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Helping the Planet

When people talk about climate change what do they mean?  Isn't the climate the weather?  Doesn't the weather change everyday?

The climate is the change in weather over a long period of time and not all changes in weather are due to climate change, the Earth's weather naturally changes constantly but from one year to the next there are patterns that we all expect to see.  Where I live it's hot and mainly dry in the summer, cold with a little snow in the winter and autumn and spring are cool.  But with climate change things are different.  Summers are really hot, winter is really wet, food doesn't grow the way it should, animals don't hibernate because it's not cold enough.

So what is causing climate change?

Some causes of climate change are natural such as changes to the amount of heat the Earth gets from the Sun or volcanic eruptions putting a lot of ash into the air, but most of the recent climate change, in the last 100 years, has been caused by people.  The burning of coal, gas and oil produces energy that we use to turn on lights, power cars and heat our homes, but this burning adds heat-trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the air. These gases are called greenhouse gases.  These make the Earth hotter which changes our weather and eventually the climate.

A hotter planet Earth causes a lot of problems, sea levels are rising, areas of snow and ice cover are getting smaller and this will likely get worse. The warming climate will cause more floods, droughts and heat waves.

What can we do?

Many countries are working really hard to cut down the amount of greenhouse gases they produce by using renewable energy such as windmills and solar panels.  People recycle their waste so that less trees are cut down and less toxic chemicals are used to make plastics and paper and there is less rubbish to get rid of.  At home we can turn off lights, use less water and walk instead of driving.  But, does being vegan help?

Raising animals for food uses 70 % of all farm land on Earth and creates nearly 20% of all the greenhouse gases each year, that's more than all of the cars, planes, trains and boats put together.  The waste from animals washes into the soil, poisoning it, when it gets isn't the water ways, rivers, streams and seas, it kills everything living in it.  Also, we actually have enough food to feed everyone but most of the plants grown for food are fed to farm animals, cows, chicken, sheep and pigs leaving less for humans.

Can being vegan help to save the planet?  Absolutely!  We can help to clear the air, clean the water and make the soil healthy again and, at the same time, stop the poor animals from suffering.

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