The Earth’s Lungs

Erin Harkins, Reporter

The topic of climate change has been a highly discussed topic in the recent years. The CO2 in the air has been on an incline for hundreds of years. Many big changes in the world have caused our CO2 levels to rise. For example, industrial revolutions due to the increase use of factories which need coal and other fuels that let out CO2 into the air, water and atmosphere.

In recent news, the Amazon rainforest was on fire for a few weeks. With the rainforest on fire, it causes a fear of deforestation, the action of clearing a wide area of trees, and since the rainforest is responsible for 20% of the oxygen in the Earths atmosphere, people started to worry. Sometimes, people will cut down patches of forest, let it dry out, then light it on fire to make room for agriculture or other developments, which is called slash-and-burn. Sometimes the fires will also be set to replenish the soil and encourage growth for other things. Slash-and-burn and deforestation are the two main causes for the fires in the forest. Although the rainforest is a huge issue that is affecting our lives due to the decrease in oxygen emission since the fires, the issue of CO2 emission into the atmosphere is what is affecting the future for this planet and the youth.

CO2 is released into the atmosphere by natural processes such as deforestation, like the Amazon rainforest, and burning fossil fuels. Greenhouse gasses such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone are being affected due to human activities. The main effects are rising of the Earths temperature, melting of the glaciers and shifting between wetter and drier regions.

 Some solutions that are possible are reducing/cutting off the use of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gases, and reduce the amount of trees cut down. Greta Thunberg is a 16 year old from Sweden who has traveled around the world and been to many rallies to protest against climate change and to hope it will help politicians to make a change. The NYC strike on September 20,2019 had a turnout of around 250,000 people. Many students joined in on the strike with signs such as, “We’re missing out lessons so we can teach you one.” Greta is fighting to make the world a better place for the youth and pave the way for others to follow in her footsteps.

Climate change is something that is constantly being passed off to the next generation. This generation must start to vote for people who will make a change for our generations and the future generations.