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Climate change is a long process of changing weather conditions over long periods (decades, hundreds, and millions of years). This is not only about global warming, but also about air pollution, anomalous phenomena such as snow in summer or population changes, or the extinction of certain species of animals. Due to rising ocean levels by 2050, some cities may go underwater. For example, in the spring of 2019, the President of Indonesia decided to move the capital from Jakarta, which could flood. And in Venice, seasonal rains caused one of the worst floods of the century. And while all those effects seem too big and global to affect any particular part of the human population, they will inevitably affect younger people, including students of today and tomorrow.
Horrors of the Future
The Oxford Dictionary declared “climate emergency” the phrase of 2019. According to the authors of the dictionary, over the past year, this expression has been used 100 times more often. This indicates a great demand for climate issues in society. The WHO predicts that climate change could have serious health consequences in the future.
- Extreme weather conditions can lead to an increase in injuries and even deaths. A tornado might strike in some of the most unexpected places, thus, affecting the unexpected and unprepared people the most. It might hit students in the middle of the class, which can cause serious injuries and casualties of the younger population.
- Outbreaks of infectious diseases are possible after floods, especially when utilities are partially or destroyed. The good news for the current and future generations of students here is that they will likely develop immunity to those new diseases more quickly and effectively.
- Rising global temperatures could negatively affect food security. Malnutrition, caused mainly by periodic droughts, takes about 3.5 million lives each year. Even if you’re not living somewhere in a third-world country, on a bigger scale, you might get affected as well. Expect student discounts to become less generous and the food less tasty.
- Lack of water required for hygiene, as well as its excess due to frequent rains, increase the risk of diarrhea. They spread through contaminated food and water. In general, poor hygiene is not a very good idea, as it has been responsible for spreading deadly diseases in Medieval times. And there’s no reason it won’t be in the future. Again, for younger people, this might mean better immunity and available immunization.
- Periods of extreme heat, especially in urban areas, which are called “heat islands”, can cause an increase in morbidity and mortality. Summer feels hot already, and it might even become hotter in some places of the world in the near future.
- In addition to periods of extreme heat, rising temperatures can accelerate the onset of the pollen season, when asthma attacks become more frequent. While asthma and allergies can be fought against, it might become too much of a stress for people affected, thus, influencing their lives in some of the worst ways.
- Changes in temperature and precipitation will affect the range of insects that are carriers of infectious diseases. Malaria and dengue fever are the greatest threats to public health.
What can we do to protect ourselves and nature from destruction? To protect your health from climate change, you need:
- to fight against communicable diseases;
- to provide the population with clean water and proper sanitary conditions;
- reduce dependence on energy sources that pollute the environment and harm health.
Climate change could wipe out or change cities like Jakarta, Lagos, Houston, Dhaka, Venice, Virginia Beach, Bangkok, New Orleans, Alexandria, and more. Unfortunately, not all of them are preparing for the challenges like Rotterdam. Surely, something must be changed to save these cities. You can start with small steps: sort garbage, switch to public transport, and buy fewer things. If you ever feel like you cannot make any change because you’re limited in your resources, there’s always a solution. In the modern age, there’s lots of information on the internet to help you, from the best translation services online list to different approaches to environmental protection. The main thing in this case is to stop thinking that nothing depends on you.
Students are some of the best people to initiate a positive change. It’s much better to start the shift towards more environmentally friendly means when you’re young because you’re active, likely full of enthusiasm, and possess some of the freshest knowledge there is. As a student, the greatest effect the current climate change can have on your life is the new great mission. As someone from the younger generation that has a whole life to live in the world of the future, it’s important for you to become environmentally active and show a positive example to your peers and older generations as well.
Just Help the Planet
Climate models convincingly show that climate change will become a serious challenge for humanity in a few decades. According to a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warming will lead to more frequent droughts, floods, dust storms, fires, pest outbreaks, etc., depending on the region. It is easy to guess that the result will also be a drop in yields in many countries, a shortage of drinking water, rising food prices, declining incomes, and even direct deaths due to more frequent natural disasters. That’s why it’s extremely important to start taking care of our planet as early as possible. Every tiny contribution we might make today (like recycling the trash, reusing stuff, and reducing the number of plastic and waste in general) can make a large difference tomorrow.
Even in the event of a great emergency, Eric Wyatt likes to keep it cool. If there’s a solution, it can be found, after all, he believes. That’s why Eric’s articles are often positive, interesting, and easy to read.