Presented are a selection of the student writings online and in print.
The world is full of mysteries, some are silly, and some are harmful.
One mystery we’ve started to unravel is the GHG (greenhouse gas). GHG is powerful and is causing climate change, and humans are the main cause of it.
How are humans impacting our earth? GHG is invisible and many people say if we could see it, we would solve it. In my opinion how does seeing it change it? Doesn’t not seeing this dangerous gas make it an even bigger problem? The biggest question now is, how will it affect us and our earth?
If we have too much GHG, it can affect our earth and eventually us. Believe it or not, what we eat can affect us massively. For example, meat. Eating meat causes ton of deforestation. Scientists have observed that meat production is not only causing methane (which is a molecule that traps heat causing our temperatures to rise. Methane is 10 times stronger than carbon dioxide (CO2) Despite that, how do we know meat production causes methane? Ruminant animals (like cows, goats, and sheep) emit methane, a greenhouse gas, as they digest grasses and plants. This process is sometimes called “enteric fermentation” or cow’s burps.
Another question I’ve heard a lot is, “How does meat affect the environment?” Meat production causes a colossal impact on climate change. It is roughly equivalent to all the driving or flying of every car, plane, or truck in the world.
When forests are destroyed to produce industrial meat, millions of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) are released out into the atmosphere thus causing even more global warming. Humans have released so much carbon into the atmosphere because of all the fossil fuels and deforestation that the whole atmosphere contains 32 per cent more carbon dioxide (CO2) today than at the start of the 20th century.
To sum up everything that I have stated above, humans are hurting our earth without realizing we are also hurting ourselves.
Following the meat production, we have cars and planes. We all use cars to do our day-to-day routine or when we fly in a plane so we can go on a vacation. Some people know the consequences but not all.
I’m guessing if you’re reading this you either know a bit but want to know more about our fascinating earth or if not, you’re reading this so you can learn more.
Either way let me tell you the severe consequences of airplanes and cars.
Airplanes produce GHG which is mainly CO2. All of these gases are produced when the airplane is burning fuel.
A question I’ve heard before is, “How does extra carbon dioxide impact us? Well, for starters too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the greenhouse affects. More and more of the thermal energy is trapped by the atmosphere causing the earth to become warmer than it should be.
Now for cars. How do cars create global warming or climate change? Cars emit tons of carbon dioxide and GHGs. It contributes to one-fifth of the United States’ global warming. GHG trap heat in the atmosphere which causes worldwide temperatures to rise.
Thus, I’ll tell you about farming. At every stage, food provision releases a ton of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Farming especially releases a significant amount of methane and nitrous oxide. Those two gases happen to be two very powerful greenhouse gasses. Nitrous oxide absorbs radiations and (like the others) traps heat in the atmosphere, where it can live for 114 years. Just one pound of nitrous oxide warms the atmosphere almost 300 times the amount that one pound of CO2 does over a 100-year time-scale.
Many people say we just need to trust the process, but if we don’t do anything, there won’t be a process. Thus, my question to you is what will you do to help our earth?
Ava, Grade 7, Gordon Greenwood Elementary
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