On August 3, President Obama of the United States of America announced the Clean Power Plan which is unarguably the most vital decision taken by the administration in their crusade against climate change.
It is a historic step with strong but achievable standards for power plants and customized goals for the states to reduce their carbon footprint. It requires that the US power plants reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 32% by 2030 from the 2005 levels but the autonomy lies in the hands of the states to tread the path best suited to them. They can invest in renewable energy or simply upgrade coal power plants to produce more with lower emissions.
Emphasis lies on the fact that this comes just months before a pivotal conference in Paris which will try to elucidate an agreement on climate change and at the same time try to replace the Kyoto Protocol, who period ends in 2020. But as USA wakes up from its slumber, the other countries are still hungover. There is reason to be flustered and get up and smell the coffee! Our Earth is flying close to the sun (not literally, you dumbhead!) and let me clarify how.
- Ocean temperatures soaring: People who love messing with our heads (read scientists) say that the ocean temperatures have risen by more than one degree Celsius in the past one century and though this may seem like a tiny little number (which it is!), apparently, it is enough to play havoc with the marine ecosystems and affect coral reefs.
And yes, the death of one creature eliminates a very crucial part of the natural cycle disrupting the entire chain eventually. Melting icebergs just add to the dilemma.
- Food crisis: AUN Panel found out that the environmental change – mostly drought – is taking a toll on the global agricultural supply and will drive up food prices in the near future. Basic laws of supply and demand, right? Global food experts predict that grain prices may double by the year 2050.
- Rise in sea level: The global average sea level has risen by 7.5-8.3 inches between 1901 and 2010. Do you know what it means? It means that Mother Earth’s baby, Maldives, is drowning. It also means that you have one less vacation spot so yes, you need to care.
Underwater cabinet meeting in Maldives to raise awareness
- Non-renewable resources: The non-renewable energy resources fuelling up our lives finally face threat. They also possess power to torment the Earth. Their usage has been heating up the atmosphere. Global warming and ozone layer hole. Hear that. Heard that. But it’s time we bother!
- Threat to all life forms: Several animal species like the polar bears (it will have to donate its fur to survive on the Earth), sea turtles, North Atlantic right whales and many bird species face a threat to their existence from climate change. Migration routes and time has already been altered. We know, a species once gone, is gone forever. We aren’t so advanced to bring back the dead yet!
- Deforestation: Deforestation is disturbing our water cycle. Water cycle –> Rainfall –> Fresh water to drink. Connect the dots! Not a good scenario, I imagine!
Well, I hope you get what I mean to say here. There is enough reason to be alarmed. We can’t reverse it but yes, we together can mitigate it. We can all contribute in our own small way to protect the Earth.
One quick run for life fact: All the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998.