As out-and-out environmental advocate Leonardo di Caprio said in his recent Oscars acceptance speech, global warming and its impact on our environment is a very real threat to our continuing quality of life here on planet earth. The question is, what are you doing to implement energy saving and eco-friendly measures in your home or office?
The old adage: if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, has never been more relevant than right now. Not one of us can afford to sit on the fence, hoping our neighbour or boss or government or some Greenpeace warriors out there chained to another offending oil tanker are going to pick up the slack on our behalf. And with the sheer volume of information available to us through all manner of media channels, there is no excuse for at least making some basic energy saving changes in the way we live.
For those of you still resisting the urge to become a full-blown eco warrior, here are some facts and figures about climate change to jolt you back to reality, and hopefully inspire you to take action to preserve our precious planet and resources.
Climate Change: The Science Speaks
The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide on planet earth has increased by 30% since the pre-industrial era, causing more heat to be trapped in our lower atmosphere and bringing about the negative changes in our climate that we’re now experiencing.
Ninety-seven percent of scientists around the globe concur that the global warming trend we’re experiencing is very likely human-induced, and currently occurring at a rate unprecedented in the past 1300 years. And many of the world’s foremost scientific organisations have issued public statements endorsing this position.
This conclusion is backed up by ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica and tropical mountain glaciers. The cores clearly demonstrate how our planet has responded to this alarming change in its climate which is taking place in tens of years rather than the thousands or millions of years typical of natural, large-scale climate shifts.
As these polar caps and glaciers melt away, so the sea levels around the globe continue to rise. Sea levels have risen by approximately 17 centimetres in the last century which may not sound like a lot, but consider that the rate at which this has happened in the last decade is almost double that of the entire last century, and the prospect of losing landmass to the oceans becomes an ever greater certainty.
Climate change is a major causative factor in the extreme weather patterns we’re experiencing the world over. From drought to devastating floods, from runaway wildfires to excessive snowfall, the extremes in our weather patterns have a huge impact on our health and well-being, not to mention our properties and livelihoods.
Scientists report that global average temperatures have increased by more than 17°C over the past 100 years, and project that this global average will continue to rise by between 11°C and 16°C by 2100. Such extreme temperature increases affect crop yields, rainfall patterns, and access to potable water.
Intense short-term fluctuations in temperatures can also seriously affect our health, resulting in an increased number of deaths as a result of hyper- or hypothermia, as well as changing the patterns that infectious diseases follow. Raised environmental temperatures also leads to increased levels of pollens and other allergens, negatively affecting the 300 million or so people who suffer with asthma and related respiratory diseases worldwide.
Approximately 15 percent of carbon emissions are the result of deforestation and a change in land use. And carbon dioxide is far from the only greenhouse gas we need to concern ourselves with; methane gas and nitrous oxide are even more dangerous to the health of our environment.
Saving Our Environment By Saving Energy
One excellent way to go green is with ISOTHERM Thermal Insulation. Manufactured from the thermally-bonded polyester of recycled plastic PET bottles, ISOTHERM is a truly environmentally-friendly product. In keeping with green building principles, ISOTHERM promotes passive temperature control by insulating roofs, walls, geysers and hot water pipes, and saving on the energy required to keep your property cool in summer and warm in winter.
Combating climate change and saving energy is the responsibility of every person on planet earth. It’s too big an issue to leave up to our governments, NGOs or environmental watchdogs and activists. It is up to you, and if you don’t make a conservation effort, what are you going to tell your kids about what has been lost and destroyed?