Global warming is a crippling issue and it’s starting to affect all of us. With all the natural disasters we’ve been seeing lately due to climate change, it’s impossible to ignore the seriousness of it.
Just in the United States alone, according to NASA, heat waves, heavy downpours, rising sea levels as well as flooding have been on the rise in all corners of the country.
We see the same thing happening in South East Asia too - the increase in flooding, overall temperature and the number of thunderstorms we see.
Before we can talk about climate change, we need to first understand the climate and what’s been going on.
What Is Climate?
Climate vs weather - is there even a difference? The weather is essentially the changes we see on a daily basis. For instance, right now, it’s the monsoon season for us. So it’s either always raining one day and we have a completely dry day the next. The weather changes on a daily basis.
Climate is the overall, usual weather of the place. For example, in Malaysia the climate is usually hot and humid.
Different places around the world will also have different climates and the Earth’s climate is what happens when you combine all these climates together.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is when the normal weather of a certain place changes. Weather usually changes in a few hours but climate change can take hundreds or thousands of years to change.
Earth’s climate has always changed. There have been times where the climate has been much warmer or colder than this. The issue is how fast the climate has changed over the past 100 years. Small temperature changes can have huge effects.
Some of the more prominent ones are the melting of the ice caps. According to NASA, Antarctica is melting. These images were taken just 9 days apart but the effects can be seen dramatically.
The warm spell caused widespread melting on most nearby glaciers. And according to Nasa, "Such persistent warmth was not typical in Antarctica until the 21st century, but it has become more common in recent years."
Image taken from NPR & NASA
This shows us just how bad things can get the minute there is volatility and change in our overall climate.
The world is 1.2C warmer than it was in the 19th century and the amount of CO2 emissions in our atmosphere has increased by 50%.
These are not numbers to ignore. These temperature rises need to slow down to ensure that we don’t see the worst consequences of climate change.
The True Impact of Climate Change
If we don’t slow down climate change, some regions could turn into deserts. We could also see extreme flooding, which we have seen a lot recently in Malaysia, Germany, China and even the Netherlands.
Most times the true victims of climate change would be the poorer countries as their governments do not have the resources to fully adapt and counter the effects of climate change.
In addition to that, we’ve also seen extensive bleaching of our corals across the globe. The most obvious one being the Great Coral Reef in Australia.
These images alone account for just 10 years of climate change - the increase in water temperatures as well as the increase in the overall acidity of the water.
What Is The World Doing To Stop Climate Change?
Over the years we have seen countless activists speak out and work hard to get more people to take notice of the seriousness of climate change.
And we are seeing some positive changes as we see heads of states make declarations of ensuring that their country will start working on lowering their own carbon emissions.
The Paris Agreement made in 2015 saw 146 countries pledge their help and aid towards slowing down climate change.
Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of GDP by 45% by 2030
Announced in 2020 that China would cut emissions to net zero by 2060
30% reduction on 2005 greenhouse gases by 2030
A 29% reduction in emissions by 2030
A 26%-28% reduction in emissions by 2030 on 2005 levels.
And so many more - that you can read up on here.
It is certainly refreshing to see all the countries working together to lower down greenhouse gas emissions. Plus they are all working together to make this change.
What YOU Can Do At Home To Help With Climate Change?
The goal that everyone should work towards is to reduce carbon emissions in general. Carbon dioxide is climate change’s worst enemy.
Here are some of the things that you could do to help do your part when it comes to climate change:
Use renewable energy
You don’t need to install solar panels in your house to use more renewable energy. Things like using rechargeable batteries is also one way to use renewable energy.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances
Across the globe, efficiency standards have increased to ensure that all appliances made nowadays are a lot more energy saving.
Try to invest in those appliances so that you can lower your overall carbon emissions
Pull out plugs when unused
A lot of time, we will have “idle loads” happening in the house. Things like the microwave, lamps and even the television when you are not using it, are still plugged in.
Start saving on power while unplugging your devices when you’re not using it.
Minimise waste and increase recycling
This is one of the easiest things that you can do right now.
Be smart with the things you purchase like purchasing only the groceries you need by meal planning.
Recycling or reusing things as often as you can.
Donate to NGOs working on climate change
Research and find your closest NGO that’s working to fight climate change and donate if you can.
For example, the BigPay team has partnered with APE Malaysia to plant 1 tree for the first 1000 BigPay users that pay for their water bill on BigPay.
To learn more about this, read our partnership announcement article here!
Climate change needs to be taken seriously. We have seen a great increase in visibility and effort in ensuring that this doesn’t get any worse.
Do your part today!