Before I begin, let me point out that I believe everyone has the potential to care about our planet. Earth is such an amazing place, full of jungles, oceans, mountains, deserts, lakes, rivers, etc; all perfectly balanced to support life of all species. Many of us rarely stop to slow down and appreciate how marvelous and resilient Earth truly is. Collectively we humans have a terrible track record of treating ‘her’ (that’s right, Mother Earth) like a giant bottomless pit, mindlessly taking and sucking her resources dry. Rarely reflecting on the long term consequences of our selfish carelessness, because who cares anyway, am I right? As long as whatever resource we are exploiting at the moment is turning a profit.
We’ve been taught, “never in our life time” would we need to worry about the consequences of treating our home like giant landfill. I hate to be the barrier of SCIENTIFIC FACT but climate change is 100% real and happening fast as a result of global warming. Now before you stop reading and brand me a looney, left winged hippie freak. Hear me out, If you’d rather not live on a Disney dystopian WALL-E version of earth that is. (Disney isn’t totally full of crap, they were onto something) My husband tells me that avid sports readers love stats and numbers, so I am going to do my best to break this down for you all.
“In September 2016, the global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration permanently passed 400 parts per million (PPM), growing at an average annual rate of about 2ppm, more than twice the growth rate during the 1990s. Carbon Dioxide is now rising faster than it has in hundreds of years. This concentration is highest since the Miocene Epoch aka (15 million years ago), when sea levels were estimated to have been 25 – 40 meters higher, that’s (82-131 feet for our American readers) and Global temperatures 3-6 degrees Celsius, or 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than current temperatures.” (Fletcher,2019) Many people will argue that rising and falling of global temperatures are just part of Earths natural cycle and that climate scientists have been crying crisis since the 1970s. It is true that Earths surface temperatures have always fluctuated, but never at such an alarming rate. Since our wonderful human brains never stop evolving, I have faith that we can wrap our minds around this not so new information and put the cutting edge AI sex doll research on pause to focus on more pressing matters; we could totally focus long enough to save OUR world.
“Today’s release of planet warming carbon dioxide is about ten times faster than the most rapid event of any time in at least 66 million years, when an asteroid impact killed the dinosaurs. Scientist Richard Zeebe and colleges arrived at this conclusion when they compared the rate of carbon released during the (PETM) Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (less than approximately 1.1 trillion kilograms of carbon per year),a major warming episode 56 million years ago, to the present rate of carbon released (approximately 10 trillion kilograms of carbon per year). There are so various hypotheses as to what caused the PETM including comet impact, degassing of CO2 from massive magma body, changes in ocean circulation, extensive volcanic activity etc. Regardless of the cause, Zeebe’s calculations indicate that humans are now manipulating global climate change more rapidly than any geological analog, leaving us no natural guidelines on which two base predictions for how climate change will affect the world in coming years.” (Fletcher, 2019)
What we do know is the rise in CO2 emissions since the industrial revolution has dramatically accelerated ur planet for the worse. In turn effecting our ecosystems delicate balance, for example altering ocean temperatures is causing our oceans to become more acidic, killing our coral reefs (coral bleaching), major ocean currents are being disrupted which fucks with marine migration patterns. (Bad news for sushi lovers and earthlings in general)
Now that I’ve laid out a brief foundation of dooms day sushi-less world, let me lighten the mood. One little way we meer human beings can reduce our CO2 emissions to help combat our planet before we need to place her on hospice care and give up all together. This small life style change could even ease your guilt about garbage island, maybe lol Garbage Island is the worst. All it take is altering our habits we hold surrounding our waste deposal slightly. According to the EPA, “Municipal Solid waste landfills created on or after January 1, 1980 and generate methane in amounts equivalent to 25,000 metric tons of CO2e or more per year. This category includes emissions from the landfill, landfill gas collection systems, and destruction devices for landfill gases (including boilers, engines, and flares).” (EPA, 2020) If we took the time to depose of our organic food waste separately from our landfill worthy waste and recyclables this can reduce our CO2 emissions around waste. Although there are a million factors and ways to reduce our carbon foot print as individuals, I can attest first hand this may be the easiest. For about 7 months now, my husband and I decided to swap out our large garbage bin in our kitchen and make it our compost / food waste bin. We purchased a second small can for landfill waste and continued to sort out our recyclables; at first this was just part of a little project for my climate change class I was taking. But now its become our new normal! We discovered that about 75% of our waste was actually Compostable, I kid you not. We rarely have enough trash to fill an average garbage can most weeks. You can find Compostable plant based garbage bags online or at your local market. Now I am lucky that I work for an agency that offers community compost cans and gives people a wonderful free way to dispose of their food waste. Another easy way to dispose of your food waste is in a home compost bin, or local community garden center. The city of Seattle has a city wide mandate to sort your trash, if you sort incorrectly you are slapped with a hefty fine. It’s not that hard people, and its something that if done on a global level could dramatically help the health of our home planet.
Now that the world has slowed down a bit (minus the state of Texas anyway) due to the global pandemic affecting us all, let us reflect on a second global issue that if we as earthlings band together in solidarity and focus on an issue that is literally everyone problem, we have a real chance at effecting change. Regardless of your zip code, state, country or continent we are all earthlings first, we are all connected in that way; everything needs clean water, fresh air regardless. I believe that slightly altering out habits to benefit the health of all is something we will be able to do, I promise, the temporary discomfort of trying something new will vanish in no time.