Earth Day

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This Earth Day, take a tour of our planet with this extensive documentary that explores the impact of human existence on the Earth and what can be done to avoid ecological disaster. With footage shot around the world, Earth Day entertains and educates viewers about the latest global warming and climate change efforts to restore our Earth.

music Franklin D

Roosevelt said A nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself

Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people

Why is it important to take care of the earth? The most obvious reason is that the earth is our home

It provides shelter, food, oxygen, water and other items essential to health, quality of life and survival for humans, plants and animals alike

It is incredible that the earth is able to provide for all of our needs and yet we take its resources, beauty and life for granted

In this documentary we will discover the natural beauty and wonder of the earth

Take a look at how global climate change is forever altering the world we live in and then delve into ways we can take action to combat these changes

We take so much from the earth every day

We use the earth endlessly and need to give it a chance to rest

We are constantly using the earth's resources, from the wood we get from the forest to the water in the lakes we drink

We chop down her forests to make room for houses and shopping centers and poison her air with our smog and chemicals produced from consumption

Shouldn't we be a little more concerned with how we are treating the earth? Every action we take affects the web of life

Life on earth is a large chain of reactions all connected to one another, from the plants in the soil and the animals that soar in the sky, swim in the ocean and wander in the forest to the air that we breathe

Everything in the world affects one another and is crucial to our everyday lives

We are all interconnected and everything we do affects the earth

The earth provides many services that benefit the humans, plants and animals that live on her planet

Forests remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air

Earth's wetlands store stormwater as well as filter the water to get rid of pollutants, making water safer to drink

Wetlands also help recharge our aquifers, where most of the planet gets their drinking water with these filtered waters

The dune systems on earth's many beaches form natural barriers to protect against the water's currents and storms and provide important habitats for wildlife

The prairies help control erosion and help anchor the soil into the ground to prevent runoff and rainwater from flowing into other water bodies

Runoff gets into larger water bodies and affects the drinking water

Prairies also provide carbon sequestration, which aids in storing carbon or carbon dioxide underneath the ground and in the soil

This helps reduce humans' environmental impact

Our lovely earth provides so many amazing services to keep her inhabitants safe, healthy and secure that we often take for granted

Why don't we take better care of the place where we live? The earth is a place where animals, humans and plants can coexist and live together

It really is just a large home for animals to live in

The earth has many different ways of living

It has a great environment where we can enjoy the life we live

The earth is a place where animals, humans and plants can coexist and live together

It really is just a large home for animals, humans and plants to live in

and plants can coexist and live together

It really is just a large home for everyone

You wouldn't leave garbage around your house or destroy your bedroom without planning to rebuild it

So why should people treat the earth that way, especially when other animals and plants live on it too? If we live by the golden rule, treat others the way you would like to be treated, shouldn't that apply to the earth as well as humans? The answer is of course

We should not want to dirty the earth because then our home would be dirty

Another reason why taking care of the earth is important is health

A clean environment is essential for healthy living for humans, plants and animals

Air pollution can cause respiratory diseases and cancer due to the inhalation of all the harmful chemicals and smog from factories

Water pollution can lead to typhoid, diarrheal diseases and other water borne and water related diseases due to the intake of bacteria and parasites

In many parts of the world, sources of drinking water are polluted

This is a major cause of diseases and death around the world

The mining of natural resources such as coal has led to increased risk of cancer, birth defects in unborn children, respiratory tract illnesses and many other health concerns

We can mitigate these risks by deciding to take care of the earth

How can we do that? We can help combat air pollution by driving less and biking, walking, carpooling or taking public transit more often

Choose a more fuel efficient car


Set the thermostat to a lower temperature and compost food scraps instead of placing them in the garbage

Water pollution can be improved by reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides on lawns and gardens

Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and don't throw trash in the rivers, lakes or other bodies of water

Notice what you flush down the toilet and only flush things that should be flushed

Little steps can make a big impact

We should also care about the environment so that future generations may also enjoy the same quality of life that we enjoy currently

Do you like to have picnics or ride your bike? Do you play sports outside or sunbathe in the summer? Do you enjoy the birds chirping in the spring and the smell of fresh cut grass or burning leaves in the fall? Most people love being outside, enjoying the sun and breathing fresh air

If we do not take care of the environment, the world will be a much different place for our grandchildren or even our own children

Future generations may not be able to play outside because of low air quality and smog resulting from too much CO2 in the air

They may not be able to enjoy wandering through a forest because we had all the trees cut down

Little things in life that we often take for granted may not be there for future people

Children in China are already forced to stay inside due to dangerous and toxic smog levels which affects their livelihood and their health

