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How Can We Save Our Planet From Global Warming?

Info: 3312 words (13 pages) Essay
Published: 10th May 2021 in Environmental Studies

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Global warming is a major concern that is destroying our planet in many aspects. It causes several extreme weather events including storms, hurricanes, drought, and flooding to happen more frequently and intensely. The warmer climate significantly changes habitat and hence pushes many species of plants and animals in danger of extinction. Additionally, the human is facing a more polluted environment, more illnesses, and more deaths because of climate changes. The negative effects of global warming become so serious that eliminating them is a prioritized mission in every nation of the world. There have been a great number of researches and studies from climate experts to discover true reasons leading to global warming. It is concluded that increasing greenhouse gases is mainly responsible for warmer temperatures. More importantly, enormous gases emission come from a variety of human activities such as massive forest destruction, industrial processes, fossil fuels used for cars, factories and power plants. It is obvious that people should adjust their activities in order to improve environmental conditions. In particular, people should take various courses of action of raising society’s awareness, using renewable energies, reducing waste energies, and improving sustainable transportation habits to mitigate the consequences of global warming.

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 Increasing perception about the global response to climate change is an important element to make a cleaner environment. Generally, people will not take action seriously if they do not recognize the problems. According to a Public Matters survey conducted online in the summer of 2017, with 3,177 adults taking part, 77 percent of the respondents said it was important that students learn about global warming and climate change (Teachers College – Columbia University, 2019). In order to enhance awareness about global warming, education is definitely a great tool. Schools should educate students (especially girls) not only subjects that prepare them for future careers but also knowledge for them to become socially responsible citizens.  Women’s knowledge of the environment plays a significant role because they are the main decision-makers in the usage of water, cooking, home heating, which contribute considerably to gas emission. Therefore, educated women can access and share the skills and knowledge necessary to minimize the impact of resource constraints and climate change(Earth Overshoot Day, n.d). Along with education, we should take advantage of social media to send constant messages about global warming to our community. Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram are low-cost but effective communication means. It will extend the problems of the environment to the public, raising people’s understanding of changes in the global environment. More importantly, social media will become an essential tool for everyone to participate in decisions that can create positive effects to the environment (Own Energy, 2019). Additionally, citizens should encourage the government enact new laws to limit carbon emissions. Imposing a higher tax on households or factories for the pollution they produce is an example of a good idea that citizens can communicate with their political parties. Another effective way is to organize environmentalists into groups to make necessary influences on the government to support the group’s concerns about pollution. The more the governmental parties involve in the environment; the higher the level of people’s consciousness is. All these proposals will help people better understand the harmful effects of global warming and encourage people to change their attitudes in environmental protection. It is conclusive that raising public awareness about global warming is one of the most effective ways to improve our environment.

  The next crucial action to reduce the effects of the warmer climate is that people should convert to renewable energies. Currently, the dominant source of energy comes from fossil fuels including petroleum, natural gas, and coal. However, it is fossil fuel which is the leading element heating the earth and causing a high rate of pollution. Switching fossil fuels to alternative friendly energies is a trending solution that is widely recommended by environmental experts. Firstly, it is encouraged that electricity producers utilize renewable energies. Increasing renewable energy supply will allow the replacement of energy sources with high carbon content and significantly lessen issues caused by global warming. Renewable energies such as wind, solar and hydro systems generate electricity without emitting air pollution. At present, using solar energy is considered a form of easily renewable energy and hence it is the best available replacement for other sources of energy that have a greater impact on the environment. It brings many benefits in converting renewable energy, such as improving air quality and public health, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving money (U.S. Department of Energy, 2019). Besides electricity companies, individuals are able to contribute to environmental improvement through buying labeled “Energy Star” electrical appliances, which are products that meet certain authorized guidelines for energy efficiency. To be qualified for the Energy Star, a product must meet the energy efficiency guidelines set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). By reading the “Energy Star” ratings and energy guide labels, buyers can quickly find the energy-efficient appliances they need (Federal Trade Commission, 2015). These products help save energy in daily activities; therefore, it reduces the effects of climate change and promotes better air quality. It is so apparent that renewable energy, a perfect substitution for current polluted energy, will significantly support the mission for a cleaner and healthier planet.

