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How We Can Help Stop Global Warming

Updated on February 12, 2022
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Cygnet Brown is a high school and middle school substitute teacher. She is the author of fourteen books and a long-time gardener.


Global Warming is Our Personal Problem

According to the website Climate Central, 2014 was the hottest year on record. And according to another site, July 2015 was the hottest month ever. There have been more of the hottest years on record during the past ten years than any other decade in history. Although the past few years have been quiet in regards to hurricanes, droughts, floods, heat waves, and wildfires are becoming more frequent and more intense. California is drier than any time in known history. We need to wake up and understand that we cannot just sit back and expect the government to do anything. (Congress can't even agree that Global Warming exists!) Each one of us is dependent on our natural world in order to survive, so each one of us needs to do our part toward being responsible for our little corner of the planet.

A recent headline from the Associated Press reads, “Global warming: Little snow but large blizzards can be expected, experts say!” A recent blizzard, which dumped record amounts of snow in many places in the Northeast, is blamed on “global warming”, or as some people calls it “climate change”. To understand this concept you have to understand atmospheric physics. A warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump more moisture therefore the snow that does come will come all at once.

During a recent State of the Union Address, President Obama stated that during his administration that recent decreases in carbon emissions occurred, but he failed to mention that the reason was due to the faltering world economy. If the economy improves, carbon emissions are also bound to increase if we do not change our economic system toward becoming more in tune with the natural systems of the planet. He gave several grandiose ideas about how the government can help reduce our nation’s carbon footprint. The likelihood of his proposals getting anywhere in Congress is as scarce as the polar ice caps are getting.

Some people believe that global warming isn't true. However, most scientists have little doubt that climate change is occurring. Only 24 peer reviewed articles out of 13,950, published between 1 January 1991 and 12 November 2012, rejected the idea that the climate change was actually occurring and that humans were largely responsible. Since November 2012, another 2,258 articles have been written and only one author has debated against climate change.

We obviously cannot depend on the government to create any real solutions to this problem. We have to take responsibility for the solutions to global warming ourselves. If you think that as individuals, there is not much we can do to combat global warming, think again. There is a lot we can do if we are just willing to do it.

Global Warming Affects Everyone

Carbon emissions in the air holds in heat causing temperatures to rise over time.
Carbon emissions in the air holds in heat causing temperatures to rise over time. | Source

How We Can Take Responsibility for Global Warming

We can take responsibility for global warming by practicing energy conservation. ONe excellent way to begin taking this responsibility is by combining errands to decrease fuel consumption, turn off lights when we leave a room, turn down our thermostats in the winter (and put on a sweater), and turn them up in the summer to conserve energy (dress lightly).

We can stop using man made chemicals in regards to cleaning and hygiene.

We can use whatever form of mass transit is available to use. We can also study and implement what we can do on a small scale to produce our own alternative/sustainable forms of energy. How would it affect global warming if each of us were producing even a small amount of our own solar power, wind power, or bicycle power?

We can attend events that promote healthier, more mindful lifestyles rather than wasting our time, energy, and money on mindless amusement. The more people who make these routine changes, the greater the impact on overall problem of global warming.

If all of us were buying fruits and vegetables from local producers, we could vastly decrease the carbon emissions by cutting down on carbon emissions from the trucks and ocean liners that haul produce great distances to our supermarkets. We can go even further reducing our contributions toward global warming by growing our own organic vegetable garden in our back yard.

Researchers at the Rodale Institute have learned that organic soils trap atmospheric carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, and convert it to carbon, a key component of healthy soil. In the longest-running study of its kind, Rodale institute compared organic and conventional farming for 23 years. Recent findings suggest that synthetic nitrogen fertilizers speed up the decay of organic materials so that it is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide rather than storing it in the soil as carbon. They found that both the plants and the organic soil captured carbon, which many scientists believe, is primarily responsible for global warming. By adding organic material to the soil, we help preserve the bio-diversity of that soil. All organisms depend on biomass—living and dead organic matter. That includes us. With greater the biomass content comes more the biodiversity. Through organic gardening, the results are two-fold. We reduce chemicals that are dependent on fossil fuels and preserve the soil as well.

We can take the backyard concept still further by planting fruit and nut trees. In general, the average-sized tree can provide enough oxygen for a family of four. It produces 13 tons of oxygen a year and at the same time removes ½ ton of carbon from the air. Plant three trees around your property and you can decrease your air-conditioning costs up to 50 percent. Trees increase property values. Houses sell for 18-25 percent more with trees than houses without them. Trees can help provide shelter and food for wildlife such as deer, raccoons, birds, squirrels, and bugs. (Which you may or may not perceive as an advantage in regards to growing fruit trees.) Having trees around your home provides a peaceful environment to come home to. Studies have shown that being able to view trees helps you heal faster and use fewer pain medications. They relax us, lower heart rates, and reduce stress. With gardens, we have to tend them regularly week in, week out, and every year, except for perennial vegetables, you have to replant. Vegetable gardens also require the best land with the best light. That is not true for fruit and nut trees. Mindfully plant a tree, give it minimal care over the next few years, and fruit and nut trees will provide us with food for at least a decade.

Educate Others

Probably the most important thing we can do in combating global warming is that once we know what we can do to combat global warming is to to educate others on its effects and teach them what they too can do about it. As more and more people learn about and change toward a more sustainable lifestyle, we will begin to see changes in our environment. If we all work together, we can reverse the effects of global warming, one backyard at a time.

© 2013 Cygnet Brown


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