It is so sad to think that these children will never be able to truly experience playing outside, climbing trees or making mud pies all because of the air pollution and smog in China

In 2014, the Carteret Islanders of Papua New Guinea became the world's first community to be displaced by climate change

Sea levels had risen so much from the warming climate and the melting of ice caps that the water threatened to overtake their homes and ruin their crops

In 2015, the island they called home was completely underwater

To think that climate change has destroyed so many homes and lives is repulsive

While this may not have been entirely prevented, there were surely actions we could have taken to mitigate the risks

But still we consume

Humans are destroying habitats and decreasing biodiversity, the variety of animals, plants and the other living organisms on earth

We are getting rid of many diverse environments to make room for the ever increasing population

Tropical forests have already lost between 80 to 90% of their trees resulting from deforestation

Future generations may not get to enjoy learning about and observing nature's abundant wild animals

Wouldn't you want that for our children and grandchildren? The CO2 we are dispelling into the air is making parts of our world unlivable

Parts of the world have already become too hot for human inhabitants due to changing weather patterns and increasing heat waves from CO2 levels

A recent study conducted by the American Climate Prospectus predicted that the number of dangerous heat events experienced by Americans each year will rise from a baseline of 4, the average number during the period from 1981 to 2020 to about 10 in the year 2030 and then to 35 by the year 2090

Scientists warn that climate change will lead to longer and hotter heat waves

The world has found this to be true in many instances

It is predicted that by the end of the century the Persian Gulf will experience extreme temperatures that will make survival near impossible

In 1998, a heat wave scorched Chicago and was the main cause of death for over 700 people

In May of 2015, India suffered an extreme heat wave with temperatures reaching upwards of 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which was responsible for the deaths of around 2,500 people across many regions of India

Are we going to let our carbon emissions affect the livelihood of hundreds of other people? We definitely shouldn't

We should fight for our fellow humans and take our actions and their consequences seriously

But first, let's look at how humans are harming the earth

Humans harm the earth in many ways

Deforestation or cutting down large portions of forests affect animal habitats, the air we breathe and the water we drink

Hundreds of animals rely on trees for shelter, food and other aspects of survival

Trees provide berries, leaves and bark, which can be eaten by a plethora of animals

Trees also soak up some of the CO2 in the air and dispel oxygen for humans to breathe

Without trees, there may be little oxygen and the life of humanity will be threatened

As we cannot live without oxygen, we can also say that we cannot live without trees

The roots of trees act as natural water filters as water flows through forested areas on its way to meet the stream, river or lake

Most of the water we consume comes from public lakes or rivers

And although we filter the water before it can be consumed by masses, the trees help to rid the water of some impurities

This helps keep animals and humans alive and safe

Almost everything we do produces carbon dioxide or CO2

What is CO2? CO2 is a colourless, odorless, non-toxic gas that is dispelled into the atmosphere from a variety of actions, both human and natural

From driving to the store to farming and harvesting crops emits CO2

Manufacturing food, printing paper, taking the elevator and leaving the lights and water on produces great quantities of CO2

Transportation is responsible for most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Vehicles such as cars, trains, planes and boats release CO2, which contributes to global warming

In total, the U


transportation sector, which includes planes, trains, ships and freight, produces around 30% of all U


global warming emissions

That's much more than most countries

In 2011, the countries that produced the most carbon dioxide were China, the United States, the European Union, India, the Russian Federation, Japan and Canada

The CO2 came mostly from the burning of fossil fuels

According to a recent study in the academic journal Science, it was found that carbon dioxide levels are at historic heights

Hovering around 400 parts per million, a level scientists warn is radically altering the Earth's atmosphere and oceans

Some 46,000 to 58,000 square miles of forests are felled each year

Species are going extinct at a rate more than 100 times faster than has occurred historically

And fertilizer use, which has boosted agricultural yields, has also reached an all-time high

But when carried by wind or water into rivers and oceans, makes them uninhabitable for aquatic species

We need to take a hard look at our carbon emissions and come up with a plan of action to reduce our CO2

The average amount of CO2 we emit each day is called our carbon footprint

If we were to eat meat every day, drive all over town to work, the gym, the store and to town and then watch TV with all the lights on, our carbon footprint would be pretty high

However, if we rode our bike to work or carpooled, ate food that was locally grown and turned the lights and water off when we were done using them, our carbon footprint would be lower

According to Carbon Fund, 40% of the average Americans' carbon footprint is due to their direct energy use

The other 60% is indirect

It comes from everything we buy and use, goods and services

Many of us are not aware of just how many emissions we are putting into the atmosphere

It is important to remember that every little thing we can do to lower our emissions can and does make a difference

Even by walking or carpooling to locations when we can, using less hot water and considering the environmental impact when you print can all help reduce our CO2 emissions and help the environment

