Addressing a Global Issue –Fall 2015: What Have I Seen, What Have I Done to Take Part?

This will be a short blog. Any collective efforts to make the world a better place for all of us and for future generations have to start with individuals. The purpose here is to attract contributions about some of these individual efforts. I am inviting comments about your experiences and thoughts. The comment can take the approach of trying to convince somebody to join in a certain collective effort, or can speak to your own actions – reporting which strategies worked and which didn’t. It can address an article or book you’ve read, or a movie, play or TV program you’ve watched that you think should be shared with others.  Tell us why you are interested in a specific topic, why you want to spread the word about it, how you plan to act on it or share it, and the results that you expect.

Much of what I focus on in this blog revolves around the interactions between humans and our environment, as well as their ramifications. As I continue to stress, many of the challenges that we face today can be framed in these terms. I will ask my students to participate and I am asking all of you to do so too. I will send individual email requests to authors who post comments that I find especially interesting, asking them to expand upon their thoughts in the form of guest blogs. I want this to be a lively and engaging discussion!

Please make sure that your comments are labelled with your real name and email and a short description of your background as it relates to your comment. The objective here is to relate the global issue that you want to address with your personal activity and interests.

About climatechangefork

Micha Tomkiewicz, Ph.D., is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics, Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. He is also a professor of physics and chemistry in the School for Graduate Studies of the City University of New York. In addition, he is the founding-director of the Environmental Studies Program at Brooklyn College as well as director of the Electrochemistry Institute at that same institution.
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49 Responses to Addressing a Global Issue –Fall 2015: What Have I Seen, What Have I Done to Take Part?

  1. Mia Gomez says:

    Attacking climate change is a collective issue and because of the hugeness if the problem, it can seem overwhelming and daunting for an individual to think about. However, in order to incite any change, we have to begin as individuals, especially us that are lucky enough to live in a country where we can freely make decisions. This issue is something that is important to me and I feel should be important to everyone that lives and breathes and I have begun taking small steps to help combat climate change. My chosen major is urban sustainability which I think is step in the right direction by educating myself to make more informed decisions. I am also trying to move towards a lower waste lifestyle by putting more thought into what I buy and how I use it.

  2. Shahida Abdulsalam says:

    Evaluating anthropogenic contributions to climate change, a whole host of escalating concerns arise. As demonstrated under the current Trump administration, expectations hinging on the success of adaptation measures through a top down effort seem highly unlikely. Scott Pruitt in particular (as head of the EPA) is actively working to dismantle the significance of the EPA, and the legitimation of climate change as both as domestic and global/universal issue. Discrediting scientific institutions, stripping accessibility to resources, and gutting grants are but a few of the direct consequences with Pruitt heading the EPA. What little had been achieved concerning general awareness of climate change as a human rights/social justice issue has been rolled back by the current administration in an effort to shift focus in administering legislation that directly benefits large fossil fuel companies and oil distributors. Though clean and green technologies are on the rise and the US populace has been both responsive and supportive of moving towards sustainable forms of energy, the larger systemic implications vis a vis the current administration. While clear boundaries lie at the future of clean and green technologies, resistance in opposition to the virulent ideological extremity of the Trump administration persists.

    Given the barriers that lie ahead for the fight against climate change, I personally have committed myself to joining the struggle for climate justice by joining grassroots movements and social justice coalitions that actively transgress against the narrative of climate change as insignificant. Specifically, I’ve worked extensively with the Democratic Socialists of America (the local NY chapter under YSA) to contribute to and organize collective efforts/movements that speak to the the implications of climate change on a global scale. As I’ve gathered from examining the multitude of forces at work that intensify the effects of climate change, it became clear how crucial these ground swell movements are to encourage and incite change locally and regionally. Mitigative strategies from the bottom up sustain and facilitate the collective forces of a city, state, region, and country at large. While our current President insists on challenging our sense of democracy signing legislation that seeks to strip away our civil liberties as a nation, it becomes our responsibility on the individual (micro-level) scale to collect, organize, and express our right to democratic process and further, America’s responsibility on the world stage. Our actions parallel the US’s presence and commitment to the world on a global level; to validate the addressing of climate change, it becomes the responsibility of the individual to embody these beliefs and organize collectively to fight the larger systemic forces at play.

    Further, the application of mitigation strategies to lower my own energy consumption has been a pivotal change from me to live the ideological position I speak. Given my ecological/Marxian leanings, the praxis of lowering energy consumption on the individual level is crucial to committing oneself to the fight against climate change, and to raise awareness on a local/regional level. Specifically, I have made it a point to limit my energy consumption in my apartment, and have also spoken with my roommates about the need to embrace a more energy efficient approach in our apartment. To encourage more radical changes, I paired my discussion of limiting water use, heat/air conditioning with the economic benefits (mainly, lowering our overall water, electricity, and natural gas bill). Minor adjustments, like making sure not to run the ac with doors/windows open, leaving the water running to soak dishes (replacing with dishwasher use), and double checking that kitchen equipment is turned off properly are all steps taken that have worked to limit both my personal and the overall apartment’s energy consumption. I have also encouraged my roommates to recycle garbage, laying out separate containers for sorting recyclable materials.

    While the mitigative approaches to climate change may appear minimal, they initiate an awareness of ecological responsibility and individual empowerment. As an advocate of marginal struggle and universal equality, the embrace of addressing the ecological crises at hand remains central to global struggle for the planet. Embodying these beliefs through political discourse, educational advocacy, and organizing collective action elevate the stakes of human rights and social justice locally, regionally, and globally. To commit to a theory of praxis, ecological justice must circulate varying discourses, centering on an intersectional approach to environmental issues as a universal movement.

  3. Janeth Macancela
    May 16, 2017

    CORC 3302 MW12

    I first began to take an interest in climate change when I saw the movie The Day After Tomorrow. Since 2004 I have tried to learn as much as possible about what will happen to Earth if we keep our wasting lifestyle that we have been accustomed to. Documentaries such as “An Inconvenient Truth” and the most recent one “Before the Flood” inspire me to be aware of how I can help by recycling, installing energy efficient light bulbs, preaching to my parents of the need to recycle tuna can, egg cartons, milk cartons, etc. One particular person I seem to have gotten through is my younger sister who makes sure we don’t waste water which I sometimes do unconsciously while washing my teeth (I don’t know why but hearing the water is just so peaceful). She makes sure we closed all the waters properly before falling asleep. I have also taken other steps in trying to minimize waste especially plastic waste like buying things that are not in plastic, not eating beef until the summer when I just cannot avoid it in BBQs, not leaving any electronics charging at night and informing little kids whom seem to want to listen more than adults about what they can do to help bring change.

  4. Ananda Johnson says:

    What have I seen, What Have I done?

    What have I seen? In general, from what I have seen, I know that Global Climate Change is real, and that we, as the people of the world can either slow it down or speed it up.

    What have I done? I would consider myself and my family environmentally conscious. I have lived through the California drought, seen plastic In the ocean, and just stray trash floating around the streets of New York. I think that to some point, most of the environmental challenges we are facing are preventable, or at least made less severe.

