Manila : Philippines | Oct 14, 2010 at 1:13 AM PDT
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Mass Rail Transit


By Prof. Liwayway Memije-Cruz

The blunt truth about the politics of climate change is that no country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge, but all economies know that the only sensible long term way of developing is to do it on a sustainable basis.-Tony Blair

The entire world is now trying to do something about the most alarming environmental issue of our time… climate change. Climate change is attributed directly or indirectly to human activities that alter the composition of the global atmosphere, aside from the natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

Recent studies show that:

  • Global average surface temperature increased by 0.74ºC in 1960-2005, which is higher than the Third Assessment Report (the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) of 60ºC for 1901-2000.
  • Global average sea level rose due to increase in the global average surface temperature at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over 1961 to 2003 or total of 0.17m for the 21st century.
  • There are projected increases for further warming from 1.4ºC (centigrade) to 5.8ºC during the 21st century, leading to an increase in the sea level from 18-59 cm by 2100.
  • The rise in temperature has been “very-likely” caused by human activity and due to increase in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases.
  • Human-induced warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries due to the timescales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, even if greenhouse gas concentration were to be stabilized.

Nobody has ever thought that we as humans can actually change the Earth’s climate, but from the observations of different scientists and climatologist all over the world they found out that people do send greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that make our planet warmer. It was during the industrial revolution that we began altering our climate and environment through agriculture and industrial practices. Prior to this, human activity released very few gases into the atmosphere. But now because of population growth, fossil fuel burning and deforestation, we are now greatly affecting the mixture of gases in the atmosphere. Since the industrial revolution, the need for energy to run machines has steadily increased. Demands for energies to make car run, light and cool our homes, increased thus decreasing our reserves of fossil fuels.

What can we do to abate the causes of climate change? No matter how simple your contributions are, these can still make a difference.

  • You take the mass rail transit, ride a bike or simply walk
  • Planting trees is fun and a great way to reduce greenhouse gases. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from air.
  • Buy recyclable products. These are usually made out of things that already have been used. It often takes less energy to make recycled products than to make new ones. The less energy we use, the better.
  • Buy intelligently. There are many ways we can improve the environment and lessen the greenhouse gases we emit into the atmosphere. One of the ways to reduce greenhouse gases is to buy energy-efficient products that don’t use as much energy. Some products have models that are made especially to save energy like cfl or compact fluorescent lamp, cars, air conditioners, refrigerators and other appliances
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Plant Trees
Planting trees is fun and a great way to reduce greenhouse gases. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from air.
Liwayway Memije-Cruz is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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