What Is Climate Change Really All About?

In Columns

We hear about climate change all the time but how many actually know what it is?

Here are the main three things to understand a little better about what scientists and the climate accords are all about:

  1. The definition of climate change: a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular, a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.
  2. The definition of Global warming: a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants.
  3. The definitions of Fossil fuels: a fuel (such as coal, oil, or natural gas) formed in the earth from plant or animal remains

Let’s face it, the world’s population is increasing every year and we are outgrowing our planet’s resources. Unfortunately, with progress and evolution, it was bound to happen. Even though it is easy for us to blame big companies like oil, gas, and coal, and then ask our heads of countries and states to do something about it; it is actually everyone’s problem and responsibility to work on fixing the damage we are doing. I know I am one of the worst for contributing to the problem because I love driving my truck, I would be lost without my game systems or computer and there is nothing better than a hot bubble bath, a good book and a glass of wine to relax after a hard day. I recycle and take my grass cuttings to the community compost pile, take public transit when I have to head downtown and water my garden and plants with rainwater collected in rain barrels. I tell myself I’m doing my part but deep down inside I know it’s not enough.

It’s hard to imagine ever living by candlelight, cooking everything over a wood stove and traveling by horse and carriage. Our generation would have a hard time ever adjusting to that kind of living and the generation to follow wouldn’t even know how to start a fire without matches or a lighter. We evolved past that and yet at the rate we are going we will be doing a full circle back to the times of our great-grandparents and ancestors.

The icecaps are melting and every year we have more and more natural disasters happening around the world. It’s nature’s wake-up call, so what can we do about it. I have no idea where to start because honestly, we need to be more informed, there needs to be more public information and awareness on the subject as to what each individual could do to improve the circumstances. I am not talking just carpooling, recycling or turning lights off as you leave a room. We need real information.

There is one thing I do know that might seem unreasonable to some but I do know would help and that is if everyone in the world planted a tree per year for the next 5 years. It would help filter some of the carbons and pollution out of our atmosphere. Junior biology teaches us that plants and trees produce oxygen it filters from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is not enough but at least it is a start. This year my family planted 12 trees one for each of us and for my grandchildren that are too young to plant one of their own. We got permission to plant them on the edge of a nature preserve so we know that one day they wouldn’t be part of our furniture. Our planet is hurting and we need to fix it. First, we need to know how.


K. Waters
Writer, Blogger, Mother

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