    I spent 90% of my life living in the San Francisco area of California. I was fortunate to live in an area that had local laws and rules that supported the environment. For example, plastic bags at the super market were banned, and I grew up bringing my own bags. This has been a continued habit since moving to New York. The recycling program in my area was also rather intense, Glass, Plastic, Aluminum, Paper, Food Waste, Yard waste, and garbage all separated into their respective bins for pick up. Even though New York’s Recycling system leaves something to be desired, my family still takes recycling and reducing packaging waste fairly seriously. I think that product packaging is on of the main causes of trash in this country. Another example of how my family takes action to reduce this harmful trash is to shop at places like the Park Slope Food Coop, where they offer food and products that are environmentally conscious, as well as offering a large range of bulk food items that have no packaging at all. While prepackaged food is convenient, this is something that we can take action on by our purchasing patterns and encourage companies to alter or reduce their packaging.

    Something I’m proud of is my family’s interest in helping the planet. In particular, my sister puts me to shame in the environmental department. As an Environmental Studies and Biology double major at SUNY Purchase, she leads her school’s Green Team. She organizes Earth Day festivities, ect. One major project she has been working on the past year is to convince her peers to ditch plastic water bottles and use reusable bottle instead. In an effort to convince her classmates, she had the water at the school tested to prove that the water was just as safe to drink as bottled water. Unfortunately the testing revealed high lead levels in the water. Lead is very dangerous to us and the planet. Discovering the lead in the water supply caused her to lead a crusade, for lack of a better word, to solve this problem. This process involved lawyers and lead to a resolution that requires all SUNY schools to look into their water system, and do regular testing, and appropriate pipe flushing. The recent email we received as students of Brooklyn College called ” water testing in James Hall” is a direct result of her efforts.

  5. Josue Acevedo says:

    Josue Acevedo

    When the topic of climate change comes up people mostly don’t know about how they themselves are effecting the issue. I my self can say that before I knew about how much energy I consumed on a daily basis, or about the amount of water wasted on an hour long shower the issue of climate change never really crossed my mind. It is very difficult for people to change there life styles because there concerns are always only for there life issues, the idea that if they themselves change a few of there life habits which would then help the environment is very difficult since the argument to that is always “I am just one person of many so how does my actions have any weight to them”. I believe once everyone understands that this planet is are only home and that caring for it means caring for our future then more people will began to get involved; Unfortunately until that time even the smallest change in ones daily life could help for example switching your house/Apartments light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps which use less energy. If possible large houses should invest in solar panels if there home receives large amounts of solar exposure throughout the year. Maybe even reducing the time in the shower or the amount of personal time used to watch tv. At the end of the day any effort in attempting to conserve energy is a good one.

  6. Lauren Batthany says:

    In order to reduce my carbon footprint on Earth a few changes were needed. First, the use, and overuse of my car contributes to polluting the earth with various toxins, especially carbon dioxide. To minimize this I will walk, and take public transportation more frequently to eliminate the excess waste I am responsible for by using my car. This will be very easy for me to change especially through the spring, summer, and fall seasons.
    Second, I had put surge protectors throughout my house to reduce electricity use. However, I hadn’t realized that by not turning the power on the surge protector off when it’s not in use I wasn’t doing anything to reduce production of carbon from my appliances. So, from now on I will be shutting the power to my surge protectors when they’re not in use.
    Finally, I have invested in the change of all my household light bulbs to go green fluorescent ones. Although, this is a small change, it adds up in reducing my carbon footprint, and every little bit helps. I believe the reason people don’t take global warming, and climate issue’s seriously is because the damage done is hard to see in a short period of time. This gives people the idea that they don’t have to do anything sheerly because it will not affect them in their lifetime. Also, most people don’t want to believe their lifestyle choices are the reason for the extinction of species, and the deterioration of the Earth. Until the damage is too close to home, the destruction will continue as somebody else’s problem. By no means am I the poster child for carbon control, but these small changes can have a big difference in preserving the Earth a little longer, and I’m happy with that.

  7. Darian Chu says:

    What have I seen and what I have done about global warming? I’m going to start off with what I have seen about global warming. Global warming is real and has already been established that it is happening. The storms that we have been experiencing have shown signs of increased rainfall and fluctuation of temperatures proves this. It’s an issue that affects every single person on this planet and will affect future generations to come. I can’t predict how future generations are going to prevent global warming or if they will but I do know that if we come together now we can make an impact on preventing global warming. Little things like recycling and carpooling can really make a difference. I have been recycling since I have been in high school which was five years ago and encourage everyone in my household to do the same. Every little thing counts because in the end they add up. If we come together as a community and start recycling which we already have we are already doing our part but we can make a bigger impact if we enforce these rules then we can really get people in the habit of recycling so that it becomes second nature.

  8. Jon Ehlers says:

    This Energy Use and Climate Change class, paired with my major of Urban Sustainability has brought me back to a mindset I carried in my teens and early 20’s. A desire to inspire people into feeling less burdened or preemptively defeated by the prospect of caring for the environment. I wanted to encourage people to embrace the responsibility of things like reducing their carbon footprint or participating in Earth Day events. As time went on, I moved away from this way of thinking, not by choice. Through academia, I have rediscovered what I lost track of over the last 10 years. I am pleased to see that their have indeed been a lot of victories, but a long road lies ahead.

    Being that I am only one person, I am starting small in accordance with my current lifestyle. I drive a lot for my job, so I have become mindful of how long I idle for or how hard I am pressing into the gas when I don’t need to be on a highway. I have never before considered changing my lightbulbs with eco-friendly ones or monitoring my non-device electricity use in general, now I do. I don’t leave my phone charging overnight when I know it’ll be full in just a few minutes, I’ll also unplug the charger.

    I am hoping to lead by example and discover effective ways that I can impact mankind’s effort to slow down the brunt of their existence on the earth. My education in Urban Sustainability is Step One.

  9. Jamie Mullings says:

    Climate change has been a serious issue for decades and counting. Ways to mitigating climate change has been taking into consideration. However the problem still occurs. The way I view it is once the government focuses on the economy and factories than their will barely be change. All cars should be smart cars/ hybrid would help. Cutting down less trees just to make paper will also help. we need more trees in the united states. The U.S. is the filthiest country Solar energy should help as well. The less electricity we use the better. Leave less gasses to be trapped. recycling properly sounds beneficial. lets noot polute our water earth or air.

