The planet is on the verge of a major transformation. We can see a lot of changes happening around us but it is not always to the best of our interests. Well, we can’t blame Mother Nature if it is making us suffer because of senseless and destructive human activities that wreak havoc on the environment and has even hastened the arrival of climate change. But it is not yet too late. We still have time to correct the error of our ways and salvage what little is left of the planet. It’s not rocket science and you’d be surprised that the solution has been staring you in the face for a long time now.
Many of the things we do today have a negative impact on the planet. Pollution is rampant and our endless need and use of fossil fuels destroy Mother Nature by the minute. The deadly world we now live in is the result of our years of abuse and misuse of resources for our personal gain and without regards to its environmental repercussions. For a positive change to transpire, we should accept it in our hearts that we need help and that we need to make changes big time. All changes aren’t easy but despite the challenges we face, we must unite and persevere because it is human survival on the line.
By eschewing air travel, the pair prevented carbon dioxide emissions of roughly one-half of a metric tonne, and received the Swarovski Optik Green Travel Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, which hosted the meeting. The European branch of the organization is encouraging scientists to shrink their carbon footprints, and Stephanie, now a postdoc studying freshwater conservation at Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France, took the challenge to heart. “I feel contradictory if I’m not making some effort in my own life,” she says.
She is not alone. Although most researchers say that tackling climate change will require large-scale action from nations and corporations, many individuals are trying to do their own parts. “I think it’s important for me as a global citizen,” says Erich Osterberg, a climatologist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He and his family have taken personal steps such as reducing meat consumption and upgrading to high-efficiency appliances at home. He notes that such actions also help climate scientists such as him to ward off accusations of hypocrisy — that researchers talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
The carbon footprint of each nation continually makes the world a hotter place for everyone and it has been discussed in countless scientific meetings and conferences and an agreement has also been signed, acknowledged and observed by most nations in the world. With global warming, it means that the heat can’t escape the planet’s atmosphere and it is trapped here for good, thereby melting polar caps that cause the sea level to rise. Many island nations can possibly disappear from the face of the planet if we don’t try out best to slow down the progression of global warming and climate change today when we still have ample time to do so.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in almost every industry and chemistry is no different.
Green chemistry aims to minimise the environmental impact of the chemical industry. This includes shifting away from oil to renewable sources where possible.
Green chemistry also prioritises safety, improving energy efficiency and, most importantly, minimising (and ideally) eliminating toxic waste from the very beginning.
Important examples of green chemistry include: phasing out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigerants, which have played a role in creating the ozone hole; developing more efficient ways of making pharmaceuticals, including the well-known painkiller ibuprofen and chemotherapy drug Taxol; and developing cheaper, more efficient solar cells.
Climate change is also another issue we can’t just ignore forever. Weather systems have intensified over recent years and have claimed thousands of lives and wiped out many communities. Even though making these changes seem like an impossible task, promoting green and sustainable practices can help us get to where we want years from now and no longer endanger the planet and that of the billions of human lives living in it.
Manufacturing companies should be directed to change their processes and make it more environment-friendly because they produce the biggest chunk of the carbon emitted by most progressive nations. Not making that much of a profit is a small price to pay for saving our world from our ultimate doom.