Today, October 15th, is Blog Action Day, an annual event held every October 15 that unites bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance.
You may have heard of the greenhouse effect, or climate change, or ocean acidification, but not really understood what that is or how to help.
Well, quite simply, those are all terms for the same thing. Think of it more as a blanket over the earth. The blanket is made of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). That blanket doesn’t allow heat to escape, so the earth’s atmosphere is heating up (climate change). The earth can’t kick off the covers like we do when we are in bed at night, so the earth needs our help in reverse this effect.
What can I do? Before we discuss that, we should figure out where CO2 comes from. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is mainly produced from combustion of fossil fuels (like when we drive our cars that use gas, or when we heat our buildings).
We need to shift to a new energy economy of clean, renewable energy. By reducing the burning of fossil fuels, we may be able to turn the tide of climate change. Write to your legislators and tell them to support clean renewable energy. Recycle. Drive your car less. Drive a hybrid or an electric car. Use energy efficient machines in your home and office. Turn off lights and computers when they are not in use. Need more ideas? Take a look at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s ideas. Oceana and 350.org are also great resources (there are many more out there as well).
Because the earth’s atmosphere is changing, many oceans animals are effected. The Polar ice caps are melting. This will increase the sea level. There will be fewer ice masses. The polar bear and the walrus rely on the ice masses to stay above water.
Caribou have been effected by climate change as well. The increase in temperatures has made the insect populations increase. The insects have bothered the caribou so much that the caribou have migrated to higher ground. But, there are fewer grazing lands in higher ground, so the caribou have not been getting enough nutrition.
The sea turtle goes back to the same beach that it was born on to lay its eggs. If the sea levels rise, the sea turtle may not have a beach to go back to, thus decreasing its chance of reproducing.
Sea Jellies, corals, and many other animals have been and continue to be effected by these climate changes. Our oceans support fishing and tourism economies and should contribute to a new energy economy as well. A clean energy future represents jobs that we can’t afford to leave behind.
There are many opportunities to effect a positive change for the earth and for all the animals (including humans) that inhabit the earth. Our oceans and our earth depend on us.