  10. Nyssa Benitez says:

    Many regions are suffering of droughts and dry lands that face increasing water scarcity. One of the climate change indicators is about the Annual Freshwater withdrawals. Some action that we can take to reduce climate change can be making water properly managed. This indicator of climate change indicates the withdrawals of water can be significantly reduced if we can develop the ability to make better management on the resources that that we mostly depend. The amount of water we use during our daily lives include drinking water, showering, public use such as public bathrooms, industrial, agricultural and sanitation purposes. Many countries do not have the fortune of having water available to them as we have here in the United States. They are living a life of difficulty due to this lack of water that we have become dependent on because of its availability whenever we need it. We are not accustomed to live without water and it is not possible to survive without water. We must take care of the little fresh water that remains on earth and use the water we have wisely and with better management. Water is needed for the development of societies and future societies to come especially with the continuous increase of population. More and more people will have access to the water and we must educate ourselves on how to use this water wisely. Some ways we can work on to reduce the amount of freshwater withdrawals is by reducing the amount of water we use to shower, flush, and wash our hands by using low water flow systems installed into out bathrooms. We can also reduce the number of products unless they are reusable since water in vital in the production of most things we use. You can also check to see if there are any leaks around your house or business. Reusing some water in a business can also reduce the amount of water consumption that we use. The little actions we take will have a drastic change in the amount of water we save if each person puts in their part especially if we consider the population amount that we have on Earth, it is possible to save a huge amount of water.

  11. Nyssa Benitez says:

    Changes in weather conditions are due to the natural causes and human activity that disrupt the earth’s natural processes. Many regions are suffering of droughts and dry lands that face increasing water scarcity. One of the climate change indicators is about the Annual Freshwater withdrawals. Some action that we can take to reduce climate change can be making water properly managed. This indicator of climate change indicates the withdrawals of water can be significantly reduced if we can develop the ability to make better management on the resources that that we mostly depend. The amount of water we use during our daily lives include drinking water, showering, public use such as public bathrooms, industrial, agricultural and sanitation purposes. Many countries do not have the fortune of having water available to them as we have here in the United States. They are living a life of difficulty due to this lack of water that we have become dependent on because of its availability whenever we need it. We are not accustomed to live without water and it is not possible to survive without water. We must take care of the little fresh water that remains on earth and use the water we have wisely and with better management. Water is needed for the development of societies and future societies to come especially with the continuous increase of population. More and more people will have access to the water and we must educate ourselves on how to use this water wisely. Some ways we can work on to reduce the amount of freshwater withdrawals is by reducing the amount of water we use to shower, flush, and wash our hands by using low water flow systems installed into out bathrooms. We can also reduce the number of products unless they are reusable since water in vital in the production of most things we use. You can also check to see if there are any leaks around your house or business. Reusing some water in a business can also reduce the amount of water consumption that we use. The little actions we take will have a drastic change in the amount of water we save if each person puts in their part especially if we consider the population amount that we have on Earth, it is possible to save a huge amount of water.

  12. Liza Rodriguez says:

    Climate change is an issue that not only this generation is dealing with but the future generation will also have to deal with. Many of our animals are becoming extinct because they are unable to adapt to certain changes in climate. Big industries burning fossil fuels causes large amounts of pollution. Pollution not only enters the air but enters our soil and waters. Not only does pollution affect our animals but it affects us human beings too and our development.
    As I grow older, I start to think about my future and the future of my future children. it saddens me that my children won’t be able to see many of the animals who are alive today because they are close to becoming extinct. To help my planet, I will always depose garbage in the appropriate location and never in our parks and beaches. My partner and I would like to live off the grid and use solar/wind or even water turbines (if we live by the water) to supply us with the energy necessary for our home. My partner and I also are big bikers and enjoy riding our bikes to places around the city. Using alternative transportation alone may greatly impact our change in climate. We are aware that this process takes time to actually be able to see any change but we are determined to start now before it is too late.

  13. Naquel Stevens says:

    My first thought when I hear Climate Change I think of how the Earth becomes warmer and never really about any of the components that go into the effects of Climate Change. Climate Change should be taken into a more serious matter and more widely discussed early on in education. If bringing attention about the effects it will have not only on the Earth but us as a human race this can cause more people to involved. Understanding the importance of Climate Change can hugely shift our thought process into making our choices beneficial to future generations.

    Noticing the small effects that Climate Change and how energy is currently having on our lives raises my awareness and only wanting to spread how very real this situation is. Personally I take small efforts in making a change, saving energy in my own house by keeping outlets unplugged. I believe that change has to begin somewhere and bringing the awareness to friends and family, although a small effort, can make a huge difference.

  14. Elsy Ruby says:

    I believe waste is an important factor that many people don’t contribute to. Garbage has grown 11.2 billion meter tones of solid waste around the world. We all know that garbage produces illnesses, infection, ground water pollution and GHG emission etc. A way to reduce waste is by recycling. I believe recycling is a way to have a cleaner earth and a greener future. Years from now they have started providing recycle bin in school, stores and on streets.

    As a student teacher I have learned to recycle certain things that can be re-used for art activity in the day care where I work. At home I save the egg carton, bottles or any type of paper, etc. My family re-used certain food that comes in packages of good quality. For example, some coffee come pack in a glass jar. We can re-used the glass jar to put sugar, beans or anything else. We as a whole should recycle and remanufacture as much as possible for a durable earth and a healthy earth.

    Another problem that needs to be fix is agriculture waste. Reducing agriculture waste provides a greener future. Nearly 50% of the food produce is lost through crops loss and waste during storage. I used to work at fresh-direct for 5 years. During those years the company piled 20 boxes of wastes food. For example, potatoes chips would rip off easily or cereal boxes would bend and for those types of damage it will be thrown away. But since a lot of food was being thrown away the company started donating. The company also started to sell the damage food to their own employees on a good deal. There were some employees who would eat the damage product without permission. Honestly, who would not eat the damage product knowing it was going to be thrown away. It is sad watching how many food is being waste. Therefore, as a whole team we started organizing the items well In order to not damage others food. Also, being careful when grabbing the items to not let it drop. I believe working. as a team we can accomplished lot more.

  15. Eliza Cruz CORC. 3108 says:

    There are several ways that I can mitigate climate change through my own eyes, along with my family. ¬¬¬One way that I can help is reduce my energy use within my household. My family and I can be more aware of making sure we turn off the lights when they’re not being used and make sure to unplug all computers and electronics when they’re not in use. Another way we can mitigate climate change is by walking or taking a bike somewhere. This saves time and money, and less gasoline is being exerted into the air. Another thing we could try doing is recycle more, not even just bottles and cans but electronics as well. We can also start buying appliances that have the energy star rating use less energy than the average appliance. One final thing I think can have a major effect of the mitigation of climate change is when washing clothes don’t use a dryer to dry them, but hang them to dry instead. This will reduce the electricity bill and saves energy.

