Fixing the Mess We've Made

Editor's Note: This article is the perspective and opinion of the author and does not reflect the views of Her Campus at Cal Lutheran or Her Campus Media. Thank you. 

In all honesty, we’ve been very cruel to Mother Nature these past 267 years. Americans are responsible for nearly a third of the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but we’re only 4% of the world’s population. According to The Scotsman, in 2012, the carbon dioxide volume was 140% above the levels found before the Industrial Revolution.  According to the World Meteorological Organization, WMO, global warming has increased by 30% between 1990 and 2011. We’ve put insane amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere and into the ocean. For example, according to History 4,000 people in London died over the course of several days in 1952 due to the pollutants from factories and home fireplaces that mixed with air condensation.  Since the Industrial Revolution, societies have advanced and our advancements have had severe impacts on the environment.

                                                                                                            Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Does that mean we can’t advance without ruining our Earth? On one hand the answer is yes; when businesses and people in general want to take easier routes to create their products or to make ends meet, they decide that their personal gain is worth more than their effect on the Earth. Since some people see that advancement cannot occur without exploiting resources; they assume that climate change isn’t a good investment for businesses. That’s not the case at all.

America, as a whole, needs to start embracing and investing in more environmentally friendly products and production methods. Corporations should start taking their environmental impacts into consideration when they look at further investment, such as expanding their businesses or developing new products. If the private sector of our society, like corporations, can set an example by showing that expansion and investment can occur with an environmentally friendly mindset, then other businesses can follow that example. Thankfully, according to Fortune, some U.S. companies have taken charge and decided to support an international deal involving climate change. These companies include Google, Apple, and Microsoft and have begun to start prioritizing renewable energy options and pledged net-zero deforestation in their supply chains.

                                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Food producers like Walmart, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola are also part of the private sector that has committed themselves to being environmentally friendly. Due to climate shifts, they need to find more areas that would be agriculturally viable. Climate change has had obvious effects on our weather patterns. From the big fires in California to natural disasters occurring around the world, the land we use will not always be available for use. According to CNBC, Ben & Jerry’s is another company that has joined the fight against carbon emission; according to a spokesperson from the company, the areas they buy their ingredients from are “profoundly affected by climate change” so the effects of climate change are even more personal for them. Retail stores, like Gap, have decided that investing in a low-carbon economy can encourage a healthier environment as well as unlock “new business growth potential for the US and around the world.” Gap aims to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020.

                                                                                                                  Photo courtesy of Photopin.com

Even Bill Gates believes in the fight against carbon emissions. According to the Scientific American, Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Alibaba chief Jack Ma, are all part of the international partnership called the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. This partnership involves 30 entrepreneurs and is “committed to investing in an emission-free future.” So take note from these big corporations and powerhouse entrepreneurs; climate change is real. The fight for a healthier environment is a real challenge. Corporations can’t endure this struggle on their own. Government funding and support would make this an even fight. The fight is between the messes we’ve made versus the way we’re trying to fix it. If we’re trying to continue living, then let’s fix this mess and invest in the companies that are trying to help pave the way to that solution.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Editor's Note: This article is the perspective and opinion of the author and does not reflect the views of Her Campus at Cal Lutheran or Her Campus Media. Thank you.