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WHY SHOULD I EVEN CARE? 3 reasons why we need to address the Climate Emergency.

In recent years, the climate change movement has taken on a new life of its own. From the new forms of green energy, sustainable products, and the popularity of sustainable influencers, it is difficult to avoid the topic of being a green and climate change conscious consumer in everyday life. Today, I will present three reasons as to why you should take an interest in the climate emergency, or for some a reminder as to why our tackling of this global issue is essential.

  1. The climate emergency has already begun, and it is impacting our health.

All of us may not directly perceive the impact of the climate emergency in our everyday lives, however, the impact it is already having on our health is alarming. One example is the impact of fossil fuel emissions on human health. Exposure to these fuels for longer periods of time can cause health issues such as asthma and air pollution. These exposures can even lead to death and long-term health issues. Air pollution, only one potential health issue because of climate change kills on average 7 million people per year (WHO, n.d.). In 2019, asthma killed at least 461,000 people (WHO, 2019). This impact is worsened by increasing urbanisation and health inequalities. Vehicle emissions can have harmful impacts on the increasing number of city dwellers, and this can harm impoverished and vulnerable people the most, who are unable to afford to relocate or spend time awake from highly polluted areas.

2. The climate emergency is causing more natural disasters.

Along with the impact of climate change on human’s health, an increasing number of highly publicised natural disasters are gripping the world. One vivid example were the 2020 Australian bushfires. Climate change scientists attributed the fires to the country’s hottest and driest year on record due to the increasing yearly summer temperatures (Aberdeen Standard, 2020). These can be linked to climate change, as the planet heats. The disaster was not only a devastating blow due to estimates 3 billion animals that perished but the economic burden of A$​103 billion in damages (The Guardian, 2020). Therefore, caring about climate change is not just about the people and wildlife, but about the widespread impact to the economy and the 33 lives also lost (The Conversation, 2020).

3. We don’t have to give up, there is a chance to make a difference.

Despite the depressing reality of the last two reasons, there is an opportunity for humans to reverse the damage we have done to the world. It is not too late. There are many options that we can take to reduce our carbon footprint, with easy everyday changes. These can include but are not limited to taking public transport rather than using your own car, recycling in your community, reducing your water wastage and buying second hand where possible. We should also hold large businesses responsible for the waste they produce. For example, encouraging fashion retailers to reuse clothing scraps, rather than allowing them to go into landfill. Therefore, it is not just up to us, but a collective group of people globally to make a real impact.

In the end, the climate emergency is a major issue we are all facing. No human is left untouched by the influence from a warmer planet, less food and resources and poorer health. With the three reasons mentioned above, it is clear to see that it is in our best interest to make a change, no matter how small to help protect our planet. There are also many resources accessible online to educate yourself about climate change, how it is caused, and what evidence there is. The Nasa website provides some great starting points, available at: https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/ (Nasa, n.d.).

Sources:

Heather is an undergraduate student at the University of Glasgow, studying Business and Management and Economic and Social History. Out with her studies and The Wall of Justice, she pursues her passion for social justice through volunteering and co-leading a social enterprise project.

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