  16. Aimee Neubauer says:

    It’s difficult to say precisely when I began to notice the effects an accelerated climate change has had on our world, but now I find myself thinking about it every day. Remembering that when I was young, every Halloween was freezing; a decade later I was able to wear my costume without a single layer of warm clothing under or on top of it. All immense amount of information we have at our disposal, documenting the irreversible changes we’ve allowed to happen to our planet; video after video of captured moments of glaciers melting at incredible rates, some even having disappeared entirely, and well before they were ever expected to. Allowing myself to think that in two generations, our world will be physically changed in ways our grandparents couldn’t have imagined, that sits heavy. I don’t have big answers. Every day that I remain on this planet, I’m forced to realize that big answers begin with small steps. Smalls steps lead to different ways of everyday living, adapted ways of viewing our physical world, learning an appreciation for it. That’s where I begin, with small steps. Steps like reminding myself to use energy efficient lightbulbs, appliances, etc. Double check that no lights are left on when no one is home or in need of their use. RECYCLE. RECYCLE. RECYCLE. Recycle any and everything. Even if I’m not sure if it can be, there are resources easily accessed that will provide an answer. Steps like composting, even in a New York City apartment. Not allowing myself to use the plastic bags that all stores give you, but instead carrying my own reusable ones, any and everywhere, just in case. Insulating my home, which helps to prevent drafts from entering; this will help with my heating use and costs. Things easily done like monitoring my water use, and making sure it’s used in an efficient manner. Every single one of the ideas listed above are all minute steps to the giant change that must occur in our energy-driven, wasteful world, but minute steps done by all eventually add up to something powerful. These are all just the tip of the iceberg; the biggest step we can take is to discuss. TALK about climate change. It’s unfortunately there for everyone to see or hear; let’s talk about it. Spread the word. All of those documentaries that are on Netflix, Hulu, etc, WATCH them. Yes, they are depressing, but they’re also useful information. They’re honest, they’re a tool.

    Small steps and talking. Two of the first things we learn as humans. Let’s put them to good use.

  17. Haiqing Yu says:

    The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

    Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

    – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.1

    Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.

    The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.2 Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.

    Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. They also show that in the past, large changes in climate have happened very quickly, geologically-speaking: in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands.3

    The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling:

    Sea level rise

    Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.4
    Image: Republic of Maldives: Vulnerable to sea level rise

    Global temperature rise

    All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880.5 Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. The year 2015 was the first time the global average temperatures were 1 degree Celsius or more above the 1880-1899 average.6 Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.7
    Warming oceans

    The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.8
    Shrinking ice sheets

    The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.
    Image: Flowing meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet

    Declining Arctic sea ice

    Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades.9
    Image: Visualization of the 2007 Arctic sea ice minimum

    Glacial retreat

    Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.10
    Image: The disappearing snowcap of Mount Kilimanjaro, from space.

    Extreme events

    The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.11
    Ocean acidification

    Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent.12,13 This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year.14,15
    Decreased snow cover

    Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier.16

  18. Christina Picone says:

    Climate Change is a topic that I have heard of but not very often. As this course began I started to realize how serious and scary climate change actually is. To think and believe that we as humans are hurting this world is terrible. We all need to work together to try to act against it. Climate Change is very intimidating topic. The most popular cause of the climate change is pollution. Pollution is the most impact cause of climate change. Pollution occurs when the air, soil or water is contaminated. It causes a unbalance in the environment as well. With the population growing, the climate change issue is going to be growing at an even more rapid pace. Bigger population means a greater chance of contamination to the water and air. Driving cars and cooking meals cause the burning of fossil fuels. This contaminates the air which we breathe in which then causes us to breathe in this air which will then lead to more human illness. It is so easy to be able to take simple steps to help prevent climate change. Instead of driving, try walking or even taking public transportation. If driving is the only way to get to a location you can try and car pool to reduce the amount of cars polluting the air. Another simple way to prevent pollution into the water is cleaning up the garbage at the beach. If you notice a plastic bottle or an empty food wrapper just throw it out. It will only take 2 minutes and you are helping the earth. We do not know how long we will have the earth for so we must try and preserve it while we have the chance.

  19. Haiqing Yu says:

    Climate change is a long period of weather change. It usually reflects different periods of temperature, precipitation, and other climate factors. There are many reasons causing climate change including natural activities and human behaviors. In human behaviors, the main issue is the industrial revolution, especially in economy. In addition, fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, land over using, and other human activities make greenhouse gas emissions increasing, which causes global warming. I had read an article about climate change before, which helped me understand what strategies work and which doesn’t about climate change better.

  20. Christina Picone says:

    Climate Change is a big issue that I have not really understood until I took this class. Climate change causes a big scare for us and the future generations. One of the most popular and well known issue is pollution. Pollution is the waste materials that enter our air, water and soil. Not only does it disrupt out ecosystem but our day to day life. Large industries burning fossil fuels causes massive amounts of pollution. We add to this cause of pollution by driving our car, cooking and many other ways. The chemical substances release into the air and this is what we are breathing in cause new illnesses. As a human we need to understand how we are hurting the earth. Water pollution is also causing our marine wildlife to decrease immensely. This is happening because industries and humans are dumping their waste into the water. An example of this is humans leaving garbage at the beach. It is so easy to just bring it to the trashcan near by. What person wants to be laying by the beach with garbage right beside them, that is not a pleasant. These are only some of the issues that are hurting our earth. We can take very simple steps in order to try and make a difference. Instead of driving walk or use a bike. If you are driving long distances try and carpool therefore reducing the amount of cars on the road. If you are a the beach and see garbage, just pick it up and throw it out. It will only take 2 minutes out of your life and you are making a difference although it is small. This course has really opened my eyes to this climate change occurring.

  21. Haiqing Yu says:

    There are many reasons causing climate change including nature and human behaviors. In human factors, mainly reason is because of the industrial revolution, especially economic activities. In addition, fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, land used changing and other human activities, which cause greenhouse gas emissions increasing. This increasing causes global warming. I had read an article about climate change , which help me understand more what strategies work and which didn’t work for climate change.

  22. Mamadou Diallo says:

    Since I learned about global warming and it’s impact on the earth’s climate, I can’t stop thinking about what the people of Fouta Djallon in Guinea conackry farming activities impact on global warming. During the rainy season they cut down the forest and once the cut down trees excluding big trees dries out then they burn it causing lots of co2 in the environment but that also causes precipitation as rain back on soil and fertilizing it. I am not sure if a mitigation cycle or just bad for the environment. Also all the large and wild animals are driven out because of this.

  23. Mamadou Diallo says:

    Since I learned about global warming and its impact on the earth’s climate I can’t stop thinking about the behaviors of the elders in a little village in Guinea (West Africa). In this village the elders are farmers on seasons when there’s most rain falling down. But that’s not the problem, everyone farm but its the burning of the forest that keeps me wondering if its good or bad for the environment. During the rain season they cut the forest down excluding big trees. Once the cut down trees dry they burn them and this helps enrich the soil and all the thousand acres of burned heat rises up precipitate as rain I’m not sure if this is a mitigating cycle or not. This is done for different sections of the forest once every seven years so trees that were cut down grow again during this seven year period. But now all the wild animals are driven out of the forest since their environment is destroyed with fire and there’s no food they can feed on.

  24. Evan Biegel says:

    As a science and mathematics student, it is difficult to believe people who do not regard climate change as a real issue for which there is substantial evidence. At the very least, it should be acknowledged that the Earth has encountered extreme climates in the past, i.e. consider the ice ages. If that is not enough persuasion, as I am sure some people can argue that the ice ages are a hoax invented by other nations, then consider the current reality of extreme storms, for instance, “super storm” Sandy that struck the east coast in the fall of 2012; storms are a reality. However, for those who agree that the current issue regarding climate change is not an opinion, we must consider the potential hazards we may face, such as a rise in the sea level which can force people to settle inland and surrender their towers and hotels in cities like Manhattan to the environment.

