So you might be thinking, how do we protect our planet? Before we can look at that, we need to ask ourselves what are we protecting it from? What’s hurting our planet? Once we know the issues, then we can think about how to tackle it.
Our planet has a natural way of keeping itself warm, called the greenhouse effect. There are certain gases in our atmosphere that help to create a blanket which prevents infrared radiation from escaping, thus making the earth warm. It acts very much in the same way as a greenhouse, where you grow vegetables.
Some of these gases include nitrous oxide, methane (one source is from cows and sheep farting!) and even water vapour. But the most talked about greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide can come from a number of sources; carbon dioxide is released when we, and other animals, breathe out. However, the biggest contributor of carbon dioxide comes from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and petroleum. We burn these to make electricity, to power our cars, or to cook food on the stove. When these fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide is released in the atmosphere. So the more fossil fuels we burn, the more the earth will heat up, and with that comes a changing climate.
There are a lot of different opinions about what’s going to happen in the next 100 years, but it is widely agreed that something needs to be done to slow it down. Something needs to be done now so that, you, the kids of today, can experience all the amazing animals, plants, rainforests and oceans, as adults of the future.
You might think that the changes you and I make are insignificant, and you’re probably right; as individuals it doesn’t seem like much. But once we start influencing the friends around us, and then our families, and then the wider community, the impacts become much more awesome than you realise.
Tell us below about the changes YOU are making!
Captain Planet aka. Lei