by: Claudia Martinez and Alberto Pérez
In the last 100 years the Earth had experimented drastic changes. The phenomenon called global warming is the responsible for the rise in average of the temperature of the Earth and ocean. Scientists all around the world are 90% secure about what causes the warming of the atmosphere. They conclude that the common causes are made by human negligence. Including the huge concentrations of greenhouse gases, produced in fabrics that absorb and emit radiation destroying the ozone layer. Also the deforestation of forests and woodlands and the burning of fossil fuel.
The effect of global warming is appearing faster than expected by the scientists and they are affecting all countries worldwide. Each year the ice in the Polar Regions is melting causing the increase of sea level. The sea level is expected to rise between 7 to 23 inches by the final of this century. Also causing the extinction of animal species such as the polar bear and invertebrates that live in cold waters, this because of the melting of their habitat. Another effect is the increment of the precipitation of both snow and rain all around the world. Hurricanes and other natural phenomenon would become stronger each year and this may cause change in the ecosystems. The changes of the ecosystems consist of new concentrations of species that would emigrate to other areas and countries searching for the conditions for a better life style. Also this new species that emigrate would compete with the native species of animals in each country for food, habitat and space. Furthermore, it would cause a huge decrease of the availability of fresh water for consumption of people.
At first all people believed that these changes in the atmosphere were just a natural process that would not cause any dramatic situation. But the scientists have discovered that these changes are threatening humanity. By these alerts people of all countries are searching for the possibilities to stop the global warming. All around the world groups of people are forming massive associations to prevent and stop the effects of the warming of the Earth. Puerto Rico is not the exception; the island counts with numerous associations involved in the education and prevention of this phenomenon. One of the strongest associations against the global warming is the Sierra Club, Puerto Rico Chapter. It is an organization that concentrates in the installation of recycling programs around the island and get involved in the process of educating the citizens about the possible effects of their activities. Another group is the “Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales”(OLCA), which focused in the preservation of natural zones, to prevent constructions on those areas. Also they propose new remedies to make “green” or “ecofriendly” constructions. Finally the ”Asociacion 4H” are in charge of the education of young children about the theme. They make activities around the island to promote recycling and the reduction of destructive activities. Recently this association made a new chapter for students at different universities including the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus to get them involved in the contribution of a better place to live.
We decided to interview ten individuals based on what they think about global warming and what they do in order to reduce global warming.
Andrea Vega, a 18 year old woman whom studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, said “ I do not promote global warming because I recycle in my apartment, all my light bulbs are eco friendly, I reduce waste, I don’t use plastic bags, and I plant trees. I am very concerned about all the changes that the earth is passing through”. She continued saying “Years from now, the global warming will start affecting our planet. I protect our planet because I don’t want a rise in sea levels resulting in coastal flooding nor I want extreme changes in weather patterns causing more violent storms as well as sever droughts. I would love to stop global warming and to do so I carpool with all my friends to Mayagüez.”
Juan Santos, a 37 year old lawyer from San Juan has a contrary opinion in global warming as Andrea’s. He states: “In reality I don’t do anything to protect our planet, I don’t recycle, I don’t take quick showers what I do is I take long baths, I use hot water instead of cold water, and I don’t buy organic food because the regular food tastes better. I really don’t know what is the point of helping the planet; I think that we are already too late to do this entire thing that does not give us anything in exchange.” He does not do anything to prevent global warming.
Of the ten persons interviewed the only one that cares and does something in respect is Andrea (10%). The 70%of the people cares but does not do anything to prevent it. The other 20% does not care nor do anything to prevent the global warming.
With this interview we saw that most of the people care but do not do anything about it. People can help the planet to reduce and prevent global warming by doing many things. Some facts are going to be presented on how to help our planet. Every person can help our planet by: Replace regular light bulbs with fluorescent ones. install a programmable thermostat, do not leave appliances on stand by or connected if you are not using them, use less hot water, cover your pots when cooking, take quick showers instead of long baths, recycle, Plant trees, buy fresh food instead of frozen articles, keep your car up to date by checking tire pressure weekly.
Global Warming is a radically crucial and important problem. Each individual can bring an important help adopting a more responsible lifestyle: starting from little, everyday things. This is the only way to save our planet, before it is too late. Everyone can do something in order to fight against and reduce the Global Warming phenomenon. Some of these ideas are at no cost, some other require a little effort or investment but can help you save a lot of money and protect our planet for a better tomorrow for generations to come.