In lieu of buying coffee from a fancy coffee shop every morning, brew our own coffee at home in a reusable mug

Unplug our microwave, lamps and other objects when they are not in use

Read a book in the light of a lamp instead of spending every night in the white glow of the TV

Shopping local instead of at large chain stores or buying fresh fruits and vegetables from a farmer's market can also help reduce the CO2 in the air

There are many changes we can all make to mitigate the effects of climate change

All of these small changes can add up to make a larger difference

Why wouldn't people not feel the need to lessen their environmental impact? Most people take nature for granted and don't care about recycling all the carbon emissions they funnel out of their gas tanks because they don't think that it will affect them

Not doing anything is just as bad as causing the pollution in the first place

Even if it doesn't seem to make a difference, making little changes such as recycling paper instead of throwing it in the trash or deciding to carpool to work can add up in the long run

The environment is a very precious part of our lives

If we ruin it, it's not going to magically become better again

It's up to us to fix the damage we've done and people need to start doing something now

It would be easy to say, stop putting so much CO2 into the atmosphere, but the truth is that many people would not listen

CO2 is convenient and easy

Would humans want to stop driving vehicles, eating meat, and bathing with hot water altogether? Of course not

We need to figure out a way to do things in a sustainable manner

Other forms of energy, like wind energy, can generate electricity without emitting CO2

Studies by the New York Independent System Operator, Synapse Energy Economics, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggest that increased renewable energy generation has the potential to save the American ratepayers tens of billions of dollars a year over the current mix of electric power options

This does not mean this transition will be without costs, such as upgrading infrastructure, training people for these new jobs, and retiring existing power plants, but rather that the benefits to U


consumers potentially outweigh these costs

Studies all show that renewable energy cuts costs system-wide by replacing power plants that are expensive to operate, mainly due to fossil fuel expenses

A study by the New York Independent System Operator showed that adding 8 gigawatts of wind capacity in the state of New York by 2018 would save $1

3 billion in power plant operation costs per year, roughly $65 per person served

The trend is clear

The United States is moving towards cleaner power generation, with renewable energy at the forefront

EPA's new regulations will help accelerate this transition, continue the reduction in U


carbon emissions, and offer customers hundreds of dollars in savings annually compared to the cost of continuing to run the current power plant fleet

Hopefully this trend will continue, and the United States will continue to invest in renewable energy sources

We have developed hybrid cars to reduce our dependency on oil, and engineered solar-powered lights to power street lights, fans, and even homes to reduce our use of natural gas

Both natural gas and oil, made from coal, are non-renewable resources, which means that there is a limited supply

We acquire gas, coal, and other resources through drilling and fracking, the act of injecting water, sand, and chemicals into the shale rocks deep into the ground to crack open and release the natural gas within

But these methods of acquiring these resources are merely temporary

Sustainable energy is achievable

We just need to decide to make it a priority

So why don't humans take care of the Earth? Why aren't people more concerned? One main reason is technological utopianism, the idea that technology will solve all of our and Earth's problems

Technology is becoming more and more advanced with each passing day

Discoveries and advancements in all fields, such as health, science, media, and engineering, are being made all the time

These often help move research along, but can have negative effects on society

In a Thai mobility poll, it was found that over 84% worldwide say they couldn't go a single day without their mobile device in their hand, and that 75% of 25 to 29-year-olds took their phones to bed

It was also found that 20% of respondents check their phone every 10 minutes

We are totally, hopelessly addicted, so much so that there is now even a term for a fear of losing our phones, nomophobia, and it's on the rise

Since it's safe to be addicted to our phones, or technology in general, email, iPads, laptops, and smartphones dominate our modern world

Our uber-connected lives have made us virtually available at any time, at any place, from the movies, restaurants, during church, at traffic lights, to our kids' birthday party, and even during Christmas

This addiction to being connected and to technology is definitely not healthy, and just encourages us to go through life without actually noticing it, or caring about the world and environment around us

Some of us assume that technology can and will solve every problem we have

Technology has made strides in providing clean drinking water to needful countries

Mapping software helps detect food deserts, and providing greater access to education, along with hundreds of other improvements globally

For the most part, technology helps make our lives easier

Our calendars are on our cell phones

Our lights have the ability to automatically switch on when we want them to, and we can pay most of our bills online without any hassle

Are we that confident in technology that we believe that technology can save the human race from climate change? We cannot assume that technology can suck the CO2 out of the atmosphere or provide new homes for all of the animals displaced from globalization

Technology cannot provide the entire world with fresh water if there is none to spare

