Fighting Climate Change

Early this year, the world almost came to a standstill following lockdowns and restriction of movement meant to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. From a distance, these measures looked like a solution to the problem of climate change that is currently a serious problem that our planet is facing.


Lockdowns, movement restrictions, and work-from-home arrangements meant less use of vehicles and factories, hence reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) into the atmosphere. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the primary way of controlling climate change.


However, Ilan Kelman, a scientist and professor at the University College London, explains that short-term solutions like enforced lockdowns cannot solve the problem of climate change, a problem that started during the industrial revolution and has piled up ever since. Nevertheless, the lockdowns and movement restrictions are a good example that with some changes in our behaviors, we can contribute towards saving Earth from the impacts of climate change.


As already said, reducing climate change and its impacts depends on reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. This is possible if we change our behaviors, more so regarding the way we move around and use energy. Notably, many of us move around in private cars.


Many of these cars use gasoline, and the exhaust gases that come out contain greenhouse gases. Therefore, when many people move around in personal cars, more greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change.


We can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released by vehicles if we start using public means of transport; for example, a single trip using a train can carry people that would have traveled in 50 cars, which cuts down the emission of, say, 45 cars.


Secondly, we can reduce emissions by switching to environment-friendly energy sources (renewable energy sources). Unfriendly energy sources that emit more gases include fossil fuels, for example, natural gas, coal, and oil. Renewable energy sources include wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower.


We can switch to these energy sources by installing windmills and solar panels in our homes and using electric cars instead of ordinary cars. Other practices like avoiding wasting energy, using bicycles, and even walking to complete short-distance errands can also contribute positively towards reducing emissions.


Reducing emissions and thus the impact of climate change is possible. However, achieving significant results will take time and the combined effort of all of us. As we have seen, the small adjustments we make to our behavior regarding how we travel and use energy can add up to a significant positive impact, which can save the world from negative consequences of climate change, including wildfires, long droughts, frequent/intense hurricanes, and excessive rainfalls.