By Sarah Brill, Science & Technology Editor
If you have been following along throughout the year, you might have noticed that all my articles have been centered around the one topic that is little spoken about, yet most pressing; climate change. From the summer of 2019, until that same fall, the climate movement had gained much traction after teenage activist Greta Thunberg started her “Fridays for Future” campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the impact and importance of climate change. Her campaign led many students to skip school and march on Fridays, so that governments around the world would write new climate laws to help better the planet.
After the pandemic hit in 2020, the climate activism and marches ceased. Social media became the old new network to be an activist. Trying to enact change online, however, is difficult. Social media may be a global platform, but there is something to be said about getting outside and physically marching for change. Nonetheless, everything that could be done through social media had been done.
This year, I would say, would be the one year where we didn’t need as many laws around climate changes, since humans were quarantined indoors for the entirety of 2020. This proved extremely beneficial to the environment, as old species came back from extinction. An example of this was the Tasmanian devils. According to National Geographic “These marsupials disappeared from the continent 3,000 years ago.” This lack of human traffic decreased pollution, both on the mainland and into the atmosphere, which contributed to the reintroduction of this species.
If this pandemic taught us anything it is to not take anything for granted, but also to respect the Earth we live on. Unfortunately for the planet, however, in 2021 we are set to see a 5% increase in carbon emissions documenting the “second highest year-on-year increase in history, according to a report published April 20 by the International Energy Agency (IEA)” which only proves proving that humans are impacting the Earth, and only we can make a difference.
Last year, we saw how everything shut down in a heartbeat, not only from the pandemic, but from natural storms as well. Mother Nature does not take kindly to those who use the land like it is garbage. We saw this through the freak set of storms in Texas over the winter, and the multitude of tornadoes that were scattered throughout the South. You might call this weather, but if you ask yourself, have these types of storms happened before? And if you answer no, then maybe call it climate change. Because it is.
All I ask is that out of common courtesy to planet Earth do the bare minimum; don’t dump your garbage on the streets because it is convenient, walk when you can, recycle, use a reusable water bottle, and just do what you can to help the environment, whether you believe in climate change or not. Take little steps to reduce your carbon footprint so we can ensure a brighter and cleaner future on planet Earth.
Photo Source: Fruma Landa