• Oriana Silva

Our Toxic Relationship With The Environment

Updated: Nov 24, 2020



Nowadays, people are mostly interested in earning money, keeping economic growth, and living their lives freely. These are great actions to take, but they are not enough to maintain a sustainable life. We often support slogans like ‘Save the planet, live green’, and we do not even practice recycling. Even though the Earth gives us a beautiful home, it does not mean that we must not work towards its preservation. We hurt our planet every day with our false love for the environment. It is necessary to end this before it ends with us!

Some analyses conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) demonstrated that the global average surface temperatures last year were nearly 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), higher than the average from the middle of last century. It was caused mostly by emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂) and other heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels. Scientists explain that CO₂ is not the only greenhouse gas humans have put into the atmosphere; during the 1970s, James Lovelock revealed that levels of human-produced chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were rising faster. These gases were used as refrigerants and propellants; CFCs were 10,000 times as effective as CO₂ in trapping heat. Therefore, CFCs also destroy the ozone layer. This increased warming climate means the Earth is far from meeting goals set to combat climate change. It is necessary to clarify the differences between climate and weather; this one is what we expect in the long term, and the weather is what we get in a short period; the variability of local weather masks long-term trends in the global climate. Therefore, this means we are damaging our planet in the long term.


Sir David Attenborough says; "People might think climate change is a distant prospect, but we're seeing so many examples around the world, like in Australia, of new records and new extremes." In January 2020, Australia was severely affected by global warming; the extended areas of land were burned, killing many animals and plants. We need a rapid response to this situation; we cannot wait until the fire consumes all our forests, farms, and animals; the world is full of leaders of speeches, but not of leaders of actions.


The Earth gives us all the tools needed to live healthfully, but our arrogance prefers doing everything to destroy them. However, despite many world leaders were opposed to some environmental actions, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts had already meaningfully improved air, and water quality in the United States. Also, the United Nations Environment Program helped to create policy frameworks for air and water quality around the world. Other nations had also followed suit with similar anti-pollution policies. It demonstrates that change is possible if everyone works for the same environmental goals.


The environmental issues are hardly related to the economic decisions taken by the global leaders, most of them do not care about the damage caused by factories and oil refineries, but it is our voice, as the world’s citizens, that matters now. The Earth is tired of false slogans; it needs actions. If we work together, we could pay our debt to the environment. It is necessary to develop a sustainable economy for the ecosystem and humanity. The world needs to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform this toxic relationship into a friendly and fair relationship between humans and Earth.

Sources:

Henry Fountain and Nadja Popovich. “2019 Was the Second-Hottest Year Ever, Closing Out the Warmest Decade.”The New York Times. January 15, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/15/climate/hottest-year-2019.html


Peter Rüegg.“Climate signals detected in global weather.” Science Daily. January 2, 2020. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200102143429.htm


David Carlin. “Scientists Have Been Talking About Climate Change for More Than a Century. Here's Why It Took So Long for the World to Listen.” The Time. January 10, 2020. https://time.com/5762817/climate-change-denial-history/

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