Gordon Greenwood Elementary Grade 7 students were assigned to write about climate change. The Langley Advance Times is pleased to present a selection of their writings. (Sejal/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

LETTER: People must change their actions to slow global warming, Langley student writes

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

Presented are a selection of the student writings online and in print.

Dear Editor,

What exactly is global warming?

Global warming is very real, and it’s time to act up, save our planet! Global warming is caused by a lot of things. Things we do every day, things we find difficult to live without. If we don’t stop global warming, it will ruin our planet, and it can make it inhabitable.

To prevent this, we will have to make some major changes in our lifestyle. We must work collectively to limit CO2 emissions; this may simply be the key to keeping us and our planet healthy. No one wants to watch this beautiful planet die. If we don’t do something about it now, there will be grave consequences.

Global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect. There’s an excessive amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Greenhouse gas is a heat-trapping gas. It consists of gases like carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Solar radiation in the form of light waves, passes through the atmosphere. Most of the radiation is absorbed, and some is radiated back in the form of infrared waves. Now, because greenhouse gases make our atmosphere too thick, the infrared waves are trapped in our atmosphere, which is warming the earth up. In more simpler words, these gases allow sunlight to pass through the atmosphere, but it doesn’t let the heat (from the sunlight) leave the atmosphere, it traps it. These gases act like a blanket that we need, but it’s trapping too much heat now and it’s getting too thick.

One of the reasons why there is so many greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is because of the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation. About 63 per cent of the electricity we get, is from burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.

Another reason is deforestation. Plants and trees take in carbon dioxide and provide us with oxygen. Cutting down forests and building infrastructure there, is awful for animals that live in the forest, as well as us. When the wood is burnt, the carbon that was stored in the tree is released back into the atmosphere, resulting in too much carbon dioxide.

If we just try to make minor adjustments in our daily lives like using less hot water, using less heat and air conditioning, turn lights off, we can save electricity and reduce fossil fuel emissions.

This is increasing global temperature, warming up our earth and is resulting in climate change. Climate change is causing floods, droughts, storms, hurricanes, wildfires, and it’s going to be a lot more frequent and intense. Glaciers have already begun to melt, just a few days ago, in India, a glacier melted unexpectedly which flooded the area, causing a lot of people to lose their lives. If Greenland or the Arctic melts, the ocean levels will rise by 20 feet, which will flood low lying areas like Bangladesh and many more. The entire country would be underwater. The global temperature in March 2020 was the second highest in 141 years. Globally, the year 2020 was tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record.

Our planet is getting hotter every year. There is no doubt that global warming will severely affect our climate in the future.

However, if we make changes now, a lot of damage that could be caused by it, would be reduced. All we must do, is reduce our carbon footprint by eating less meat, walk or bike to short trip destinations, save electricity, save water, and quit the usage of plastic.

We must do our part by spreading awareness and limiting carbon emissions. This planet is not only home to us, but also to millions of other species, and we must protect it at all costs. Silence and ignorance will only make things worse. We all have the responsibility to keep our planet clean and green.

Sejal, Grade 7, Gordon Greenwood Elementary

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