Technology cannot regrow trees as fast as we are chopping them down

It is time for us to take action

Why do we often choose not to act when we see the Earth and her inhabitants being harmed? In a recently published study, it was found that there are three social narratives that prevent people from acting on the information they have regarding the negative effects on the environment

Strategic realism, the notion that oil production is good because it supports economic security, eco-apocalypse, our incapacity to act on knowledge we have, and technological utopianism which we already discussed

We rationalize that oil and the consumption of fossil fuels is good for the economy

And who doesn't want a strong economy? Using oil is not inherently bad for the environment in and of itself

The carbon dioxide that gets dispelled is bad for the environment

Burning oil produces waste products and pollutants and promotes fossil fuel consumption, which particularly for oil is not very energy efficient

However, we have yet to find a way to make nuclear plants or solar energy technology very efficient

When trying to figure out what is environmentally friendly, there's a lot of related processes that need to be considered

We need to ask the question, what is sustainable? What can keep the future of the world going? Is there enough coal in the world to last another thousand years? Can solar power be harnessed? Can plastic be recycled and manufactured from natural resources and materials that can be replenished naturally? It is only with these questions that society may start to realize that the amount of daily consumption, especially of fossil fuels, is unsustainable and negatively affecting us and our home

And the last reason why humans don't act on the environmental injustices of the world is simply because we do not know how to act

We do not know what to do with the information we have been given, yet to not act is the same as choosing to act

If we do not act, the world will continue as it currently operates

If we act, there is a huge possibility for change

Are people scared of change? Is it inconvenient? Do we think the change is not worth it? The only way to get involved in change is to learn about it and jump right in

Join an environmental activism club, take a class, and visit a local nature center or preserve

Immerse in nature and learn about the way the world operates

The more we become involved in nature, the more we will see the reason to help save it

The good news is that environmental awareness and activism is growing

According to a 2014 report appearing in the China Daily, titled Protecting Environment Topps Public Concern in Poll, about 60 percent of Chinese want the government to give priority to environmental protection when boosting economic growth

Eighty-three percent of respondents said their cities have smog, and about one-third said that smog is serious

In seven cities, Beijing, Harbin, Hefei, Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan, and Zhengzhou, up to 60 percent of their citizens thought the smog in their cities was serious

Regarding its impact on their lives, 63 percent said that they reduced unnecessary trips, and about 72 percent said that they reduced their outdoor activities

This level of concern matches what we see in Europe, Japan, and the U


An article written in the Huffington Post states, When people experience a damaged environment, it changes their view of the world

They understand ecological interconnectedness, or what Barry Commoner once turned, everything must go somewhere

This has nothing to do with environmentalism or ideology

People know that we are stressing the planet's finite resources

Young people know it more than old people, because they have grown up and been educated during the environmental era

The younger generation has grown up in the mess of the earth

They have seen the effects of climate change, oil spills, and severe weather patterns firsthand

They have witnessed food deserts, droughts, and smog

In the world we live in now, it is easier to see the results of climate change, not just because the results are accentuated, but because we were taught to be more aware of them

People are starting to change their behaviors based on environmental impact

In a study regarding water conservation, 60 percent of respondents declared that they turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth

Recycling efforts are up over 80 percent from the 1980s

We are starting to think about the cleanliness of our air, the impact our carbon emissions have on the environment, and which bin to place our trash or food waste into

While it is far from universal, more and more people understand that we need to sustainably manage our planet's resources and ecosystems

In the 2014 Cone Communications Food Issue Trend Tracker Survey, it was found that 77 percent of Americans consider the impact of their purchase on the environment and sustainability when purchasing food

This survey also found that on average, 9 out of 10 respondents were willing to pay more for locally sourced food

But this shift in thinking isn't just occurring in America

The results of Nielsen's 2014 Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility shows that 55 percent of online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for items and services from businesses that are committed to positive social and environmental impact

Let's take a more in-depth look at which parts of the globe from this survey are more sustainably minded

Of the 60 countries surveyed, the Asia-Pacific region leads the way, with 64 percent of their inhabitants willing to pay more for sustainable goods and services

Latin America follows closely behind at 63 percent

The Middle East and Asian regions also came in at 63 percent

42 percent of North American respondents surveyed said that they would pay more, and Europe trails at 40 percent

Why do different parts of the world have different responses? One of the reasons countries have differing perceptions and actions in regard to environmental impact and sustainability is because of policy and how it is implemented

Let's take a look at these different perceptions and how we have measured them in the past

The first published Global Green Economy Index in 2010 was based on the belief that the environment, climate change and low carbon and green growth would rapidly become important issues for national law and policy makers, as well as the global reputation of countries

The report reads, as we went to press, 2,646 events in nearly 162 countries mobilized pressure on over 100 world leaders gathered in New York at the United Nations to take substantive and binding action on climate change

