Climate change and what you can do about it

Climate change

Climate change and what you can do about it

Climate change is the result of a variety of factors, including human activity and natural forces, causing the conditions on Earth to shift drastically, ultimately for the worse.

 

What is climate change?  We hear about it often and sometimes may not fully understand the term.  The simplest way to look at it is that, well, the climate is changing.  However, that doesn’t help us to understand why or how.  It’s that understanding which gives us solutions.

Climate change is often associated with Greenhouse Gases and the Greenhouse Effect.  There is a general notion that humans are changing our climate.  In reality, this is probably true.  However, it is important that we understand that there are also many other variables that contribute to climate change and that climate change is not something that JUST started happening.  It is caused by plate tectonics, volcanos and other forces.  There are natural phenomena out of human control that contribute to climate change.

However, since the Industrial Revolution, there seems to be a much more rapid and concerning change in the climate that many feel is directly related to the emission of CO2 by fossil fuels, as well as the cutting of trees and deforestation.

The easiest way to explain this is through the analogy of a greenhouse.  That is why climate change on Earth has come to be termed the Greenhouse Effect. There is a rather delicate balance of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide, ozone and water vapor) in our planet’s atmosphere.  With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, that balance was upset.  In short, there is too much CO2 in our atmosphere and it has the potential to cause a lot of problems for our planet and, of course, us. The Greenhouse Effect takes its name from greenhouses which retain the sun’s heat to grow plants.  The mechanism by which the atmosphere retains heat is different but the same process is happening in our atmosphere leading to global warming.

So what can corporate businesses actually do about this?  The first step is to find out how large of a “carbon footprint” that your business has.  This is the amount of carbon that your business is responsible for emitting.  How do you know what your carbon footprint is?  You will need to measure your carbon footprint with carbon accounting and, thus, find out what exactly it is that you have to offset.  You can’t possibly bring your account to zero until you know where your account actually stands.

Photo by Agustin Lautaro on Unsplash

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