Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is it hot in here or is it just me and my hairspray? (Thoughts on Climate Change)

You think that that you're awesome just 'coz you know that CFC is chlorofluorocarbon.

You think that climate change really do exists, and yet you say, "Oh well, that's a part of life. Let's just shop, shall we?"

You think you know just coz your science teacher in 4th grade told you everything about the greenhouse effect.

And most of all, you think that you can just sit down and do nothing coz there's a hole in the Antarctic and not in the Philippines, anyway.

Well then, I have bad news for you buddy.

You're wrong.

As a photo enthusiast, I am dreaming about traveling and taking photographs of the wonders of the world. But thanks to global warming, I may never see these places and be awed by their beauty.

The Great Barrier Reef

New Orleans, Louisiana

Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado

Alpine Glaciers, Switzerland

Amazon rain forest, Brazil

These places are just a few of nature's wonders that can be messed up by climate change. There are more, I tell you.
Your place can even be a victim and you can be the suspect.

Hey, I am not scaring you.
I am just here to present facts, and that is all that you will get.
So let's start.

What is climate change?
Historically, the earth has undergone various climate changes. Factors such as volcanic eruptions and the amount of energy released from the sun have been the culprit. But during the late 18th century, the Industrial Revolution and the activities of man have been the major factors that have drastically changed the composition of the atmosphere.

For the past 200 years or so, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have caused the concentrations of heat-trapping "greenhouse gases" to increase significantly in our atmosphere.

But wait, what is the greenhouse effect, anyway?
Naturally, the greenhouse effect keeps the earth warm. A good kind of warmth. It makes our planet a perfect place to live in. But cliché as this may sound, "too much of everything is bad." By pumping man-made greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we are altering the process by which naturally-occurring greenhouse gases trap the sun’s heat before it can be released back into space. This is what we call now as the "enhanced greenhouse effect."

Natural greenhouse effect = good.
Enhanced greenhouse effect = very bad.

What can climate change do?                                                                  
A rise in sea level as well as changes in the range and distribution of plants and animals are observable effects. Somewhere out there, glaciers are shrinking, and blocks of ice are floating on rivers. Global temperature will continue to rise. Plants and animals will die. People will suffer.

Here is a site which I believe has the most interesting list of the top 100 effects of global warming.  With climate change, you can say goodbye to French fries and say hello to more mosquitoes. Eeep.

Good news is: you can actually do something.                      
Say goodbye to “I wish I could help” and say hello to “Yes, I can help save the world and save me!”

    * Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Yes, this is true and not just another science project.  Collect yesterday’s newspaper, gather all your photocopied notes, get those plastic bottles and give them to your community’s recycling center.  For Cebu residents, here are a few recycling centers that you can go to. You can also check your your nearest SM branch. I believe that SM Cebu has its “Trash to Cash” every 1st Friday of the month.

    * Use water efficiently.
Why do you have to turn your faucet on while brushing your teeth when you can use a glass or a cup and avoid getting wet at the same time? People can sometimes be toooooo  laaaazy.

    * Tune your ride.
Nope, you don’t have to pimp it. Just a little maintenance will do. A well-maintained car is more fuel-efficient, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, is more reliable, and is safer.

    * Turn off appliances that you are not using.
Switch off TVs, computers, lights, etc. that are not being used and unplug items on “standby” (that use electricity even when not being used) , including TVs, video and audio systems, computers, and chargers (for cell-phones and other electronic equipment).

    * Act globally.
Support local products. If you shop at a supermarket, the food you buy may travel in a plane from the other side of the world, burning fossil fuels the entire trip. Go green. Buy fresh vegetables and fruits from the local farmer’s market.

Fight climate change.

For other ways that you can do, visit this site.

*This entry is my response to Blog Action Day 2009.

Photos used are taken from various sources. The author does not claim ownership to any of these photos. Thank you very much.