Climate change is one of the biggest hurdles that we will ever face, but it’s much more than warming temperatures and rising sea levels – it affects our social, economic and environmental systems. Not only that, but the people who are most responsible for causing climate change are generally not the ones who will be most affected by it – both geographically and generationally.
Sometimes when issues become so complex, it’s helpful to look to science communicators for understanding, even in one of the more unlikely places – illustrations and cartoons.
Let’s get started
Shifts in timing of warming and cooling are confusing to wildlife, can cause them to migrate at the wrong time, which may lead to death, or reduced success in raising their young. Many types of creatures - from plants and tiny insects, to large mammals such as bears - may be tricked by warm spells in winter to come out and be active, but their food sources are not available yet. This can lead to hard times for wildlife.
Yet there are those vehemently arguing that humans are not responsible for changing climate! Could that be the case? Bird and Moon Comics has the answer for us:
Many, many experts in their fields are in agreement that we are contributing to and causing global warming and changing climate. Read on to see what these experts have to say about the impacts of Climate Change:
It’s not just a matter of warming either – some people might not think that’s so bad after all. These climate shifts do not occur in all locations evenly – some areas warm a lot, and others might cool down. Climate change leads to more extreme weather, such as hurricanes, cyclones, and large rain events that can lead to flooding, which affects both ourselves as well as wildlife and plants in our environment. Nature itself can absorb some of these changes, and even buffer these changes in climate. But nature is a complex place, and there isn’t always such a simple answer, and sometimes one problem leads to another. For example:
The important thing to remember is that we aren’t alone. Together we can work toward solutions!
What you can do:
Make a large scale change:
Be an advocate for change. Call and write to your MLA and MP to demand policies that protect the environment and address climate change. This is effective, makes a large scale difference, and is surprisingly easy to do.
Be part of nature conservation. Natural areas help mitigate climate change by protecting against flood and drought, sequestering and storing carbon, and acting as a buffer against changes in the environment. Conserving existing natural areas with organizations like EALT is a cost effective way to combat climate change.
Make a personal change:
Buy local, organic food whenever possible. Transportation is a large source of CO2 emissions, and this includes food transport.
Eat less meat and dairy. Livestock production is a large source of CO2 emissions. Canada’s Food Guide recommends getting more of your protein from plant sources, and loading up on veggies and whole grains. You’ll be healthier and so will the planet (and you’ll save money too).
REDUCE, REUSE, and recycle. We have learned the values of recycling, but it’s not enough. Every time you buy a new item, more CO2 emissions are produced in the creation and transport of that item, and recycling is not the only solution to managing waste. Try reusing items as much as possible, buy recycled or second hand items, and pay attention to packaging when you make purchases.
Reduce single use plastics. There’s more to this than bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store. Bring a reusable coffee mug or frappuccino cup when you go out for coffee. Don’t take a straw if you don’t need one. Bring reusable produce bags to the grocery store instead of using plastic ones. Buy supplies in bulk if you can.
Reduce your energy consumption. Turn down your thermostat in the winter and wear a sweater instead. Buy energy efficient appliances and light bulbs, and turn them off when not in use. Hang your clothes to dry.
Travel sustainably – transportation is one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions. Walk, bike, carpool, or take transit if you can. Buy a fuel efficient vehicle. When you must fly, offset your carbon emissions by donating to a charity that works to fight climate change, or find out if your airline has an option for offsetting your flight.
What change will you make today to make a difference for wildlife, and yourself?