Scientists cannot deny that the burning of
fossil fuels adds to the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The
Industrial Revolution led to humanity burning more fossil fuels than ever
before, thus the CO2 levels
increased to more than a third higher than what they had been for the past
couple hundred years (Central Climate 3). Based on measures taken on the ground
and through satellite: it is undeniable that this increase in atmospheric CO2 causes a rise in global temperature, increasing
ocean temperatures, rising sea levels as the warmer air melts glaciers and ice
caps, changes in vegetation, and an increase in cloud cover. Furthermore, the
increase in sea levels causes river flooding, and the rising heat causes more
evaporation on land and from the oceans—thus causing more rain or snow in some
areas and more droughts in others. The increase in ocean temperatures can also
cause major currents to change speed, which can affect weather patterns—the
same is true of wind force and direction (Climate Central 5). These temperature
changes also affect animals that are accustomed to their environments, forcing
them to migrate to find the conditions that they have already adapted to. Not
to mention, the oceans will absorb the extra CO2
become more acidic, affecting the vegetation and animals that inhabit it. The
effects are greatly more apparent depending on the location. A student’s firsthand
account in an article published on Monash University’s website depicts how
climate change has impacted their hometown in north Pakistan. The student,
Farman, described how rising temperatures within five years caused 187 of their
282 glaciers to melt, causing massive flooding and hurricanes, as well as heatwaves.
The floods cause water contamination which result in diseases and deaths, the
heat causes heatstroke and hot tap water for the poor that cannot afford
electricity. The extreme weather in Pakistan results in 487 deaths each year.
Farman especially noted that the poor were the most affected (Monash
One group working to combat global
warming in Ohio is the Nature Conservancy— a non-profit organization conducting
conservation projects in 72 countries. Their mission used to be simply about
protecting wildlife. However, the director of development, Angela Sosdian
stated, “Now our work is infinitely more complex. It’s how do we balance the
need for energy, clean air, clean water— all of the components of human
wellbeing, along with protecting nature” (Nature Conservancy). Within Ohio they
accomplished very much in 2017, including: the opening of a nature center in
Ashtabula County— the Dr. James K. Bissell Nature Center, the acquirement of
272 acres of land protected at Snow Lake to protect Akron’s drinking water
supply, providing of financial help to the Shawnee State Forest to purchase 929
acres of key forestland, treatment of 600 eastern hemlock trees, as well as the
restoration of 9,000 linear feet of stream at Strait Creek. They also held
field day events in Northwest Ohio for the agricultural community to learn
about new science-based conservation methods, for which they had 340
participants. Their mission in Ohio is conserve the streams, wetlands, and
forests to revive the Great Lakes and Ohio River. Since 1958 they have
“protected more than 60,000 acres of critical natural lands in Ohio” (Natural
Conservancy). Their work is essential for Ohio’s water and land restoration, as
they foremost believe in natural solutions to combat the effects of climate
Although the Natural Conservancy has done very
much for Ohio, they could do more community organizing events. The field day
events held for the agriculture community in Northwest Ohio could be held
throughout the rest of Ohio as well. Furthermore, their website reaches to
members of the agricultural community to make changes within their daily
routines, but not so much for urban or suburban citizens. Perhaps they could
host events for urban or suburban communities as well, to raise awareness of
what they could do too. These events could also include peace rallies in areas
of political importance within the state, as their website implores its viewers
to simply write to important political figures. The website lists the most
obvious ways for anyone to reduce their carbon footprint (such as buying an
electric car, carpooling, etc.) but perhaps they could also include their own line
of sustainable products such as reusable bags or lightbulbs for online viewers
to purchase—this would make a huge impact for all their viewers who want to
make smaller purchases but still make a difference.
An urban solution made in Roskilde, Denmark
resides at Rabalder Park—a skatepark that doubles as a rainwater collection
system. The park began as a project by the city’s sewage department. It was led
by a Danish architecture firm, Nordarch. The canal sends the rainwater into
bowl-like basins. When it stops raining, the canal empties quickly, practically
never impacting skatepark use. This park was much needed as climate change
increased their rainfall, resulting in flooded basements and streets (GOOD Magazine).
An urban solution such as this could be something that the Natural Conservancy
could benefit from.
Central Inc. Global Weirdness. Random House US, 2012.
Change : A first hand experience.” Monash University, www.monash.edu/environmental-sustainability/news-and-events/latest-news/climate-change-a-first-hand-experience.
the lands and waters on which all life depends.” Nature Conservancy |
Protecting Nature, Preserving Life, www.nature.org/?intc=nature.tnav.logo.
Designs Fighting The Devastating Effects of Climate Change.” GOOD Magazine, 1
Sept. 2015, www.good.is/articles/10-designs-climate-change.
Joseph F., and Pamela Doughman. Climate change: what it means for us, our
children, and our grandchildren. The MIT Press, 2014.
Tim. Atmosphere of Hope. Penguin, 2016.
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “The Paris Agreement.” United
Nations Climate Change, 12 Oct. 2017, unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php.