By Monique Guz
When it comes to the topic of global warming many people ask themselves, “What difference can one person really make?”
Lecturer and environmentalist Dana Isherwood replied, “The smallest changes make the biggest impact.”
Isherwood proved this point and shared her own impact with students on Oct. 30 in Science Hall.
After watching the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and being shocked by its revelations, she decided to become involved with the Climate Project, a voluntary effort to spread the message that global warming is a serious issue.
“I felt that I had to do more than change my personal life so I applied to [join] the Climate Project,” Isherwood said. “I was picked out of thousands of individuals to participate.”
One part of the Climate Project is to provide information on how to make an impact upon an issue that affects each and every person in this world.
Isherwood, who was once a student of Al Gore, stated that there are three factors responsible for global warming. The first of these factors is population. In 1941, the world population reached 2.3 billion people. In 2006, the world population was 6.5 billion. By 2050, the world population is estimated to exceed 9 billion people. The larger the population, the more demand there is for natural resources and food supply.
The second factor is science and technology, she said. War used to consist of spears in the early ages and guns in the later periods. Now, war consists of atomic, nuclear and biological warfare. The basic shovel was once a hand-held tool to dig up soil. Now, a large fuel-powered construction machine is used. The simple irrigation system has evolved into a large-scale mechanism that dries up rivers. The United States is in the lead with the amount of carbon emissions it produces, which causes global warming.
Finally, the last factor that plays into the issue of global warming is the way people think.
According to Isherwood, most of the population doesn’t believe that one person can do something to combat global warming.
However, some corporations have gotten past this kind of thinking and have already taken steps to combat the global issue. McDonald’s is working toward using cooking oil as fuel for vehicles, rental car companies are providing hybrids and Wal-Mart has reduced packaging. Also, certain grocery stores apply credit toward shoppers’ bills when they use cloth bags rather than plastic.
According to Isherwood, individuals can combat global warming and protect natural resources by relying on wind power, solar power and hybrids. Isherwood believes each and every person can take certain steps to stabilize the use of emissions.
“It is our responsibility to our planet,” she said.