By Linda Cako
Climate Change has never been good news. Science has always provided the evidence for the global impact and consequences stating that we would experience more extreme weather, see an unprecedented rate of extinction, and have more toxic levels of smog. Within the past few months alone we had seen some of the damaging cases of forest fires in Canada, we had three destructive hurricanes hit consecutively, and smog levels have reached their highest levels yet in some parts of the world. Not to mention that land ice has decreased by 286 gigatonnes just this year alone (Climate NASA, 2017).
While we live comfortable lives in Toronto, even here we can see the dangerous effects of climate change in subtle ways. For example, up until a few weeks ago, we were still hitting temperature in the double digits. Even now in December we still haven’t experienced any proper flurries or frost.
While most of this is not new, and these facts are depressing to hear, they are important to acknowledge. This year we have had a very frightening experience with politicians and their beliefs but it is important to see the signs and not simply dismiss them. In times of ignorance, facts are the only foundation on which we must base our actions upon. Otherwise, forget about saving the planet and adopt the realization that this will be our reality from now.
Governor Jerry Brown stated that these forest fires would become “the new normal” due to increasing heat and dryness in California.
It is important to always remember that little steps count. Small actions such as recycling, using renewable sources of energy when possible, using more energy efficient appliances, and reducing car emissions by keeping cars in good condition can all help. Making dietary changes can help too, such as cutting back on meat and dairy products. All are good ways to doing our part. The only thing missing is awareness.
While it’s so easy to read these articles and forget about climate change right after, it’s important that we do not do this. Climate change is very scary and is threatening millions of lives right now. Not to mention all our lives are being threatened in the long term.
So don’t just read passively and forget. At times like these, the action is essential to pull ourselves up and make the necessary amends to slow down climate change like our lives depend on it because they do.
As Margaret Mead said, “We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.”
Linda is a grade 12 student at FHCI and is a Social Issues Editor for The Golden Falcon newspaper.
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