    As contributors to the current issue, there are a few things we can do as humans, and I will draw upon my own experiences and ideas for the remainder of this writing. One of the first things I noticed by computing my own energy audit, which is the first thing everyone should do, is that automobiles reliant on gasoline are worse than the average person may think. To make the foregoing claim seemingly palpable, driving to and from school consumes about ten times the amount of energy I consume merely from the combination of my food intake, gasoline and electricity usage and contributes at least four times the carbon footprint of those three combined. After crunching the numbers, sitting in traffic the next day made me realize how many other people are committing the same act as I am; together, this is a major issue (in New York at least). So, what can I do about it? Well, I can take public transportation, which I have in the past, but that still does not solve the issue for the other people on the road. I personally believe that electric vehicles that are completely reliant on solar energy are the answer. Hopefully the solar panel roof on a Tesla to charge the magnificent battery, together with an affordable price for the vehicle, will come true; I am confident that Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk can achieve this goal. Solar energy has the capacity, I think, to change the current climate issue. There is a massive source of energy in the universe, and we are lucky to be as close as we are to it in our galaxy. The Sun can certainly be the solution though we need the right people to harness the energy. However, on a more personal level, I can continue writing to make the issue more prevalent or even work on modeling projects with the programming knowledge I currently maintain. Oh, and I can highly consider leaving the car home half the time.

  25. Kevin Thomas says:

    Climate change not only affects us now, but future generations will also feel the effects of our environmental abuse, fortunately this cycle is reversible but we must do our part as a collective, which carries individual responsibilities. Some of the things that I can do to make a difference may seem small to some, but they will have a huge impact when combined with what everyone else is doing. First I live in a city where public transportation is easily accessible, therefore I can limit my driving to and from school on a weekly basis, I can ride a bicycle in the warm months.
    Hot water consumption is something that i’m personally guilty of because I only take hot showers and boil a kettle full of water to make one cup of coffee, but if I alternate between hot and cold showers and only boil just enough water for my coffee, not only will I save money, but I will drastically reduce the amount of energy used as well the amount of energy I waste each day. I recycle, but I’ve been places where recycling is not being taken seriously, and therefore I believe that passing and enforcing laws common to all will pay huge dividends in the future in our effort reduce the effects of climate change/global warming.

  26. Ashley Sakhnovskaya says:

    Climate change has always been an important topic for me, and it entails many things that will impact people all over the world, which is why we need to actively go against it and use our knowledge and experiences to finally put global warming to a stop. One aspect in particular that I believe we can all have an impact on is simply reusing and recycling. These are very simple ways to make a big contribution, and anyone could do it regardless of age, health, or financial situation! In fact, when reusing we are actually saving more money. My entire family likes to recycle and reuse certain things. For example, I have a glass water bottle that I use every day rather than buying plastic water bottle daily. One plastic water bottle costs a dollar while the reusable bottle costs about 5-15 dollars depending where you buy it. However if you buy a plastic water bottle every day for a week, that already amounts to 7 dollars, and in a month will amount to 30 dollars. Clearly, reusing is the best way to go. My sister has three small children, one of them a newborn, just two months old. For her first child, she used to buy diapers that you use once and throw away. When her second child was born, she realized that a better alternative for the environment could be cloth diapers. They’re a bit more expensive and a hassle to use but in the long run could actually save money and certainly benefit the environment. To reduce my carbon footprint, my mother and I don’t drive, we use public transportation wherever we go and do not use Ubers or cabs unless absolutely necessary. When the weather is nice, I even bike to wherever I need to go!

  27. When I first heard about global warming, I did not fully understand its ramifications and effects on the Earths climate. Over time, I discovered the top causes of climate change range across different sectors of human activity and are not just from burning fossil fuels. What I discovered to be the most discouraging is that many of these contributing factors are overwhelmingly influenced by politics and big business. The effort needed to change these policies for a more sustainable future can seem incredibly daunting and hopeless when the bottom line remains in the interests of generating wealth. I’m not discrediting the impact of the major steps that have been made towards change, such as the Paris Agreement, but trying to narrow down a proactive solution as an individual can be challenging. We can start by thinking about how we can integrate the three R’s (reducing, reusing, and recycling) into our daily lives in more ways than one.
    I’ve learned about how much of an impact reducing the consumption of animal products has on the environment and our health. It also greatly effects our most important resources; water, soil, air, and land. In more ways than one, animal agriculture has become a leading contributor to global warming. According to A 2006 study by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide from animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, while transportation exhaust alone amounts to 13%. We’ve all heard that we should save water by reducing our usage in our homes, but we don’t usually hear about how much water is used for the meat in our fridge. As a nation, we consume 5% of our water supply while 55% is used for animal agriculture. On average, it takes about 1,300 gallons of water to produce one burger. A single cow generally drinks 45-60 gallons of water per day. That is an astounding amount of water just for one cow. According to a Stanford Law Journal on animal agriculture, “Animal agriculture consumes on average 55 trillion gallons of water annually—more than 520 times the water used in hydraulic fracturing.”
    Aside from water usage, another major environmental concern with animal agriculture is the amount of rainforest that is depleted each year. With regard to deforestation, the World Bank has found that animal agriculture is responsible for roughly 90% of the razing of the Brazilian Amazon.
    These are some of the major reasons that initiated my transition into a plant based diet. I have also come to find that transitioning has never been easier than it is today. There are so many affordable, plant based alternatives to beef and chicken in our stores that are not only tasty, but much healthier and environmentally friendly. My daily impact towards reversing the effects of climate change is by boycotting the meat industry. I hope that we can all find a way to be proactive in participating towards sustaining a better future for us, our planet, and our generations to come.

  28. Kevin Cortez says:

    Pollution of air, water and soil require millions of years to recoup. Industry and motor vehicle exhaust are the number one pollutants. Heavy metals, nitrates and plastic are toxins responsible for pollution. While water pollution is caused by oil spill, acid rain, urban runoff; air pollution is caused by various gases and toxins released by industries and factories and combustion of fossil fuels. Climate changes like global warming is the result of human practices like emission of Greenhouse gases. Global warming leads to rising temperatures of the oceans and the earth’ surface causing melting of polar ice caps, rise in sea levels and also unnatural patterns of precipitation such as flash floods, excessive snow or desertification.

