encourage more investments. Research has proved that renewable energy, is the most optimal choice for environmental and the economic growth for a country.
On the other hand, we as global citizens should be more proactive, in participating in various initiatives that can contribute to the effort of averting climate change. For instance, greening our commute plays a big role. Taking public transit, riding a bike, carpooling, switching to hybrid and electric cars and reducing the number of flights taken by an individual. We can also be influential in implementing green practices in our homes. For instance, adopting energy efficiency behaviors which include changing to energy saving light bulbs, washing clothes in cold and warm water (not hot) and unplugging computers, T.V and other electronics when not in use. Focusing on life’s simple pleasures can encourage responsible lifestyles which is characterized by consuming less and thus reducing on waste. Encouraging responsible consumption plays a vital role in encouraging buying of organic and locally made food, growing your own and avoiding food wastage.
A commonly overlooked practise is the urge for communicating and sharing information on matters of climate change. We all need a healthy planet with a stable climate. Our needs should not have a political agenda and so everyone is entitled to information. The best way to spread word on combating climate change is to take it upon ourselves to be ambassadors in circulating the information.
Through our governments with support from the United Nations are making milestones in combating climate change. The recurring effects are a huge set back, we can still level up and improve on our game and strive to achieve our goal. No point of going halfway, together we can be the first generation to successfully halt the effects of climate change.