Friday, June 5th will be the 46th observance of World Environment Day. The observance of the day began in 1974 when I was just nine years old. The United Nations declared June 5th to be World Environment Day to raise awareness on environmental issues, global warming, and sustainability, among other issues. This years’ World Environment Day seems to matter more than ever because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The slowdown in activity caused by the pandemic has resulted in renewable energy sources like solar energy to produce a record amount of the world’s energy needs.
The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is Celebrate Biodiversity
The UN states that biodiversity “involves 8 million plant and animal species, the ecosystems that house them, and the genetic diversity among them.” The overconsumption of fossil fuels has had a devastating impact on biodiversity. In the last 150 years, the earth has lost half of its live coral reef cover. The cause of that loss is primarily ocean acidification. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere acidifies water when carbon dioxide is absorbed by water. Water chemically combines with carbon dioxide to form carbonic acid.
Coral reefs aren’t the only thing affected by ocean acidification. Plankton, which supports much life in the ocean and produces oxygen is negatively affected by ocean acidification. Science warns that the loss of plankton could result in a food chain collapse. That could result in a mass extinction that would include humanity.
The only way to stop ocean acidification is to emit less carbon dioxide
The science is settled. We must cut carbon emissions or face devastating consequences. Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal can all play important roles in our green energy future. The only question is, do we have the will to make the necessary changes in time?
This World Environment Day, are we up to the challenge?
It has been said that global conservation starts in your back yard. That saying could be expanded to note the fact that a solar power system on your roof can play an important role too. The good news is that there is still time! Scientists have observed that with the reduction of carbon emissions, the environment has shown signs of recovery. The news is hopeful, coral reefs have shown signs of recovery, so has other plant and animal life. This World Environment Day, one of the most important things you can do is to ask yourself this question. Am I up to the challenge? We can all take steps like going solar to reduce our carbon footprint. But do we have the courage to do so?
Resolve to make changes this World Environment Day
Going solar can certainly help you reduce your carbon footprint, but you have to do even more. Did you know that many people use more electricity after going solar? That not only negatively affects how much money you save by going solar, it also negates some of the environmental benefits.
Whether you have gone solar or not, you can make a difference. Reducing, reusing, and recycling will have a positive impact. Choosing low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles will help. Above all, the harsh lesson taught to us by the Coronavirus pandemic has shown that we can reduce carbon emissions by simply making do with less. The challenge before all of us is clear, use a little less so we can all live a little more. Are you up for the challenge?