A Changing World

Nathan - Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Entered on February 10, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: environment
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A Changing World

During my short existence on Earth, I have developed the philosophy that we need to save our Earthly home. I arrived at this belief when I spent some time in northern Wisconsin on Lake Superior.

I went to Lake Superior in the summer of 2008 for a camping trip. It opened my eyes to the splendor of nature. The beauty made me wonder why the entire world could not be like this. The water was so clear that you could drink it directly from the lake, and the air was crystal clean. The night sky was like a snap shot into another time when the entire world was like this. These sights started my hunger for the answers to questions, like what happened and what is to come?

I actually started listening to all the talks, reports, and commercials about the environment that begged people to change. I also found out that the government is trying to do something about these problems. They have given discounts to major companies that reduce their electricity usage and pollution. They made it a requirement that all the waste that companies produce is not shoved into the atmosphere, but cleaned and disposed of properly. The government is also giving tax breaks to companies and individuals that put up windmills and solar panels.

One of the greatest environmental success stories is the elimination of Chlorofluorocarbons, better known as CFC’s. CFC’s were used mostly for propellant in aerosol cans and refrigerants in refrigerators. In the 1970’s, research showed that CFC’s were dangerous because they destroyed the Ozone layer, which is a protective coating over the Earth. The world banded together and made CFC’s illegal in all products. If the Ozone layer had been destroyed, then we would have all died of lethal UV radiation from the sun.

Climate change, however, is something that the government cannot fix for us. We as a people have to act to repair the environment. It will be hard because we will have to reduce our electricity, water, and heat usage to try to decrease the amount of fuel burned. We will have to stop using our huge SUV’s and replace them with cars with better mileage. We will have to increase energy efficiency and reduce pollution. These things all require energy, which is mostly produced by burning fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, which causes Global Warming.

When I was in the car on the way home from Lake Superior, I started noticing some sad facts. The grass and trees started to fade away as more and more buildings started to takeover the landscape. The air started to reek of car exhaust as I noticed that there were more cars on the road. The things that I saw helped solidify my belief that the Earth needs help. We can all do our part. The question is… will we act before it is too late?