Essay by Lindah Lindsey from Uganda aged 19 who is a student at Gayaza High School.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS A THREAT TO PEACE AND WHAT YOUNG PEOPLE CAN DO ABOUT IT
Former Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon once said, “Peace is a way of being, of interacting with others, of living on this planet. It must be nurtured through the dignity, rights, and capacities of every man and woman.” The world has been grappling with climate change as it has proved to be a threat. Climate change refers to the average long-term changes over the entire earth. Due to climate change, sea levels are rising and oceans are becoming warmer. Longer, more intense droughts threaten crops, wildlife, and freshwater supplies. According to NASA, glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska, and Africa. From polar bears in the Arctic to marine turtles off the coast of Africa, our planet’s diversity of life is at risk from the changing climate. https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/effects-of-climate-change
Changes in temperature cause changes in rainfall. This results in more severe and frequent storms. They cause flooding and landslides, destroying homes and communities. Water is becoming scarce in more regions. Droughts can stir destructive sand and dust storms that can move billions of tons of sand across continents. Deserts are expanding, reducing land for growing food. Many people now face the threat of not having enough water regularly.https://brainly.ph/question/20808490
The impacts of climate change on different sectors of society are interrelated. We have been robbing the planet. It’s only a question of how harsh or definitive the penalty will be. Nature bats last (David Introcaso,2018). Drought can harm food production and human health. Flooding can lead to disease spread and damages to ecosystems and infrastructure. Human health issues can increase mortality, impact food availability and limit worker productivity. Climate change both reduces the amount of food that is available and makes it less nutritious. Studies have shown that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can leech plants of zinc, iron, and protein and these are nutrients that humans need to survive. Malnutrition is linked to a variety of illnesses including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It can also increase the risk of stunting or impaired growth, in children, which can harm cognitive function (Amy McKeever, 2021).
The impacts of climate change are mainly caused by human activities which shows that we contribute the most towards climate change. The massive use of fossil fuels is a major factor of climate change, as burning coal, oil and gas produces carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere as well as nitrous oxide leading to global warming. Poor waste management methods like landfills and incineration emit greenhouse and toxic gases that are released into the atmosphere, soil, and waterways, contributing to the increase of the greenhouse effect. The exploitation of forests also contributes heavily to climate change. Trees help regulate the climate by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When they are cut down, this positive effect is lost and the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere.
The animal industry contributes to global warming since animals alone release lots of methane and they also require plenty of lands, some of which comes from cleared forests, hence no trees to purify the air. Metals and minerals are the raw materials used in the construction, transportation, and manufacturing of goods. From extraction to delivery, this market accounts for about 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Generally, overconsumption is responsible for the overexploitation of natural resources which contributes to climate change.
What can one young person do on their own to slow and reverse climate change? Implementing just a few of the following could make a difference. The single biggest way is by speaking up and voicing concerns via social media or directly to the public. With this, a message is spread which sensitizes and educates everyone about climate change. We can also leave fossil fuels in the ground and use renewable and clean energy alternatives like solar, wind, wave, and geothermal. By switching to sustainable transport such as electric vehicles and minimizing plane travel, will not only help stop climate change but also reduce air pollution. To reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from buildings caused by heating, air conditioning, hot water, or lighting, it is necessary both to build new and sustainable low energy buildings and to renovate the existing constructions.
Furthermore, our diets need to get climate-smart. You don’t have to completely go vegetarian. Adopting a diet of “mostly plants” would not only simply be a doctor’s recommendation to their patients, but also one of the most profound paths toward a sustainable planet with a stable climate. Encouraging better use of natural resources, stopping massive deforestation as well as making agriculture greener and more efficient should also be a priority. Adopting responsible consumption habits is crucial, be it regarding food, clothing, cosmetics, or cleaning products. Reduce how much we consume. Our transport, fashion, food, and other lifestyle choices all have different impacts on the climate. This is often done by design, fashion, and technology companies. Recycling too is an absolute necessity for dealing with waste.
Lastly, as young people, we can pressure governments and corporations to change their policies and business practices to reduce the effects of climate change. As Leonardo DiCaprio said, “This is not a partisan debate; it is a human one. Clean air and water, and a liveable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation.”
David Introcaso. (December 2018). Climate Change Is The Greatest Threat To Human Health In History
Amy McKeever.(2021). Why climate change is still the greatest threat to human health