The link between these issues and the reputation of leaders and nation states is more vivid today than ever before

This report has been conducted a few times since its inception in 2010, and with it, the results become more and more pleasing

The report in 2012 assessed 27 countries

The report released in 2014 included 60 countries all around the globe

The Global Green Economy Index report assessed nations on every continent

It was found that Scandinavian countries, along with Germany, were clear leaders of sustainability

When looking at actual performance, actually implementing environmental changes instead of merely talking about them, Sweden and Norway again headed the list respectively

Costa Rica came in third inside the top 15 countries for the first time since this report has been published

Germany and Denmark came in fourth and fifth

The countries in the rear included Poland, Vietnam, Qatar, and Senegal

China came in a measly 55th place on the list, and America was listed at 28th

It is interesting to see the top 10 greenest cities too, and which countries they reside in

Four of the 10 greenest cities were in Scandinavia, but that shouldn't be too much of a shock

Copenhagen, Denmark came in first place, followed by Stockholm, Sweden in third, and Helsinki, Finland, and Oslo, Norway in ninth and tenth respectively

Amsterdam, Netherlands was hailed as the second greenest city in the world

Vancouver, Canada made the list coming in at fourth place, while London, England, and Berlin, Germany came in the fifth and sixth place

Singapore, Malaysia was last but not least on the list of greenest global cities, and New York, New York came in ninth place

Sweden is the most sustainable country in the world, at least in 2015

A ranking this Nordic country earned for its use of renewable energy sources and low carbon dioxide emissions, as well as social and governance practices such as labor participation, education, and institutional framework, according to a report by sustainability investment firm Robicosum

A report released last year in Doha by the World Energy Council urged governments to design long-term energy policies and encourage research and development in energy technology

It said developed countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, and Canada are the closest to achieving sustainable energy systems

Neither the US nor the UK made the top ten list

Sustainable energy systems include renewable sources of energy such as biomass, wind, hydro, and solar power

In Sweden, the car company Volvo unveiled a plug-in bus system, which is said to reduce fuel consumption by 75%

This means less burning of fossil fuels and less CO2

This technology will also reduce carbon dioxide by 75 to 80% when compared with the now-present diesel buses and reduce total energy consumption by around 60%

These changes are being made because the citizens of Sweden demand change and their leaders are sustainably minded when it comes to policy decisions

Think about how much we could learn from a country like that

Regardless of country, environmental awareness has been growing for about a century, but has picked up momentum in the past decade

We can only hope that this trend of environmental awareness will continue into the future

Increasing levels of environmental awareness and involvement can only be a good thing

Sustainability and renewable resources

Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations

Sustainability is made up of three parts, economic, social, and environmental

The social dimension refers to housing, education, healthcare, and other aspects that contribute to one's quality of life

While the economic dimension speaks to a viable local economy, with job creation and incoming revenue not dependent on high-consumption or population growth, the environmental dimension refers to maintaining the quality of the environment and the idea of creating a more resilient city that can withstand natural disasters

Sustainability is based on a simple principle

Everything we need for our survival and wellbeing depends on our natural environment, either directly or indirectly

In order to become more sustainable every day, we need to consider the impact everything we do has on the environment

Our natural resources, resources that can be found in the environment, such as coal, ore, and natural gas, are dwindling

Fresh water is running out and we have a limited supply of trees

We use and modify natural resources to benefit us with little regard for the future generations

A renewable resource is one that can be recycled and made again, or reused

Biomass, power from the burning of natural materials such as plants, wood, and biological waste, solar power from the sun, and water, which only has a limited supply on earth, are all examples of renewable resources

We can plant more trees and hopefully the sun will not burn out within our lifetime

By utilising renewable resources, we are taking some stress off the earth

But with the overuse of natural resources, we produce more CO2, which then results in an increase of global warming

Which would you choose? The convenient way or the sustainable way? Is it global warming or climate change? According to the EPA, global warming refers to the recent and ongoing increase in the average global temperature

This increase is mostly caused by the amassed amounts of greenhouse gases or CO2 in the atmosphere

The CO2 or greenhouse gases get trapped within the atmosphere

Some CO2 in the atmosphere isn't a bad thing

It allows for heat and sunlight to travel to earth, and helps keep earth from going into a deep freeze period

But we can have too much CO2

If there is too much CO2 in the atmosphere, earth heats up considerably over time, along with a plethora of other adverse effects

For many, a warmer temperature is welcome, but some do not realise the negative effects such warming will have on life as they know it

Is climate change the same as global warming? Global warming causes a change in climate patterns, including increasing the frequency of large weather events such as hurricanes and floods

