Things Are Heating Up - Unfortunately.

 

Global Warming has been a hot topic over the last few years. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what that is, let me tell ya. Global warming is the increase in overall temperature on earth caused by the greenhouse effect which caused an unhealthy increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. That means the temperature of the earth is rising at a scary rate. 

Picture from Curious Kids.

SO WHAT? 

Rising temperatures means the climate of certain regions are changing (that’s why it’s also called ‘climate change’) which is forcing animals out of their homes. Some animals are becoming endangered or even going extinct. Global warming also causes rising sea levels because of massive glaciers melting. In the long run, some places could possibly end up underwater. 

Photo from National Geographic

Melting glaciers also means those cute polar bears you love are losing their homes as well as other animals that depend on that environment. If endangered animals don’t tug at your heart strings, what about people who are suffering? Have you heard about Hurricane Dorian, Andrea, Barry, Chantel or any of the other hurricanes from the past two years? Yep, you can give credit to global warming for more frequent or more intense extreme weather conditions. 

What fights global warming?

Oxygen production and plants that absorb the excess CO2 help keep the earth cool. One of the biggest resources for this is the Amazon Forest in Brazil. 

This photo is from Geospatial World. 

Unfortunately, there has been around 60,000 fires in the Amazon in just 2019. One of the biggest reasons for this is the agriculture business in Brazil. Farmers in Brazil use slash-and-burn methods to create fertile land for crops.  Farmers are allowed, legally, to get rid of 20% of the trees on their land. Unfortunately, this is not being monitored effectively, leaving some fires to spiral out of control. These fires are caused by humans setting the fires and by humans not taking care of the earth and allowing global warming to accelerate these fires.  Nearly 7,000 square feet of this beautiful tropical forest has been burnt down. 

 

What can we do to help? 

To start, here are some organizations you can donate to that directly help the Amazon Rainforest Fires: 

  • One is the Amazon Watch. This is a non profit organization that works to help indigineous people of the Amazon Basin as well as combat climate change with the health of the Amazon. 

  • Another organization is the Rainforest Alliance. Similar to Amazon Watch, this group is working toward fighting the fire for the future of our world. 

It’s totally understandable that not everyone can donate money. So here are some general things that anyone can do to reduce their carbon footprint:

  • Swap your incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs.

  • Turn things off and unplug them when you’re not using them. This can be your T.V., your bedroom light, a fan, microwave, etc. 

  • Instead of turning the temperature up in your house when it’s cold, try using blankets, sweatpants or sweatshirts first. It’s less money and better for the environment. 

  • You can use reusable cups, reusable straws and reusable grocery bags. A lot of stores are charging per plastic bag you use now so that would save you money as well. 

  • When you can, ride your bike or walk instead of driving a car. If you have to drive, carpool with people when you can. 

 

Start with one thing this week, and slowly start changing your habits to more environment-friendly choices all around. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. Small changes in your everyday life can help lead to a healthier planet for everyone.