    Clean energy is renewable energy which doesn’t deplete natural resources or cause environmental harm. Renewable energy includes bioenergy, wind, hydroelectricity, solar and geothermal energy. Electric cars are powered exclusively by electricity instead of gasoline, which is stored in the car’s rechargeable batteries. Hybrid cars use a combination of electricity and gas. The car has an electric motor as well as an internal combustion engine. This allows the car to use less gas. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most energy efficient products available. Get a home energy audit, many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

  29. Olivia Exama says:

    Climate change is something very important that impacts all of us. There is only one Earth and it is up to us to treat it right so that future generations have the opportunity to thrive. Ways that I am trying to help with climate change are turning the lights off when there is no one in the room, using reusable water bottles instead of the plastic ones, waking to places I can and not driving the car, and recycling whenever I can. Simple things like these can help save the planet and prevent global warming from happening. If everyone took the time to practice climate saving actions then maybe climate change wouldn’t be that big of an issue. Ways that you can help the planet are try to re-use anything you can, stop using Styrofoam because it can’t be recycled, adjust the thermostat when you aren’t home so that you are not wasting any extra energy, use those reusable bags when you go to the supermarket, etc. You don’t necessarily have to do all of them but just making the effort to do one can have a big impact on the world.

  30. Bomin Kim says:

    Currently, I am majoring in Earth and Environmental Studies in Brooklyn College in hopes that I can secure a career within Environmental sciences. Already I reflect on my personal choices with the reflection of environmental and humanity benefits. The reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle motto already become second nature. I try to buy things with in mind it’s reusability and how will my choices will impact others. I will try to repair many of my electronics before I decide to take them to the recycling center. If I do buy disposable items, I questioned are these items biodegradable or recyclable. My all in one soap and facial wash are biodegradable. I tend to have hoarding tendencies where I hope to reuse what most people consider junk for other uses. I have made costumes and costume props from leftover fabrics and packaging cardboard. However since I live in an apartment in New York City, my options are limited. I cannot make a compost bins, gardening, etc.
    Another mantra I have picked up over time, leave no trace. This motto practiced by Bureau of Land Management, United States of Forestry, and National Park Service. I have traveled in area where leave no trace is paramount in order to preserve the land. When I do camp or hike, I force myself to follow this mantra. I carefully pack my supplies and figure out where to go to the bathroom, how to minimize trash, and where am I going. These questions force me figure out how to minimize my impact around me. This personal exercise helps to engage others on personal level and help others to understand how to minimize their own lives.
    As a daughter of immigrant parents, my parents came to the country for better financial opportunity for myself. They believed that as a woman, I would have better equal opportunity in the US than in Korea. They both grew up when Korea was considered a developing country, whereas now the country is considered developed and in some ways technological infrastructure such as the internet speed has surpassed United States’ infrastructure. This happened relatively in small period of time. Samsung and LG has become a behemoth in tech world. My dad has said that his family were the first to have television and people in the neighborhood would amass to watch television in his house. There would be twenty to thirty people cramped in the room in order to latest korean soap opera. Today, Korean drama and films has seen a huge increase and become a cultural phenomenon across asia and even to the western part of the world. Even though I grew up largely in the United States. I came to this country when I was a toddler. I had access to first hand accounts that told stories of developing world and access to korean news. I also have first hand accounts of New York City history during the 70s and 80s where my dad side of the family started to immigrate to this country. I always considered my family history interesting history and I am very proud of that. I hope that in understanding my own family account of developing world, I can also understand and perhaps even help current developing countries woes.
    I mentioned earlier that I hope to secure a career in environmental sciences. However, I do not know what specific path to take. I hope to do well in my undergrad studies in order to attend master programs. I am unsure what master programs to follow and within my head, I am at a crossroad between two paths. Whether the path is to continue the environmental science for master and hopes in becoming environmental scientist in specializing GIS programs, or law school and hopes in becoming environmental law and policy. The main difference in my opinion, former informs policymakers and global citizens, and the later creates the policies that dicates nations, businesses, and citizens. The worlds and its inhabitants needs both to continue survival in this globalized world. My focus on undergrad studies is to become science literate. That scientific literacy is needed more than ever. This statement does not necessary mean that we need more scientists, but rather general populace needs to be able to fact check, to understand scientific papers, and to question with reason and heart. The lure towards law schools stems from a need for policymakers and lawyers to understand science. That science is not based on the whim of people, but observation and careful analysis that lead to closest possible understanding of the truth. The people, who will create policies and law, needs to be able understand science. What will I do to change the world? I will try to find the truth or best possible conclusions, and to make reasoned and unbiased decisions based on factual information. Thus by doing this, no matter what path I take, I can better mankind and my ecological surroundings.

  31. Jeannie Muglia says:

    The fact of burning fossil fuels, leading to increased greenhouse gasses and inevitably leading to a warmer world has been known now for centuries. Now, the effects of our actions are becoming painfully more evident, yet we’re still on the same track, doing little to guide ourselves and future generations to a healthier planet. Instead, we’re still pumping out some 30 billion tons of CO2 into our atmosphere per year. Climate change is not a hoax or a controversy, but a fact, and it’s effects are noticeable right here in the United States. States like California and Texas are experiencing unnatural droughts and heatwaves, causing not only environmental strains, but economic strains as well. When actually talked about, the facts are pretty terrifying. An increased rise in sea level will only lead to coastal cities and entire islands to become submerged. This is just one of the alarming realities facing us. The turn into a “greener” world will happen inevitably, but it’s necessary that these changes start happening now, before we can’t fix what we’ve done. The reason so many people are unconcerned about this pressing issue is because it’s not immediate, and it’s never happened in history before. So, it’s important to do your part and do the basic things that will reduce CO2 emissions: carpool, walk, take public transit, recycle, reduce waste, be aware of the impact you’re making on this planet. Equally as important, educate yourself on these scary realities to provide yourself a more tangible idea of what’s really happening to our Earth. Once you’ve done this, share your valuable information with as many people as you can. When you make these lifestyle changes, those around you will be more influenced to follow in your footsteps.

  32. Steven Hammer says:

    Climate change is an issue that I care about. In the winter of 2006, I noticed how it didn’t snow as often as it in the previous year. I asked my science teacher about it and she told me that it was because of the pollution in the atmosphere. That influenced me to learn more about global warming and climate change. My personal journey to become a greener person began after learning about climate change for the first time. I started to set my personal electronics onto settings that would reduce battery consumption so that they wouldn’t need to recharge often. Later during my middle school and elementary school careers, I learned ways to become part of the solution. In mid-2009, my 7th grade science teacher told my class to partake in the Earth Hour event. During that event, one is to turn off the lights in their house for an hour in an attempt to save energy. The following year, I began to reduce my meat-consumption after learning how many resources to took to produce it and how much pollution it caused. In the summer of 2014, I completely gave up eating meat. I managed to find other ways to reduce my impact on climate change. I print on both sides when possible, take public transportation, and turn off the lights whenever I’m the last person to leave a room in my house. I also use a refillable water bottle in order to save plastic. I try to make a difference online. I use my social media to spread awareness of climate change by uploading links to petitions.

  33. Ballama Mai Moussa says:

    The desertification in Niger
    I am from Niger a country in west Africa.75 percent of the country is desert. Most of the cooking is done with dry wood. everyday the tiny population of trees are cut to provide people with the wood for their cooking. it is not helping at all. the trees protect us from the advance of the desert. I remembered when i was young during holidays i visited my village. 90 percent of Niger population are farmers. I used to help my auntie farming. My village is already situated in East Niger that is completely desert the piece of land that was used for farming is gone. My village is about to be extincted. We don t have good policies in place to reverse the catastrophe of big magnitude.

