By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief
The planet is in danger, and we are running out of time to save it.
This was a warning issued Oct. 8 by 91 of the world’s leading climate scientists, also known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
After these experts came together and poured over the research, they determined if emissions are not cut in half over the next decade, we will be dealing with the consequences in 25 years, not our great-great grandchildren.
The U.N. report warns that if the speed the planet is warming isn’t reversed by 2040, sea levels will rise, extreme weather like we’ve seen the last several years will become a daily occurrence, and worldwide poverty, food shortages and water scarcity will explode, causing a refugee crisis greater than the one already overwhelming humanitarian organizations today.
According to the U.N. report, greenhouse gas emissions have to be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. The use of coal will also have to drop from 40 percent to less than 7 percent by 2050. Renewable energy will also need to increase from 20 percent today to 67 percent by 2050.
So the time for easy tweaks has passed. We have to demand corporations and governments around the world do more now, and college students can do more too.
Start with getting educated and educating others about climate change, its impact and solutions. Then make a change in how you get around. Walk, bike, carpool or use mass transit. TCC offers free bus services for students, and all we have to do is swipe our student IDs, so take advantage of it.
Cutting back on red meat can also help as bovine emissions are a leading source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, according to USA Today. You don’t have to go vegan, but meatless Mondays would be a good start.
The planet also needs advocates. Volunteer and donate to nonprofits fighting to save the planet. Advocate for TCC and local governments in DFW to invest in solar and wind energy to power campuses, buildings and more.
And lastly, vote in the upcoming elections for candidates serious about environmental issues.
We still have time to turn things around, but each of us has to play a part in taking care of our home.