Sunday Readings: Our Urgent Reality
By Oscar Gonzalez
Climate change is no longer a distant threat, it's happening right now. According to climate.gov, Earth's temperature has risen by an average of 0.14° Fahrenheit (0.08° Celsius) per decade since 1880, or about 2° F in total. This has been caused due to human activities like burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. The climate crisis is not just the environment but also our economies, health, and communities. Today's Sunday Readings reminds us that we all are in the fight against climate change, and it's not just a global issue; it's also a personal one.
Understanding Climate Change
Climate change is primarily caused by the increase in greenhouse effect in the Earth's atmosphere. The gases produced trap heat from the sun, provoking a rise in the planet's temperature. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas causing global warming, resulting in extreme weather and rising sea levels.
The current state of climate change is alarming. The United Nations Climate Change Conference stated that global emissions have reached historic levels with no signs of decreasing. The world is already 1.2°C warmer than pre-industrial times. This warming leads to more intense droughts, devastating floods, wildfires, and storms. The impacts on ecosystems and communities are severe, with loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels, and increased poverty and migration. The world is changing, and we must acknowledge this reality and take immediate action.
Global Efforts and the Paris Agreement
Efforts are being made to address climate change on a global scale. The Paris Agreement, for example, aims to limit global warming below 2°C. As of now, 195 Parties (194 States plus the European Union) have joined the Paris Agreement. However, as per United Nations, implementing effective climate policies is challenging. Climate change denialism, political obstacles, and economic interests. Despite the Paris Agreement, many countries are not on track to meet their commitments by 2030.
Small Steps, Big Impact: How You Can Make a Difference
While the situation may seem terrible, there is still hope. As individuals, we can make a difference. By educating ourselves about climate change and its consequences, we can make informed decisions that will help climate change mitigation.
There are different ways we can reduce the carbon footprint such energy conservation, using sustainable transportation, reducing waste, and supporting renewable energy. For example, we can switch to solar energy to power our homes and buildings. We can also increase the use of bicycles, drive electric vehicles or use public transportation more, when possible. Adopting practices such as recycling, reducing plastic use, and being healthier can significantly decrease our carbon footprint.
Take Action Now
The urgency of taking action on climate change cannot wait anymore. Every second counts, and every action we take now will determine the future of our shared house: Earth. It's time for us to act and make significant changes in our lives to help the planet heal. Remember, the fight against climate change is not just about saving the environment. It's about preserving our future and the future of generations to come so let's get together and turn the tide on climate change.