  34. Mai Moussa Ballama says:

    global warming is real, the problem of desertification in Niger!
    I am From Niger, a country in west Africa. unfortunately, my country is one the poorest country on earth. 90 percent on top of that is desert. Farming is the main preoccupation of the population. almost everybody is farmers. Due to our geological position its rains only 3 months during the year,sometimes barely. we have lost a lot cultivable land due the desert.i still remembered during holidays i used to visit my village in East Niger , since farming is done by everyone i help my aunt doing so . now at this moment , there none of these land.everything disappeared. the whole village is on the point to be extinct. non far from Goudoumaria that’s my village “lac chad” used to be present. now it doesn’t. with almost 90 percent of the population farmers agriculture is not sufficient. To survive we need help from the developed world. it is getting worst and worst. but there is always hope when there is good policies are in place. we can fight back to regain our land taken by , Sahara, Tal , all these are desert. big junk of sand. By planting trees we can reclaim our lands.

  35. wenchu su says:

    Air pollution in Beijing, China: What is causing the smog?
    Background Information
    Every year, outdoor air pollution kills more people worldwide than malaria and HIV combined. In China, people particularly in larger cities, are some of the most affected, since the country’s rapid economic growth has come at the cost of air quality. Beijing has suffered serious air pollution for many years. The primary sources of pollutants include exhaust emission from five million motor vehicles, coal burning in neighboring regions, and dust storms from the north and local construction dust. In recent years, smog occurs frequently in many areas of China. According to the report of Beijing weather monitoring, in 2013, the eastern part of China has suffered several large-scale continuous fog and haze. By 4pm Friday the Air Quality index in Beijing reached 470, with anything over 300 considered severe pollution, while in neighboring Hebei province Dangerous PM2.5 particles climbed above 500 micrograms per cubic meter, forcing the Chinese authorities to issue an “orange” warning. According to The World Health Organization’s recommend expose is 25. PM2.5 particles lodge deep inside the lungs and are considered the most dangerous kind of air pollution to human health (RT News).
    Haze often occurs when dust and smoke particles accumulate in relatively dry air. When weather conditions block the dispersal of smoke and other pollutants they concentrate and form a usually low-hanging shroud that impairs visibility and may become a respiratory health threat. Fuel combustion can result in dense haze, which is known as smog. Many media have reported that Beijing smog makes city unlivable because of its noxious smog. Smog reduces visibility, increased highway closed and flights were delayed or canceled. Even, it causes diseases by biological body, such as asthma. Moreover, it will increase cancer risk if people absorb toxic metals such as smoke carcinogens. Therefore, Beijing air pollution has become a hot topic of discussion. This research focuses on the characteristics and effect of coal, gasoline, and diesel, but also discuss how to improve Beijing’s air quality.

    In order to protect our environment and ourselves, we should strengthen comprehensive control to reduce pollutant emission. In haze weather, the primary pollutant is fuel and all kinds of emission from residents. It is very necessary to use high efficiency energy saving furnace, and ban the use of high-polluting fuel, such coal. Since energy crisis and environmental problems have become more prominent, making use of new energy vehicles, and promoted as the future direction of the car. Use energy-conserving (EC) grade motor oil. Moreover, in order to protect environment, we can give priority to cycling, walking and public transport. In cities, we can create priority lanes or express lanes for buses. Encouraging people takes buses and rides bicycles, or join carpool or vanpool to get to work.
    The most serious air pollution in Beijing is mainly from coal burning, vehicle exhaust emission, concrete manufacturing, metal smelting industry emission, as well as urban road traffic. In addition, O3 and SO2 could not be ignored. High temperature and relative humidity conditions in summer accelerate the transformation of air pollutants, which results in high concentration of O3. While in winter, high demand of coal consumption leads to the dramatic increase of SO2 concentration. Due to the damages such as human health, vegetation and materials, caused by these air pollutants, the municipal government of Beijing should pay more attentions to this aspect.
    To reduce the air pollutants in Beijing, a more reasonable transportation system should be implemented. This leads to the reduction of air pollutants from vehicles. Moreover, public transportation like bus, and subway should be encouraged, when the usage of public transportation is at an increasing trend, trips by private cars are at a decreasing tendency, and then the emissions from vehicles reduced. Finally, set up Green Planning is also important because it control the air quality in Beijing. Trees can absorb air pollutants and provide people with fresh air.

  36. Damani David says:

    I try to walk as often as possible, Compost veggie peelings, re-cycle as much as possible (wine/water bottles, boxes, newspapers etc.), turn off water and electricity when not in use. I also volunteered my time tobe apart off the People’s Climate March in New York Sept. 21st 2014. Having a strong passion for the conservation of the Environment, I would ask close friends to cut back on smoking since it contributes to air pollution. I will definitely continue tobe an advocate for the environment because people need tobe aware of the dangers they’re actually causing to the environment without knowing it. And lastly, being apart of an Environment club planting a tree every year has become my way of “Giving back to the Earth.”

  37. Cesar De La Cruz says:

    Unfortunately I don’t have any movie, book, or article to share with you guys. For I just recently watched “an inconvenient truth”, in our class. Which I recommend anyone and everyone with a caring bone in their body to watch it. It is super informative film. What I can offer is experience. In 2009 I visited my mothers country of the Dominican Republic. If you never been you should for it is beautiful. It is beautiful because the people take pride in keeping it that way. Every morning the yards are cleaned. Neighbors help neighbors collect and consolidate all the recyclables for the garbage truck in the form of a pick up truck to swing by to collect them. Yes, this country is a third world country. Really far behind in economical technology but you won’t get a piece of gum stuck on the bottom of your shoes. Collectively the population made an impact on its pollution. It also influenced my family to do a better job back here in the states with our garbage. We now have multiple bins with the correct labels to handle our garbage. After comparing the air quality and overlook if the two cities; we need this change to happen.
    If you guys would like to see the differences but can’t make a trip out to see this island, youtube offers a lot of videos. Try and stray away from commercialized ones for they lack everyday life experience of the people that call the little island of the Dominican Republic home.

  38. Nataliya Balkova says:

    As we know glob warming is increasing and its changing out climate. The temperatures is many different places change dramatically due to many human activities that triggers the changes. It can stopped and changed by human if we take actions into play. An Individual person releases more then 10, 000 pound of carbon .We can reduce the use of old , gasoline and electricity use around the home. Greenhouse is the largest use of electric power which effect global warming. I have many home appliances running at home at all times i staring taking them out of outlets while leaving the home and try to use as less of electrify as possible .At day time if you have windows at home open the curtains instead of using the light at home.The sun is a powerful natural energy light. In our hot summers a lot of air condition is being used. Air conditions use a lot of energy and electricity instead of use the AC its better to install ceiling fans they consume way less the use of electricity. I have a thermostats at home in summer i usually let it run all day and night long to keep my room cool, but now instead i set it up as timer so save money and to help save the world. We can also save energy by driving less and using public transpiration , walking or riding a bike. I walk much more now its a great workout and also less car pollution for others. Also try to eat more vegetables and fruits this way you can be healthy and help to reduce the use of energy . I love grocery shopping now when i go i ry to stay away from meats and fish the food that needs to be kept refrigerated because then the refrigerator will use much more energy to keep the food from getting bad. Instead buy food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated this way you can help yourself and the planet.

