What Is Climate Change? Understanding Our Planet's Future

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In recent years, the discussion surrounding climate change has intensified, and for good reason. Climate change is not just an opinion; it's a scientific fact that demands our attention and action. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the frequently discussed concepts of climate change, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels, and carbon footprint. Our goal is to provide clarity on these topics, empowering you to make informed decisions that benefit both your health and the well-being of our planet. 

What is Climate Change? 

To grasp the concept of climate change, it's crucial to differentiate between weather and climate. Weather refers to short-term, localized atmospheric conditions, such as a rainy day or a heavy snowfall. In contrast, climate encompasses long-term weather patterns. When we discuss climate change, we're referring to the observed long-term shifts in Earth's weather patterns. Earth's climate has naturally fluctuated throughout Earth's history, influenced by the amount of solar energy absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere. However, the current situation is dramatically different. The climate shifts we're witnessing today are not natural but rather a result of human activities, leading to the long-term heating of Earth's surface, known as global warming. Climate change is an immediate threat that jeopardizes our health, food security, home safety, and the well-being of our entire planet. 

Understanding the causes and effects of climate change is the first step towards taking action. While each individual can make a difference, you don't have to face this challenge alone. 

What are the Causes of Climate Change? 

To fully comprehend the causes of climate change, we must start by exploring greenhouse gases. These gases trap a portion of the Sun's heat in Earth's atmosphere, maintaining a warm temperature that sustains life. Greenhouse gases can be both natural and anthropogenic (human-generated). The most prevalent greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxides (NxO), and ozone (O3). These gases originate from various sources, such as organic decomposition, volcanic eruptions, animal digestion, and human activities like deforestation, landfills, farming, and the burning of fossil fuels. 

Fossil fuels, including coal, oil, and natural gas, are derived from the decomposition of ancient plants and animals. These resources are extracted from Earth's crust and burned to produce energy for heating and electricity. Shockingly, an estimated 81% of the energy used in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels. This reliance on fossil fuels presents two main issues: firstly, these non-renewable resources are being overused, and once depleted, it will take millions of years for new reserves to form. Secondly, burning fossil fuels is responsible for nearly three-quarters of human-derived greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade. 

The chart below illustrates the global industries primarily responsible for producing these greenhouse gases. 


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The exponential increase in greenhouse gas production is warming our planet, leading to evident consequences that threaten our health and future if we fail to take action. 

How is Climate Change Affecting Us? 

The impact of climate change is visible worldwide. Since the late 19th century, the global average temperature has risen by approximately 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1 Celsius), resulting in significant and interconnected changes in our landscapes. These changes include rising ocean temperatures, retreating ice sheets, and rising sea levels. Between 1993 and 2019, Greenland lost an average of 279 billion tons of ice every year, while Antarctica lost about 148 billion tons per year. 

In the U.S., people are experiencing more intense hurricanes, increased droughts and heat waves, and prolonged wildfire seasons. In California, 14 of the 20 largest wildfires ever recorded have occurred within the last decade. Projections indicate that by 2050, the amount of land consumed by wildfires in the western part of the country will increase by two to six times. 

The extreme weather events resulting from global warming have also contributed to an increase in poverty and created unliveable conditions for communities forced to relocate. Tragically, a majority of people who have been forcibly displaced by conflicts worldwide now reside in countries ill-prepared for the extreme weather events brought about by future climate change, further damaging already vulnerable communities. 

Climate change affects our lives at the most basic level, impacting the air pollution we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. 

Taking Action: We Can Help! 

As human beings, we must recognize that we are not merely surrounded by nature but are an integral part of it. When our actions harm the environment, we not only cause irreparable long-term damage to the planet but also harm ourselves in the present. What can we do to break this cycle? 

Each of us holds the power to make simple changes in our daily lives that can significantly reduce our carbon footprint – the amount of greenhouse gases resulting from our activities, such as transportation, housing, laundry habits, and purchasing choices. By working together, we can help you reduce your impact and contribute to positive change. Here are three simple actions you can start with to take control of your carbon footprint: 

Buy local, seasonal products: Purchasing local, seasonally available products significantly lowers your carbon footprint. A large portion of the footprint associated with the food we buy and consume stems from transportation. There is something special about purchasing a product grown in your area and only available for a limited time. This choice reduces your carbon footprint and supports your local community, making you a part of positive change. 

Be mindful of transportation: Some days, consider replacing car rides with walking or biking. Air travel has a high carbon footprint; think about lower-emission trains instead. 

Choose products from sustainably responsible companies: Reducing your carbon footprint should be a collaborative effort. Companies play a crucial role in creating environmentally friendly products and backing up their words with actions. This can include using renewable energy, tracking the carbon footprint of their operations and products, and maintaining transparency with consumers. We're proud to be plastic-free, which reduces carbon emissions and water usage, and we offset 120% of our carbon emissions to give back more than we take. The products you choose for your personal care can be a starting point for the positive change you want to make! 

Climate change is a daunting reality, but we have the power to make a difference. We're excited to embark on this journey with you towards sustainable development and a better future for our planet! 


Source 1: https://science.nasa.gov/climate-change/what-is-climate-change/ 

Source 2: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/climate-change 

Source 3: https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/what-is-climate-change 

Source 4: https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/fossil-fuels/ 

Source 5: http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-sources/fossil-fuels/ 

Source 6: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5837998/ 

Source 7: https://science.nasa.gov/climate-change/evidence/ 

Source 8: https://science.nasa.gov/climate-change/effects/ 

Source 9: https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/report-findings/ecosystems-and-biodiversity#intro-section 

Source 10: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/partner-content-laundry-lightening-the-load#:~:text=Besides%20using%20around%2019%20billion,eq%20greenhouse%20gases%20each%20year. 

Source 11: https://www.unhcr.org/what-we-do/build-better-futures/climate-change-and-displacement