When my weather app sounded an alert for a Heat Wave, I was stunned. I knew, coming to the region that I should expect temperatures to drop as low as -40 degrees celsius but no one warned me about any heat waves.
I have been told now that the scorching heat that we saw last week, the likes of it has never been witnessed before in this region.
Coming from Mumbai, India I was always used to the sun, the extreme heat and the incessant sweating but the heat up here in Northern B.C. is a completely different ball game. The altitude of the northern region, the depleted ozone layer, the harsher impact of sun’s UV, and many such explanations can be found online for the intense heat up here. One prominent and important reason though is climate change.
According to the National Weather Service, roughly 138 deaths per year have occurred in the U.S. alone between 1991 to 2020 due to extreme heat.
Much of what we humans do impacts the nature around us and it is becoming increasingly clear that we aren’t doing enough to take care of our environment. Yes, we do the occasional tree planting drives or clean-up drives, but what are we doing to address plastic waste at homes, at grocery stores? How are we making changes in our personal life to affect the environment?
Simple answer to all these questions though: we aren’t doing enough.
What can we do then to combat climate change? We need to first start by listening to experts and scientists and accept that global warming is real, is now and is urgent. With that first step in mind, start reading up on what actions can make the most impact on the environment you are living in. Recently, a Netflix documentary called Seaspiracy has become a popular viewing option, which sheds light on the commercial fishing industry and the terrifying impact it has on the environment. Depleting marine resources, destroying marine beds, leaving behind debris and fishing nets are all practices that give rise to pollution, carbon emissions and eventually lead to climate change.
But maybe don’t yet pick a fight with the commercial fishing industry. Maybe, start with simple things like leaving the trails around us clean, not throwing trash anywhere outside a garbage can, not discarding masks carelessly. Just last week, I was out on a trail and found a mask dangling on a little plant, a discarded beer can and some half-eaten candy still in its wrapper. It is infuriating to see the beautiful trails and lakeside trashed so recklessly. It is sadder though to think that those being so reckless aren’t probably even aware of the greater impact their actions have.
So maybe let’s just start by educating ourselves and those around us. Let’s start making personal choices that are healthier for our planet and for us in the long run.