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Nature Children Can Help Curb Global Warming (by Kirpal Singh, New Zealand)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Children can help curb Global Warming

This article was forwarded by SPN member Gurmit Singh of Australia, and sent to me by SPN member Tejwant Singh Malik.

The Sikh Gurus were a great lover of nature and clean atmosphere.

Pavan guru pani pita matta dharth mahat (Guru Nanak, Jap Ji Slok).

Guru Sahib compares air with guru, water with father and earth with mother, employing, that we should respect air, water and earth like our guru, father and mother by keeping the environment/atmosphere around us clean and tidy.

Over the last hundred years, the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere has gone up by one degree Fahrenheit thus possibly causing the global warming. The environmentalists are of the opinion that human activities, cutting down of trees, producing of trash and environmental pollution are some of the reasons for increase in atmospheric temperature.

Certain gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane prevent heat energy from escaping back into space thus keeping the earth warm like a greenhouse. The phenomenon of trapping the heat in our atmosphere is termed as the greenhouse effect. This possibly leads to global warming, which is destroying earth’s biodiversity and native ecosystems and thus putting plants, animals and people at risk. In the past, nature produced just the right amount of greenhouse gases to keep earth at a balance temperature.

Ever since the industrial revolution, an increased amount of greenhouse gases, which are emitted from industrial and human activities and from motor vehicles are throwing nature off balance. Under the Kyoto Protocol created in Kyoto , Japan in 1977, most countries signed and ratified the agreement aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement also calls for choosing modern technology that can reduce use of fossil fuels and help protect the planet. The recent meeting on Climate Change held in Copenhagen was an attempt to find solutions to this problem.

Electricity generation, from fossil fuels such as oil and petroleum and burning of coal, natural gas, wood and garbage causes global warming. Cutting down of trees enhances the amount of carbon dioxide-a greenhouse gas and reduces the amount of oxygen for us to breathe in the atmosphere. Supporting wind and solar power can reduce our reliance on coal-burning power plants, the largest source of global warming pollution.

Activities such as turning on a light, watching TV and playing video game or listening to a stereo, washing or drying clothes, using a hairspray and hair dryer, driving a car, heating a meal in a microwave, using a heater or an air-conditioner and using a dish washer etc use electrical energy and pollute the air.

Global warming may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, increased intensity of extreme weather events, a rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans. When plants and animals die, people lose two sources of food, plant food and animal food. The sea level rise covers many low level islands causing people to flee from their habitats. Global warming and atmospheric pollution destroy forests as a result of acid rain and by causing wild fires. Other effects include changes in agricultural yields, glacier retreat, species extinctions and increase in the ranges of disease vectors.

To seek solutions, it is intended to reduce the use of fossil fuels, protect native forests as carbon storehouses and help plant native trees in urban and deforested areas. There is imperative need to involve children at an early stage to become aware of protecting their environments. A pledge to protect environment should be part of their daily prayer said at home and or at school.

Children should get active and speak out to the leaders expressing their concerns about climate change and mount campaign against global warming. Children should form environmental awareness clubs in schools and debate on issues which effect their health and surroundings. They should be careful about leaving TV, computer and lights on when not in use in order to saves a lot of energy and money. Leaving various gadgets on standby also uses a surprising amount of energy and can help significantly to reduce energy shortage. How one chooses to use energy affects all life on the earth. The more energy we use, the more the planet warms up.

Carpooling for going to school, using metro, buses or train, riding bicycles and or walking to school will help lower the amount of greenhouse gases in the air. School students should form squads to periodically plant trees and collect garbage as part of community service around their respective schools and its neighborhoods. Children should insist their parents to drive a small and efficient fuel car in driving them to schools. Children should be encouraged to do gardening in the backyard of their house, where possible, by composting waste food of the family in order to recycle the waste.

Tha author, Kirpal Singh, is a former professor of chemistry (New Zealand).
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