Climate change includes extreme changes in temperature, precipitation and wind pattern

These changes may be a little more subtle, occurring slowly over decades

The answer is no

Climate change and global warming are not the same

In fact, you may even say that global warming increases or affects climate change

One cannot exist without the other

Natural and human causes

What causes global warming and climate change? Are humans all to blame? How much of these temperature shifts are natural? The Earth is warming

Earth's average temperature has risen by 1

5 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century, and is projected to rise another 0

5 to 8

6 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years

Although 0

5 degrees of warming may not seem like a lot, the consequences are huge

Small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather

The Earth goes through periods of natural cycles of warming and lowering average temperatures

Ice ages have happened as a result of these natural temperature fluctuations

Before the Industrial Revolution, the climate of Earth was unaffected by human activity

During that time, any global warming was mostly due to variations in sunlight and the solar energy that reaches Earth

Less sun equals less warmth

Volcanic eruptions also shoot particles into the atmosphere, which also had a hand in increasing greenhouse gases and altering the climate of the planet

Although these natural causes are still relevant to global warming today, they are not enough to explain the rapid warming Earth has been experiencing over the last few decades or so

NASA and its scientists have the technology and the data to create climate models and simulations based on scientific data found in rocks, lava, soils and other natural elements

These models also take into account human as well as natural activities by processing information gathered from satellites and monitoring instruments on Earth's surface

They have found that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere prior to the 1950s were primarily caused by volcanic eruptions and changes in solar energy

After that, the warming trend can only be explained by adding in the human element

Although volcanoes remain active and changing periods of sunlight occurs around the globe, the amount of carbon dioxide they emit is relatively small compared to emissions from humans

According to NASA, volcanoes emit, on average, between 130 and 230 million tons of carbon dioxide each year

And the NASA satellites that monitor the solar output from the sun tells us that the total solar energy varies greatly over an 11-year period

This does still not explain the dramatic increase of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere

On average, humans release more than 100 times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than what is generated from volcanic activity

According to the EPA, CO2 emissions in the United States and other developed nations are projected to grow by about 1

5 percent between 2005 and 2020

Thankfully, there are some ways to combat this

Because of increasing carbon footprints, humans are contributing to global climate change in an increasingly fast way

We are using more CO2 than ever before

Our human activities are altering the carbon cycle, both by adding more CO2 to the atmosphere and by influencing the ability of natural sinks, like forests, to remove CO2 from the atmosphere

By cutting down trees, we are taking away one of nature's natural abilities to fight global warming

While CO2 emissions come from a variety of natural sources, such as decomposition of decaying wood and release from the oceans, which only contribute to a relatively small amount of CO2, human-related emissions are responsible for the vast majority of the carbon dioxide increase that has occurred in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution

In 2011, fossil fuel usage, created by burning coal, oil and natural gas, created 33

2 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide

According to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, 2011 global fossil fuel carbon emissions reached an estimated 9,449 million metric tons of carbon, which represents an all-time high and a 3

4% increase over 2010 emissions

Since 1751, approximately 374 billion metric tons of carbon have been released into the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production

It is quite shocking to find out that half of these fossil fuel CO2 emissions have occurred since the mid-1980s

Each and every year, we are increasing our carbon emissions and releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere

Data shows that between 2000 and 2010, carbon emissions have steadily increased on average of 3

2% each year

This may not seem like a lot, but each year they compound on one another

Maybe being more sustainably minded has paid off

However, scientists predict that for the first time since the early 2000s, carbon emissions may drop around 0


The main human activity that emits CO2 is the burning of fossil fuels – coal, natural gas and oil – for energy and transportation

Many other processes also emit CO2, such as certain industrial processes and land use changes

However, fossil fuels are responsible for most CO2 in the atmosphere

Coal is responsible for 43% of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, 36% is produced by oil and 20% from natural gas

What do we use these fuels for? Natural gas is used to generate electricity, which is a significant source of energy all over the globe

Electricity is used to light homes, charge laptops and cell phones and heating water

Burning fossil fuels for electricity usage accounted for about 37% of total US CO2 emissions and 31% of total US greenhouse gas emissions in 2013

The combustion of fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuel, to transport people and goods around the globe is the second largest source of CO2 emissions, accounting for about 31% of total US CO2 emissions and 26% of total US greenhouse gas emissions in 2013

This category includes transportation sources such as vehicles, air travel, marine transportation and rail

Fossil fuels are also used to produce and transport our food

Food miles are referred to the amount of resources it takes to get the food item from the producer to the consumer

Local food, often defined as food that travels less than 100 miles to get to the consumer, has less food miles associated with them

