I first heard about Global Warming when I was about ten years old. I thought that it was just smoke in the air emitted from car exhausts and factories. Fast forward two years, and I heard about oil spills that killed marine life, disturbed the pH levels in the oceans, and affected the people that lived in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Today I hear of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific trash vortex. 1.6 million Square kilometres (three times the size of Spain) of plastic and trash floating around harming wildlife and the ecosystem. Who should be blamed for such a catastrophe? My answer is every one of us.
We all have a carbon footprint. It is like a real fingerprint. It is how much carbon dioxide is released into the air because of the activities you carry out every day. So, if you travel all the time, you are making your carbon footprint higher, and you are harming the environment. So, the aim is to use environmentally friendly means of transportation. For example, Teslas help the environment by producing electric cars. Another environmentally friendly means of transportation is cycling or carpooling.
Despite the science of it, some people do not believe in climate change. For instance, Donald Trump, the President of the United States. He says things like, “We are the cleanest we have ever been” and “We should be focused on magnificently clean and healthy air and not distracted by the expensive hoax that is global warming!” He is the most powerful person in the world, and he is giving people the wrong impression that Global Warming is a joke. People like Greta Thunberg are taking the initiative to voice the truth that Global Warming is hurting the world.
Technology has played a massive role in trying to clean up the air and the oceans. Nevertheless, it was the same technology that made the plastic bottles that are in the Pacific trash vortex. It is the same technology that is used to drill the land to get crude oil. It is the same technology that is used to burn coal, thus releasing smoke into the air and harming the ozone layer.
However, we should not always dwell on the bad. Look out for the positive in everything. In 2013, a 19-year-old Dutch boy, Boyan Slat, created a device that floats in the Pacific Ocean and collects all the plastic in the water. Another example of technology that helps solve the pollution of the environment is Cristal’s TiO2 that converts damaging gases into water vapour and nitrogen, which are harmless.
The ozone layer is what protects us from the harmful radioactive rays from the sun. It is made up of oxygen atoms (O3). The more it depletes, the more the earth warms up. A potential solution is to have a device or machine that flies up to the ozone layer and patches it up by releasing O3 into the air. I do not know if anyone has had this idea before. I am not sure if it would work, but it is just a thought of mine.
In all, I feel that we should use technology to help the environment, and not destroy it: reduce your carbon footprint, change your daily habits, save the world for future generations.
Okigbo is a 15 years old tech-enthusiast. He writes about tech and how it affects the world around us.