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Brighter Future?

I know my brain is not the only one who’s regularly pondering back and forth regarding the climate change we’re facing today. I often find myself searching the internet for information on the topic, for hours at a time. On one hand, we’re improving tremendously considering that people all around the world are opening their eyes and changing their habits for the better. The number of vegans is increasing at a rapid pace, we are recycling more and minimizing our waste – especially plastic which is important to be conscious about!

In addition, there are gracious people constantly working for the improvement of environmental-friendly solutions concerning Co2 emissions, travelling, electricity and ocean clean-ups.

On the other hand, we’re observing temperatures rising, animal species decease, ocean acidification and deforestation.

The climate change is definitely a “hot” topic that needs to be talked about. If this subject is occupying your mind as my own, I’d advise you to keep reading. I’ll dive into a few of the facts and news affecting this topic – good and bad.

The Bad:

  • 26 % increase in ocean acidity.
    • The average pH of ocean surface waters has fallen by about 0.1 units, from 8.2 to 8.1
    • A rate of change roughly 10 times faster than any time in the last 55 million years.
  • Deforestation causes a triple-whammy of global warming.
    • What most often replaces the now-vanished forest, livestock and crops, generate massive amounts of even more greenhouse gases.
    • Taken together, these emissions account for a quarter of all emissions worldwide.
  • President Trump is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, signed by nearly 200 nations.

    • This is an agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
    • The U.S. is the country that has pumped the most greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over the decades.
    • The U.S. is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world next to China.
  • The past five years are, collectively, the warmest years in the modern record.
    • Earth’s global surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.
    • Global temperatures in 2018 were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.83 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

The Good:

  • Natural climate solutions (NCS)
    • NCS are actions in the agriculture, forestry and other land-use sectors that help to reduce GHG emissions, capture and store emissions and improve the resilience of ecosystems such as through reforestation, agroforestry, forest protection, forest management and improved cropland management.
    • The research shows that natural climate solutions alone can deliver up to 37% of the emission reductions needed by 2030.
    • They can be included as a measure to fulfil country commitments to the Paris Agreement; to bring benefits beyond climate mitigation, such as opportunities to increase biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
  • Greta Thunberg!

    •  She’s a 16-year-old climate activist who’s engaged thousands of people and she’s had speeches at UN climate changes, The UK parliament and for World Leaders.
    • She started the “School strike for climate” movement, which has been spread worldwide. Greta has showed us that younger generations are informed and care about the future of our climate.
  • Solar panels
    • Solar panel electricity systems, also known as photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells can still generate some electricity during chilled weather – they don’t need direct sunlight to work.
    • The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.
    • Sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation, your electricity costs will be reduced. You’ll also cut your carbon footprint greatly.
  • Increased number of vegans all around the world
    • The number of vegans in America grew by 600% from nearly 4 million in 2014 to 19.6 million in 2017.
    • In Germany, one in ten consumers buy meat alternatives, rising to one in five for Germans in the 16-24 age group. In 2005, only 1% of Germans considered themselves vegetarians; this rose to 7% in 2018.
    • Australia’s packaged vegan food market is currently worth almost $136 million and is set to reach $215 million by 2020.
    • In Southeast Asia, between 2012 and 2016, new vegetarian and vegan product launches increased by 140% and 440% respectively in Southeast Asia alone.
    • I could sum up hundreds of reasons why it’s so great that more people are opening their eyes for veganism, however, here is one very important reason: We could feed twice as many humans with today’s global harvest (in 2019) if we did not feed farmed animals but rather consumed the yield ourselves…

In conclusion, we should not take climate change lightly. There’s hope, but only if we act right and if we act now. Like everything else in life, there is always a solution if you work hard for something you take seriously. It’s important that we educate ourselves on this matter and always do our best, there is no time to lose. There’s also comfort in knowing that we’re all in this together and there’s organizations you can support and volunteer to work for. Here’s a few:

  • Rainforest Alliance
  • Coast Adaption
  • WWF
  • The Pacific Community

Sources:

https://coastadapt.com.au/ocean-acidification-and-its-effects

https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/

https://www.alternet.org/2017/06/trump-pulls-out-paris-agreement-endangering-future-generations-and-planet/

https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/139/graphic-global-warming-from-1880-to-2018/

https://www.businessandindustry.co.uk/sustainable-business/natural-climate-solutions-can-deliver-up-to-37-of-the-2030-emission-reductions/#_ftn2

https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/electricity/solar-panels

https://www.vegansociety.com/news/media/statistics#worldwidestatistics

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