Green Corner: Sustaining our planet while saving its people

Have you ever heard people say “save the planet”? Should our main focus be to decrease carbon dioxide emissions, eliminate deforestation or stop the increasingly fast pace of global warming just for the earth’s benefit? No, it should be to save human existence.
Global warming, otherwise known as climate change, is a natural process, yet humans have helped to speed it up. As the late comedian George Carlin once said, “The planet is fine. Compared with the people, the planet is doin’ great. It’s been here over four billion years. The planet isn’t goin’ anywhere, folks — we are.” So what does being “green” benefit? The answer is the human race.
In order for humans to survive, we need to focus on these environmental issues that affect our existence. Natural resources such as clean air and water are good examples. Take the word sustainability for instance. According to it means, “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” If we continue to pollute our air and water, how will we survive? How will our children and our grandchildren live?
According to the National Geographic website, the average U.S. citizen produces 20 tons of carbon dioxide per year. An increase in carbon dioxide causes temperatures to rise at a fast pace, which results in extreme climate change and disasters.
The presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney made history, but not once did either candidate mention climate change. Not long after the final debate, Hurricane Sandy and a Nor’easter devastated the East Coast of the United States. These extreme weather events should make it even more apparent that the silence of climate change has to be broken.
It seems there will be no hope for the human race if we continue to ignore this environmental problem. The slogan “save the planet” needs to be changed to “save the humans.” Now that the stage has been set with Obama continuing as our president for the next four years, it’s time to work together and focus on a bigger issue at hand that affects everyone.
-Katelyn White
Lawrenceville Eco-Rep

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