Buying produce, honey and other fresh food from a farmers market or farm stand has less of an environmental impact than buying lettuce and other vegetables at the grocery store

In order to calculate food miles, take into consideration the energy it took to produce the food, prepare and ship it and package it in stores

How our food is grown, stored, transported, processed and cooked can all influence how it impacts climate change and the environment

Why does our food travel so far to get to our plates? For a few reasons

We like to buy seasonally fresh food all year round

Strawberries growing season is traditionally in early summer, yet we see them in the store even through the winter

To get strawberries in the winter, they are imported and shipped from thousands of miles away and grown in greenhouses

This all takes more energy, gas and natural resources

Another reason why food travels so far to get to the consumer is because we are willing to travel farther for our food

People are willing to travel out of their way to shop at a certain store, maybe because it has a certain product they like or because it is organic

If you enjoy ready-made foods such as frozen pizzas, pre-made salads and canned soups, those have more food miles associated with them as well

The ingredients travel all over the country from factory to factory to come together and make the pre-packaged food

Then it gets shipped to the stores

We enjoy the convenience of our food, but at what cost? Buying local foods is better for our health

The shorter the time between the farm and our table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost

Food imported from far away is older and has travelled on trucks or planes and sat in warehouses before it gets to you

Supporting local food is also good for the environment

Well-managed farms provide habitats for wildlife, conserve soil, sequester carbon and help clean our waters

So next time you're at the grocery store, will you stop and think about where our food comes from? We create carbon emissions from almost anything we do

The use of fossil fuels is one of the leading causes of human emissions

From driving a car and buying and eating meat, to turning lights in our home on and off, and even printing paper creates CO2

The good news is that there is a way to slow down our carbon emissions, which we will cover later in this documentary

But first, let's explore what will happen if we do not take action to combat climate change

What has already happened as a result of climate change? We've talked about how humans harm the environment and contribute to CO2 in the atmosphere

By now you realize, hopefully, that something must be done

But what will happen if we do not take action? If society continues to emit these levels of carbon dioxide with little regard for their consequences, Earth will be in for a big shock

Effects have already started to take place

The consequences of changing the natural atmospheric greenhouse are sometimes difficult to predict, but we believe these effects will happen in one form or another

The Earth will warm

Some parts of the globe will have more increased temperatures than others, but as a whole, the Earth will warm

Maybe you find this desirable

Who doesn't enjoy warmer weather? Well, this warmer weather comes with many big consequences

The warmer weather may lead to increased rainfall and more evaporation of condensation

This will cause some areas to become wetter, while others become drier

This adversely affects the way of life people are accustomed to

Wetter or drier climates alike will affect the crop production and its harvest, which in turn affects the ability to feed the people of that region

Dryer weather may bring sandstorms, and wetter weather may bring floods

Homes may be destroyed, and people may have to relocate to find a more livable environment

An increase in temperature by just a few degrees will definitely affect the oceans

Glaciers will melt, causing thousands of animals to lose their habitats

Sea levels will also rise, affecting hundreds of thousands of homes, fields, and habitats

Major flooding will occur, and crops will drown due to the rise in sea level everywhere

Oceanic water will become more acidic, causing the habitat for thousands of sea creatures to become unlivable

Weather patterns will be severely altered as a result of warming core temperatures

Storms will become stronger and more frequent

Hurricanes will demolish hundreds of homes and lives

One hundred million people risk coastal flooding

Wildfires will spread through the dry grass under the scorching sun

Many humans and animals will die from unexpected heat waves and droughts

Your supply of potable water may decrease, causing millions of people to be without clean drinking water

Global warming and climate change will also adversely affect human health

In a recent study by Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission, climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century

Although vector-borne diseases, infections transferred through an insect or arthropod bite, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders will continue to cause death, it is expected that death, especially among elderly people, will increase because of heat waves, which are the indirect effects of climate change on water, food security, and extreme climatic events

All of these are consequences of global warming and climate change

For some effects, it may be too late to stop the chain of motion, but for others, the damage has already been done

The sooner we change our behaviour and our thinking, the better

In this day and age, it is extremely important to get the future generation involved in nature and expose them to environmental education

Quite simply, environmental education is the study of nature and environmental issues, both global and local

From nature walks to science experiments, environmental education can be fun and engaging for children and adults

In a survey conducted in 2000, it was found that two-thirds of the public failed a basic environmental quiz, and 88% failed a basic energy quiz

Studies consistently show that the United States public suffers from a tremendous environmental literacy gap, and it is increasing

In one study, it was found that 45 million Americans believe the ocean is a form of freshwater, and 130 million Americans think that hydropower is America's top energy source

Given the state of our planet, this lack of awareness and general knowledge is appalling and unacceptable

