Earlier this week I attended an event about energy efficiency. And while the speakers discussed this issue on a more broad level, it really got me thinking: our planet is slowly dying. It’s good that conferences like this are happening all over the country, because it goes to show that someone is doing something about it… but are we?
Let’s Get Technical…
Debra Kelly on Listverse said that, “It’s no secret that our planet is in a pretty dire condition. Extinction rates have been estimated to be about 1,000 times higher than they should be, and that’s all due to human influence—and interference. With around 20,000 species at risk for extinction and countless others that we haven’t even discovered yet also dying, scientists are rushing to figure out what we can do about it. Some have suggested the sixth great mass extinction is looming on the horizon, and the problem is a massive one. It’s so big that there are things that you do every day that are helping to bring about the end of the world, and chances are that you might not even know it.”
What are we doing wrong?
These pictures from Bored Panda are just a few examples of what humans are doing that are killing the planet:
The burning of fossil fuels helps the Arctic ice melt faster
CO2 emission causes tsunamis
Cutting the trees for the white and soft toilet paper hurts the forests
Plastic pollutes the water that we drink
Meat and dairy industry pollutes the air
Heating our homes heats the Earth as well
Irresponsible usage of electricity causes the floods
The Greenhouse Effect
The exchange of incoming and outgoing radiation that warms the Earth is often referred to as the greenhouse effect because a greenhouse works in much the same way.
Incoming UV radiation from the Sun easily passes through the glass walls of a greenhouse and is absorbed by the plants and hard surfaces inside. Weaker IR (infrared) radiation, however, has difficulty passing through the glass walls and is trapped inside, thus warming the greenhouse. This effect lets tropical plants thrive inside a greenhouse, even during a cold winter.
So imagine what we are doing to our planet with the greenhouse effect… The Sun’s heat passes through the ozone layer, through the cracks of it, and the heat is trapped within it. Ice caps are melting, natural disasters are at an all time high and temperatures are soaring high (and if you live in either Malta or the UK, you know what this is!).
What can we do to help save the planet?
I’ll admit that “save” is an interesting word choice, especially considering many scientists think that we are beyond saving after the environmental devastation we have put Earth through thus far. However, as an optimist, I believe every little bit counts and we can still make this planet a beautiful place, and hopefully save its creatures from impending doom. The choices we each make today are important.
This article is very informative if YOU want to help our planet stay alive.