We all know that individual actions have an impact on global climate change.
By now, we all know that individual actions have an impact on global climate change. We know we should drive less, reuse water bottles, and turn off the lights when we’re not home. But those changes are all on a really small scale. What if I told you that scientists are talking about some really big ways that communities—scientists and non-scientists alike—can help?
Here are four scientific ways we can truly address climate change.
1. Upgrade Our Infrastructure
David Biello of Scientific American writes that, “Buildings worldwide contribute around one third of all greenhouse gas emissions (43 percent in the U.S. alone).” Biello suggests that better insulation and smoother highways reduce long-term emissions, as well as drive economic growth.
Interested in helping? You don’t have to be a climate scientist to make significant impacts. Civil engineers are on the front lines of climate change as they work to create and upgrade critical infrastructure. You can work in a green collar job after earning an online civil engineering master’s degree that encourages students to focus on responsible and sustainable design.
2. Fight Back
According to a team of bio-geographers highlighted in Smithsonian Magazine, the top five methods for fighting climate change go far beyond simply reducing carbon emissions (although that is still #1). Even halting deforestation might not be enough to adequately reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Instead of making passive changes, we also need to actively fight back. They might be expensive, but carbon sequestration and/or storage are still among the most promising ways to do so.
3. Train Public Health Professionals for the Inevitable Impacts
This might be surprising, but addressing climate change also means working to ensure that people continue to have access to basic needs—such as clean water and healthcare—in a changing world. The National Center for Science Education lists “adaptation” as one of the most important strategies for addressing the effects of climate change, and improving public health is one of the top ways to minimize risk in our communities.
The first step to better public health is a well-trained force of professional public health workers who understand the implications of a changing climate. To learn more about why health and climate change are linked, check out the work of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Ok, so this isn’t just about science. It’s also about funding science, and your vote matters.
Consider supporting candidates in local and state elections who support scientific research, or send letters to national officials explaining why addressing climate change is important to you. You have the power to impact policies that will have lasting effects on the future of our planet.
Are you concerned about the future of our climate? Continue researching more information about how you can become a part of the solution.
Emma Sturgis, the author of this post, is a freelance writer from Boston, MA.
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