Climate Change: Prevention Is Better Than Cure
What’s on your mind when you hear the term “climate change”? And what is your response to this phenomenal topic? Well, before exploring the question further, let’s get to know about what climate change is and what the consequences of climate change are for our Earth.
Climate change is a global challenge which currently has no boundaries and requires work that is coordinated by all countries to fight it. There are still many people who don’t know what climate change is, either because of unreliable sources or intentional information, which has caused a series of myths about climate change. Climate change is caused by the results of burning fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. These materials produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and the main greenhouse gas.
Global warming is the main cause of climate change that is now happening and has many negative consequences. It is caused by the greenhouse effect, which is a natural process where the atmosphere maintains some of the sun’s heat, causing the Earth’s temperature to increase. Actually, greenhouse gases are naturally important for our lives on Earth. However, their excessive numbers and increased global temperatures make the climate on Earth unstable, which endanger our health and the health of the global ecosystem. Even though without the greenhouse effect, the average temperature on earth is -18⁰C. In addition, the waste problem estimated that 1 ton of solid waste produces around 50 kg of methane gas, which is also one of the causes of climate change.
As reported by the WWF on climate change, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country and significantly contributes to the contribution of greenhouse gases from deforestation and land conversion (WRI, 2005). Parts of Indonesia are almost 2 million km2 forests. However, deforestation and land use change are estimated to have eliminated around 2 million hectares in a year or equal to 85% of the total amount of CO2 produced by Indonesia in a year. The high population density and biodiversity of forests in Indonesia, with 80,000 km of coastline and 17,508 islands that support diverse livelihoods and other ecosystem needs, places Indonesia as the most vulnerable country affected by climate change.
Climate change has catastrophic consequences and endangers the survival of flora and fauna on earth, including humans. The negative effects of the worst climate change such as the melting of the mass of polar ice, ultimately causes the rise of sea levels that threaten the coastal environment, where small island countries are at full risk of disappearing. In addition, the impact also increases more volatile weather phenomenas, droughts, fires, deaths of animal and plant species, flooding of rivers and funds, and destruction of food chains and economic resources, especially in developing countries, which can be felt for us.
From these impacts, we can analyze that climate change is a big problem for all of us, considering we live interdependently. To overcome or reduce the problem, it would be great to start making efforts to make our Earth better one step ahead. “Prevention is better than cure”, the tagline made us realize that it is better that we start trying to make efforts to reduce the harmful effects of climate change, rather than to let the Earth get into a more serious problem. Some of the efforts that we can take to reduce greenhouse gases include reducing fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, using public vehicles so that gas pollution can be reduced, managing landfills, and reducing the use of air conditioning. Besides, the simple thing we can do is with 5R:
- Rethink, changing behavior patterns in terms of production and consumption of an item so that one can recycle the product.
- Reduce, as much as possible reduce the items to reduce the waste produced.
- Reuse, choosing items that can be reused and avoid using disposable items.
- Recycle, is recycling or reusing items which are no longer used such as detergent plastic.
- Replace, researching items that are used daily and then replacing disposable items with items that are more durable.
There are variety of efforts to reduce climate change from the effects of global warming. Of course it’s easy to start doing them in our daily lives from now because what we save, saves us.