One way that we can combat this is through environmental education

More and more children are spending most of their time indoors, in front of a screen

This movement indoors is not benign

There are health costs associated with this shift, attention difficulties, hyperactivity, childhood obesity and diminished use of senses

Additionally, if children are detached from nature, how will they learn about, understand and value nature? How will the next generation care about the land and be stewards of its resources? Raising an environmentally literate generation of problem solvers will help ensure that tomorrow's decision makers are prepared for the challenges they will likely face

Studies have shown environmental education engages students in learning, raising test scores and encouraging youth to pursue careers in environmental and natural resources

Hopefully we will see a shift in environmental awareness soon

Another way we can attempt to offset carbon emissions is by planting trees

Forests act as a natural carbon sink, absorbing more CO2 than they expel

A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and sequester or store one tonne of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old

Isn't that amazing? The Arbor Day Alliance found that 100 metric tonnes of CO2 can accumulate in one acre of forest over a period of time

While each person on earth generates around 2

3 tonnes of CO2 per year, the carbon footprint of 18 average Americans can be neutralised by one acre of hardwood trees

A simple solution to combat our CO2 emissions is just to plant more trees

You probably already know that there are other forms of energy such as wind power, hydropower, geothermal, biomass or solar power

These forms of energy are more sustainable because they do not require fossil fuels

Wind, sun and wave power are in great supply and are replenishable

Most renewable sources of energy have little to no impact on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

According to data aggregated by the International Panel on Climate Change, global warming emissions associated with renewable energy, including manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance, are minimal

Wind, solar and hydropower systems generate electricity with no linked air pollution or CO2 emissions

While geothermal and biomass energy systems emit some air pollutants, total air emissions are limited to a few

While geothermal and biomass energy systems emit some air pollutants, total air emissions are generally much lower than those of non-renewable resources such as those of gas and coal

In 2012, NREL found that together, renewable energy sources have the possibility and potential to supply over 482,000 billion kilowatt hours of electricity every year

This amount is 118 times the amount of electricity the United States currently consumes

However it is important to note that not all of this potential can be tapped due to conflicting land use needs, the higher short-term costs of those resources, constraints on ramping up their use such as limits on transmission capacity, barriers to public acceptance and other hurdles

Hopefully we will see an increase of renewable and sustainable energy sources in our lifetime

One of the most promising ways to combat the effects of global warming is through sustainable development, the ongoing development that meets future needs of people without compromising future generations ability to meet their needs

Building skyscrapers, highways and towering McMansions left and right emit 39 percent of the CO2 emissions in the United States

Shipping materials to the worksite, fueling trucks and other machines and producing the materials all take a toll on the environment by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

Tiny houses are a wonderful way to get involved in the sustainability movement

The tiny house movement can be traced back as far as Henry David Thoreau and the publication of his book Walden

In Walden, Thoreau writes, I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, to see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived

The Rose desire to live simply has continued into today's society, with more and more Americans downsizing their homes and living more minimally

In today's terms, it is a social movement where people are consciously choosing to downsize their living space

The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas the typical tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet

They tend to be this small so they can be hauled with a truck

Tiny houses come in all shapes and sizes, but they all enable simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space

Less house means less building materials, less transportation and less carbon dioxide

Could you live in a tiny house? What will happen to all of your stuff? It is important to think about the implications downsizing will have

Becoming attached to your things can make it a difficult transition and tiny houses are not for everyone

If you can't picture yourself in a tiny house, what about just downsizing your home and your belongings? Having less things can be very freeing

A lot of this comes down to consumption

If we consume less, we have less

Less things, less attachments and less carbon dioxide emissions

Consuming less meat and more plant-based foods will help offset some CO2 emissions produced by cutting down transportation and importation of meat

Ride your bike to work or start carpooling

Buy things second-hand and make homemade gifts instead of being part of the crazy Christmas shopping in the winter months

Use less electricity in the summer and enjoy natural sunlight

Taking a good look at your life, your surroundings, your things and your behaviours is a great way to starting your journey to a more sustainable life and mitigating CO2 emissions

The more you educate yourself, the more aware you will become

This can only help you guide more people toward becoming more sustainable and living a less wasteful life

The important thing is not to be discouraged

It is easy to look at the facts and become downhearted

It would be simple to give up and continue to use non-sustainable energy forms, continuing our life as we currently are

Take some time to think about where your food comes from and how your carbon consumption affects others and the world around you

We must take care of the earth so it can continue to be a home for us and its many animals, plants and insects

Without earth we cannot exist

It can all be summed up in a quote by author Margaret Mead

We won't have a society if we destroy the environment

So what are you waiting for? Will you be part of the change? We are all part of it

Thank you very much

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