  39. Denis Ladyzhensky says:

    Everyone would agree that behind any great change is a great need and climate change is certainly no different. I think it is fair to say that climate change might do more to bring the world together than practically anything besides major wars. It seems like anytime humanity is face to face with some unconquerable beast, we always try to run, swim or climb to the highest point. But when we tire of that we realize that our territory and our peace of mind are all that we have. We simply can not run forever. And why should we? The potential for filling a major need in society seems very promising. Helping the Earth, protecting our ecosystems, ensuring comfortable, liveable spaces during our children’s lifetime all seem like great reasons to jump on the climate change wave. And we don’t even know what possible impact we could have: it might be simple or it might be Earth saving. But what we do know is that it is in OUR hands to face it. That’s why I think we all have a responsibility to admit that this is a challenge, that it does require everyone’s cooperation and that we have to provide market incentives to get the smartest and most talented people working on solutions. If we do that we have a chance to reverse course and to keep our planet afloat in a healthy way, otherwise we are left to discover how scary things might really get.

  40. Lucy Kalinin says:

    Environment is a dynamic system responsive to chemical changes. Without giving much thought where our products are coming from and where our garbage will end up, we order our products. At this time I mainly focus my actions on studies in hopes to become a good engineer and be able to advance work on sustainable cities. The first action step in my opinion should be talking with your inner circle about science of climate change. Be the change you want to see in the world and educate people around you. Come to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd! I will be volunteering with American Chemical Society and there many other organizations with ideas on how to raise awareness about preserving earth that you may want to join.

  41. Fatimah Alrashdi says:

    There is a strong relationship between humans and the environment. We must contribute to maintain a healthy environment to increase the quality of life. But that does not happen if people do not care about it. So we should raise the awareness of being in a health environment among people as much as we can. For me, my responsibility as mom to teach my kids how to make the environment healthy and clean because they will be the next generation so they should care about that since they are small then that attention will grow up with them by the time. They should know that there are many factors effect the environment like the quality of food water and air. Actually the most thing that makes me upset when I walk in a street with my kids and see people who surround us are smoking. It is really make me concerned because that it is not only hurt the person who do it but also hurt my kids and other people who inhale the smoke. We should aware people of the negative effects of smoking. I know most people know about the negative impacts of smoking on their health and the environment as well but some of them do not care. Poor air quality leads to death, cancer and many diseases. This concern increased when I live in New York City. A big city, crowded of people and different transportation I live in this city for some reasons but I will not live in it for ever. My plan is to move away from industrial, polluted and very noisy city to the quit, fresh air and nice city because I want my children to grow up healthy and well educated people.

  42. Dhoha Alshalawi says:

    How to make the world a better place? Well that a big question. As we know wastes in general are one of the main reasons of pollution. The responsibility in reducing the huge amount of the wastes is on human. I want to talk about my contributions to reduce wastes that fall under my responsibility which divided into individually and as scientist. First of all, my individual responsibility toward making the environment around me a better place is begin with appreciation of the relation between me as human being and the environment. In early age, my family decided to move from a big city, which is the Capital of Saudi Arabia, to small city. I realized how much that has a big impact on my body not only physically but also mentally in a good way. I could visualize how important to live in a healthy environment in contrast to polluted and crowded environment. So, I step up and try to reduce my daily garbage (food~ leftover bread I feed it to the birds in my backyard, using recycle bag to separate soda cans and bottle water from each other, and reduce electronic devices that I use because electronic has a short life time and always renewed. My other responsibility is as physics graduate student by using my education and interest in certain research that one of the energy source and reduce tones of the waste. What I am interesting on is the research of prof. Karl Sandeman assistance professor in Brooklyn College. His research summarize in his profile which is the link below. What specifically interesting for me, is the using of magnetic cooling as efficient use of energy in cooling devices such as refrigerator. As result, this technology will decrease using electricity on cooling devises, and extend life time for the devises that use magnetic technology more than regular one.

  43. Ghadeer says:

    I believe that individuals can help to conserve our planet by different and simple ways. One of these ways which I have read about it is worm composting that help to recycle food scraps and turning into natural compost to fertilise plants or backyard . In fact, it isn’t difficult to do this compost; it is needed container, specific kind of worm and food waste with some instruction. As a result of this work the amount of waste will be reduced in the landfill which is good for the environment.

  44. Aeshah says:

    No body denies the relashonship between the hummen being and the environment. Any one influenced by the environment and affect it. The real danger that facing the hummunty is air pollution from car exhaust. We can try to convince people to use
    Puplic transportation rather than their own car that will decrease the environment damage .

  45. Asma says:

    I would like to suggest this documentary to learn about the climate change and its impacts .. ( What Will Happen To Earth In The Future – Global Warming and Climate Change Facts) it is by national geographic it can be found on you tube .

  46. Asma says:

    For me just thinking about climate change makes me deeply worried about the future and people must to play a role to stop it or at least decrease its impacts. Recycling , driving less, and using less electricity for example are simple things people can do but they have significant effects on the environment .

  47. Alharbi, Mai says:

    paying attention to small things make the world more clean and healthy. Throwing gum as an example makes a big problem and effect in the environment and it works like concatenation. when someone throw a gum and bird eat it, the bird might die and when the bird die, it might fall out on a water which makes the water undrinkable. That water could be drunk by human, animals as well as planet which effect the health and it might make a disease. One hand does not clap. We have to work together to make our world better.

  48. Cassandra Borgella says:

    I have always wanted to make the world a better place – especially the environment. So many people in my life have said that it is the little things in life that matter, yet they cannot hold themselves to the same standards. One of the little things I have tried to focus on is littering. Encouraging people to wait for a garbage can is a small, inexpensive, timeless things that will help the environment. But I don’t fully know how to respond to their negativity when my positivity doesn’t win them over. I have faced tis problem often with my sister who seems to not care how her actions can ruin someone else’s future; I don’t know how to make her care.

  49. Bryan Pierre says:

    Back in my younger days of undergraduate study, I took a class that had to do with business images in media. I saw two movies that taught me all that I knew about climate change before taking this class: “An Inconvenient Truth”, and “Who Killed The Electric Car?” The movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was about former Vice President Al Gore’s findings on what climate change was doing to world and the possibilities of what the future was to bring. “Who Killed The Electric Car?” was a documentary about the first electric cars to hit the street and the possibilities of what the electric car could do for the environment and many other things as well. I invite anyone who wants to learn about climate change, or even anyone who already knows a bit about this topic to watch those two movies because those two movies can really raise people’s attention over this important topic.

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