14 de Ago de 2022

Nacional

Be serious on conservation

Every day we see tragic news on the tube about natural disasters that claim human lives. The explanations are sometimes blamed on global...

Every day we see tragic news on the tube about natural disasters that claim human lives. The explanations are sometimes blamed on global warming.

Just this week a huge tide washed homes along Panama's Pacific coast and again a suspected culprit is climate change. But what is exactly being done (or omitted)?

NORMAL? WHAT'S NORMAL ?

I have heard many people recalling how summers were fresher or how rains used to be less dramatic than today's. Evidence of a warmer earth is recorded and its long term effects are beyond apocalyptic prophecies.

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20 century and its projected continuation.

Scientific consensus on climate change is that human activity is very likely the cause for the rapid increase in global average temperatures over several decades.

That is why in December 1997 the Kyoto Protocol was signed to make industrialized countries agree to reduce their collective green house gas (GHG) emissions by 5.2 percent from the 1990 level.

Although it has many detractors and some of the biggest carbon dioxide emitters, including the US, simply ignored it, the protocol shows that we must agree on what we are doing wrong and agree on how we go about fixing it.

NEW EFFORTS

Coinciding with the Mayan end of the world prediction, the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012.

The Copenhagen United Nations Climate Conference to be held in December aims to get countries to agree on a treaty to replace the Kyoto protocol. Government representatives from 170 countries are expected to be in Copenhagen accompanied by NGOs, observers and journalists.

YOU CHANGE

Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the increase in carbon dioxide from human activity over the past 20 years. Most of the rest is due to land-use change, particularly deforestation. This means that we depend too much on oil and we keep cutting down trees. Now that's something we can see with our own eyes.

Perhaps one feels choosing a big car or postponing its maintenance has very little impact on the environment, but that's the very reason we are in deep trouble.

What each of us does matters to the rest especially if the next neighborhood to be flooded is yours. Feeling the heat of global warming doesn't have to come when tragedy knocks on your door.

REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE

Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. Give up on bottled water, Panama has great potable water and you won’t be adding yet another lump of indestructable plastic to the garbage dump

If there isn't a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one.

DRIVE SMART

Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently.

PLANT MORE THAN ONE TREE

Choose an appropriate variety and an appropriate size for your lot. The beloved guayacan is beautiful but its too big. If you have a small house think of jasmine bushes for a nice fragrance as well as earth conservancy benefits.

TURN IT OFF

Don´t leave lights on. Cut back on electricity consumption and change to energy efficient bulbs.