Global warming: taking ownership of our personal input | Sunday Observer

Global warming: taking ownership of our personal input

According to global statistics, global warming is becoming a serious issue for Sri Lanka. In a new global index, Sri Lanka has been ranked second among the countries most affected by extreme weather events in 20 years since 1998. The 2019 Long-Term Climate Risk Index, published by German-watch, has listed Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, and Dominica as the top three affected countries.

Global Climate Risk Index 2019 was released at the annual climate summit in Poland recently. The objective of the index is to analyse to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of weather-related loss events such as storms, floods, heat waves, etc., as per data available from 1998 to 2017.

In a report published in the Guardian four years ago, it was stated that “in the next 50 years the greatest threat to Sri Lanka will be not from war, but from climate change. Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and weather-related disasters have the potential to set back any gains made in agriculture, fisheries and even services such as tourism”

Threat

Global warming is one of the biggest threats to mankind. It is mainly caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases due to rapid industrialization, urbanization and other air polluting sources. The continuous discharge of these gases results in an enormous rise in temperatures.

Global warming is responsible for the rising of sea levels as it melts the glaciers gradually. Glaciers are the perennial source of water in most of the rivers and other water bodies across the world.

Already several countries in the world along the coastline of different seas are facing the threat of extinction due to massive floods which have engulfed their low-lying land.

Frequent hurricanes, floods and unusual weather patterns are the other problems associated with climate change. Rising temperature due to global warming is also responsible for loss of aquatic life and the spread of dreaded diseases due to insects.

Other factors responsible for increasing the production of greenhouse gases are population growth, technological advancement, industrialization, urbanization, and deforestation. Above all, we are over-exploiting technologies, which is manifest in the burning of fossil fuels, coal, and emission of gas.

Burning of gasoline in internal-combustion of automobiles leads to great amounts of carbon emission, while sulphur cluster gas also has a harmful impact on environmental pollution. Even simple tasks such as cooking food produces a great deal of carbon dioxide.

Way-out

The only way out is to take steps to slow down the warming. Individually, we can do many things. Let’s reduce our dependence on the consumption of electricity, oil, coal and gas – the sources of carbon dioxide.We can begin by using less energy in our home, school or workplace. Let’s make it a habit to turn down our air conditioners, turn off lights and electronic appliances when not in use.

Let’s reduce our dependence on our motor vehicles, and walk more or use a car pool system. Let us transfer to electric vehicles (EVs). Also, let’s go for renewable energy such as wind power and sun power. Buying energy-efficient LED bulbs is another good idea. They last 25 times longer and save 75% of energy compared to incandescent light bulbs.

Even when we travel in our own vehicle, being stuck in traffic wastes gas, creating carbon dioxide. Use traffic websites and apps and take different routes. We can combine errands to make fewer trips, remove excess weight from the car and use cruise control. We also need more forests, as they soak up some of the greenhouse gases that warm up our Earth. So, more and more tree plantation drives are needed.

Recycling

Let’s also embrace the concept of recycling of products. There is a need to make suitable changes in the modern consumerist lifestyle that tends to overuse the resources of the world.

There is also the need for plant-derived plastics. We must try to eat locally-produced and organic food. We can use climate-appropriate plants in our garden, instal drip irrigation so that plants receive only what they need, and making water-efficient choices when purchasing shower heads, faucet heads, dishwashers and washing machines.

We need to spread awareness on the menace of global warming. It can be fought only by the collective efforts of the world community.

Awareness

Although we can do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, it would be more effective if we could work as a team.

If we work to spread global warming awareness, we would be able to convince others to make the changes that they need to.

1. Take to social media

When it comes to spreading awareness, social media is one of the best tools at our disposal. You can reach millions of people across the world with a single post. Contribute brief stories and share your feelings.

2. Find stories that will touch people’s hearts

For a lot of us, global warming is something that is difficult to comprehend. After all, there are a lot of people out there dealing with horrible winter storms. These people may not feel like the planet is changing at all. But you can awaken them by reaching out to them and explaining the realities.

3. Get involved in your community

One of the best ways to start spreading awareness is in your own community. Volunteer whenever you can, and get involved in local activities. Do what you can in your own area.

Spreading global warming awareness isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. Let us do what we can to preserve this planet and keep it in the best shape possible. If we are aware of the problems we are facing, we can start working together to fix them.

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