Writings of the general word's body

Monday, February 19, 2007

Global Warming: from little acorns...

... do great writer/journalists/environmental activists grow. A love letter to all our futures, written on Valentines Day by 12-year-old Nneka, daughter of entertainent writer and artists manager Azuka Jebose Molokwu. The Molokwus live in the US, as you might gather from Nneka's piece. What the young lady has to say about Global Warming, below...

Nneka Molokwu
Science, 5th Period, 7-3
February 14, 2007
Global Warming Composition

“America has not led, but fled, on the issue of global warming"
- Senator John Kerry.

Global warming is an issue that needs to be faced straight-on. It is not a joke, and will start to affect us in the very near future. In fact, according to UC Berkeley Scientists, “a five degree temperature rise - projected to occur in the next 30-50 years at current rates of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere - could result in a $15 to $30 billion in annual damage to American crops.” So what do we do about it? How do we stop this, in some sort, ‘monster’ that has the potential to kill us? I feel that it is not that hard to prevent global warming. By simply changing the way we use our cars, we can make sure that less carbon dioxide (CO2) gets released. Trees gobble up CO2 like crazy, but now there are not enough trees to get all the CO2 that we humans exhale. Why not? One word: deforestation. Loggers are cutting down whole forests numerous times a day, and it’s getting to the point where soon, there’ll be no more trees left! If we would just turn off electrical items when they’re not in use, or even find a way to conserve energy, we’d be putting a lot less greenhouse gases into the air.

Many of the cars on the roads now get 35 miles per gallon (mpg). This means that we take more trips to the pump, which increases the price of gasoline. There is a solution. In fact, there are many. For one, you could get a Hybrid car, which is a car that runs on battery power that is generated in the process of driving. Hybrid cars only produce 1/2 - 2/3 the greenhouse gases of regular cars and SUVs. You may also get a tax break if you purchase a Hybrid car. Even if you couldn’t buy a Hybrid car, there are ways you can prevent global warming. By driving 45-60 mph, making sure your car is tuned up, and making sure your tires are properly inflated, you will get the best mileage possible from your car, and produce the fewest greenhouse gases possible. By carpooling with a nearby co-worker, you will keep more cars off the road, keeping less greenhouse gases from getting into the air. Whenever possible, try to walk, bike, or take public transportation instead of driving your car. If everyone would take these small steps, they’d prevent millions of tons of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) from getting into the air.

Deforestation is the process of removing trees from an area of land. Trees breathe in CO2 as we exhale it. By cutting down the trees, we release the CO2 into the air, which contributes to global warming. By planting a tree every 2,000 miles (when traveling by car), you help prevent global warming. By simply growing a tree in your room, you make your air cleaner. Trees make the world’s air cleaner. With deforestation going on, trees cannot make the world’s air cleaner, allowing pollution and the release of greenhouse gases make global warming even worse. There are many ‘Adopt-A-Tree’ organizations out there, waiting for others to join their cause and help stop global warming. Another thing that we can do to help save the trees would be to create an ‘Endangered Species’ sort of list for trees. We do this for animals, and it’s helped bring back many animals from the edge of extinction. Trees are even more important. Also, like animals, there are different kinds of trees that live in different types of climates. This means that one certain type of tree may be being cut down because someone wants to put something there that relates to the climate. For example: say someone wants to build an indoor ski resort in Hawaii. Since there are a bunch of palm trees in the way, that person hires a crew to clear them out. Suddenly, the indoor ski resort becomes a great hit, and they start popping up all over Hawaii, and then start popping up in Jamaica, California, and Puerto Rico. Palm trees everywhere are being cut down, making them an endangered species. Without an endangered species list, we have no way of protecting our trees and preventing global warming.

Did you know that even when you’re not charging your cellphone, your charger is using energy just by being plugged up? Apparently, many people don’t since they waste energy in this very way numerous times a day. If you can’t avoid this, then switch your light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. These save energy, and make your lights brighter. Did you know, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), replacing 5 of your current light bulbs with 5 compact fluorescent light bulbs is equivalent to taking 8 million cars off of the road? Only 5 compact fluorescent light bulbs! Imagine if everyone had 5 compact fluorescent light bulbs in their homes. Now imagine 10, 15 fluorescent light bulbs! It isn’t that hard to keep the Earth at a stable temperature. This is proof that by doing something as small as changing what kind of light bulb you use, you can help prevent global warming.

Although some people may not like to believe it, global warming is an issue that’s here and is growing stronger. By taking small steps such as: changing the way we use our cars, decrease deforestation, and stop wasting energy, we can help change our Earth positively, and prevent global warming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite sobering to hear such words of wisdom from a 12 year old. It is unfortunate that it is the griwn-ups daily keep destroying the environment, without a care whatsover what legacy they bequeath their children.
I especially liked the par where she asks people to try carpooling or using public means of transport. Try telling that to an African. Here in Nairobi, for example, every other person is striving very hard to a acquire a vehicle so much such that there a too many cars on the road, causing unnecesary traffic jams during rush hours. The problem is complicated by the fact that there are not enough parking slots, thus one can spend a whole 30 minutes trying to locate parking, not to forget the amount of fuel consumed.
With increased traffic (no effort is being made to expand the existing road network) most Nairobi motorists are forced to wake up at five or six in the morning and end up spending an hour on a distance that would normally take 20 minutes.
Yet they would rather endure this than leave their cars at home. People who use public means (we call them matatus) to get to work are looked down upon as poor.
With such mentalities it will be a miracle if our environment lasts another ten years.
Anyway it is a nice job you are doing with your blog. I log in whenever I have the time and lap up everything posted. Its so informative.
I wonder if you incorporate the rest of Africa as well.