“What I stand for is what I stand on.”
– Wendell Berry, activist
Right on, Mr. Berry! I mean, who would be willing to go and just let the earth wither and die? My name’s Patrick, and I’m just one of the many people hoping to make a change. But being an environmentalist doesn’t mean living in a wooden hut in the forest with no electricity, rather it means taking small steps that help the planet. It also doesn’t mean that you have to stop using your electronic appliances just to help the planet, but it means changing some daily habits that you’ve been doing wrong all along. It matters to me that I help spread awareness about some of the things that are happening to our planet each and everyday, and not only that, but it’s also important to me that we actually help preserve the planet for future generations, something the older generations have failed to do—their ignorance and lack of proper care for our planet has resulted in an uncontrollable amount of pollution and a type of industrialism that has destroyed much of our planet.
Many of our current environmental issues, such as global warming and deforestation, are directly related to our world’s need to industrialize and expand. As our population grows ever so rapidly, there are more environmental issues being introduced each and every day, and with them, a higher load of work for us to fix. Global warming is just one of these issues, and polar ice caps and glaciers are the most affected. As our polar ice caps melt at a steady rate, our polar ice cap gain has decreased to a total of 82 billion tons of ice in 2008. This number is extremely disheartening when compared to the 112 billion tons of ice that existed in 1992, which means that as our planet’s temperature rises, we are losing more and more of the “stored” freshwater trapped inside these ice glaciers, which already make up a whopping 75% of our planet’s remaining freshwater supply.
But is it our fault?
The answer to this question has been debated over the decades, but to put it simply, yes and no. In truth, global warming, as well as many other environmental issues present today, are actually part of natural processes. In other words, global warming may not even be caused by humans. But some say otherwise. Today, you can’t hide the fact that the huge amount of pollution our factories create hurt our atmosphere, and this is obvious. However, this is only partially correct. In the past, our planet had many times when the planet warmed up to biblical amounts, such as after the fall of the Ice Age. Whether or not it’s our fault, it’s still our job to help make a change.
It’s no doubt that our planet is withering, so in my column, I hope to share just some of the environmental conflicts of our time, as well as share solutions that can reverse some of the damage that we have done.
None of us want our home to become a barren wasteland. We all have only one planet, so each of us should take a step to preserve it, especially for our future generations. One person can’t help everyone, but with everyone’s help, we can truly make a difference.