People should seriously pay attention to reduce the waste of electricity and water in their daily activities. Electricity and water are essential for a comfortable life. However, the production of these energies requires burning fossil fuels, which will lead to a large amount of air pollution into the atmosphere and ecosystems. According to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, energy-related emissions will increase by 70 percent under the current trend (OECD, 2012). The good news is there are several extremely simple methods to avoid wasting electricity and water in everyday life. It is highly recommended that individuals proactively develop energy-saving habits such as turning off lights, controlling heating and air conditioner, and shutting down computers when leaving a room or home (Deesing, 2016). As reported by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, plugged electrical devices will use nearly 300 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year and unused desktops will consume more than 600 kWh of electricity each year (Berkeley Lab, 2017). Besides electricity saving, people should reduce water consumption as a way to lower carbon dioxide emissions because it requires a lot of energy to pump and heat the water. People can lessen water usage by simply taking a shorter shower or turning off the tap while brushing teeth. Thanks to these easy actions, our nation can save up to hundreds of millions kWh each year. As a result, hundreds of tons of warming pollution can be eliminated according to EPA’s estimation. Obviously, changing our bad habits of wasting electricity and water at home is truly convenient and cost-efficient while it still creates amazing results in mitigating global warming consequences.

The most effective solution for reducing the effect of global warming is to improve sustainable transportation habits. Increasing "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere is considered to be one of the leading causes of global warming. One-third of polluted gas emission is caused by transportation in the United States and it is a significant factor making our planet warmer (FTA, 2010). Therefore, promoting alternative friendly transportation means is a necessary strategy to reduce the consequences of climate change. The first option is to encourage people to use public transport more than single-occupancy vehicles. According to a report of Federal Transit Administration, subways, metros, light rail systems release approximately 70% lower greenhouse gas emission than a private vehicle (FTA, 2010). Bus transit, another common public transportation is highly recommended, produces 33% less pollution gas (FTA, 2010). In addition, cycling is also a solution to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Cycling provides a fairly fast and reliable way of transporting without gasoline. By cycling instead of using a motor vehicle whenever possible, people simultaneously save money, regain health and help reduce global warming (Grilley, 2019). Besides public transportation and cycling, using gas-smart cars such as hybrids and fully electric vehicles is a suitable substitution that assists to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Gas-smart cars can enhance energy security, improve fuel economy, reduce fuel costs and reduce emissions (EERE, 2019). Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) often use less fuel and fuel costs than similar conventional vehicles, because they use electric drive technologies to increase efficiency. For example, the 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid has EPA incorporating "city and highway" vehicles consuming 47 miles per gallon while the traditional 2018 Accord (four-cylinder, automatic) is 33 miles per gallon (EERE, 2019). There is no doubt that shifting to more friendly transportation means will greatly contribute to efforts of reducing the negative effects of global warming.

Although there are significant statistical evidences that human causes a majority of global warming effects, there are some opposite opinions stating that natural factors contribute to warmer temperature instead. According to Salby, the Chair of Climate at Macquarie University, the increase of carbon dioxide is a result of natural variation instead of human activities (Watts, 2011). Actually only 0.3% of scientific consensus that human has caused climate change (Watts, 2013). Given this approach, they argue that people should invest more in geographic technology to predict natural behaviors instead of proposing changes among human activities. We do not deny the fact that nature plays a part in contribution to global warming. However, there are numerous studies from climate experts to conclude that human activities are still the key factor leading to global warming. For instance, the authors found that 97% of climate experts approve that human caused global warming (Anderegg et al.). Another survey done by multiple authors states that 97.1% of scientists agreed that humans produce warmer temperatures (Cook et al.). Therefore, changing human activities is the most effective solution that will directly improve our planet’s environment. Renewable energies have been developed in multiple countries and they have proven their effectiveness to reduce greenhouse gas emitted by burning fossil fuels. When households lessen their waste of water and electricity, they save energies and hence reduce pollution accordingly. Overall, improving technology to measure changes in natural behaviors is necessary but we cannot ignore serious consequences caused by human activities. It is widely accepted that people should proactively make necessary actions in our daily activities to build a better planet.  

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In conclusion, the human is the dominant element of global warming and we are responsible to reduce its influence through consistently adjusting our daily activities. People cannot take corrective actions if they don’t understand the problems they are facing. This is the reason why increasing public perception of global warming is always important for environmental improvement. Moreover, renewable energies such as wind and solar should be the substitution for fossil fuels. These new energies can generate electricity without causing air pollution. Another simple and low-cost solution is to reduce electricity and water waste by improving good habits such as turning off lights, computers, air conditioners while not using them. The most important solution people should quickly implement is to use public transportation means whenever they can and prioritize more friendly vehicles such as hybrids cars and electric vehicles while making a purchase decision. By lowering the number of private gasoline vehicles, it will cut a great amount of polluted air and hence significantly improve environmental conditions. The world is more aware of serious problems caused by global warming and rapidly move towards necessary actions. Repeated messages about environmental protection are spread out to every country. All these things will help people better understand the negative effects of global warming, encourage people to change attitudes and behaviors in reducing environmental harm and help them adapt to climate change-related trends.

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