1.5 refers to 1.5 degrees celcius.
Thing is the Earth has been warming unusually since the Industrial Revolution that began in the 1760s. This warming, referred to as Global Warming, has been happening because since that time—the Industrial Revolution—human beings have been using Fossil Fuels (Coal, Oil and Gas) to operate huge factories, cars, aeroplanes, ships, trains etc.
At that time human beings particularly in the developed world, Europe and America, cut huge numbers of tress for agricultural purposes. In planting food, lots of man-made fertilizers were also used contributing to the problem. Before the Industrial Revolution, human beings lived in a mainly agricultural industry that depended on animals and basic tools to carry out their duties.
Fossil fuels are heat-trapping gases. In other words, these gases stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and trap the heat from the sun. So rather than allow most of the Sun’s heat to return to the atmosphere, the fossil fuels trap the heat making the earth’s atmosphere much, much, warmer.
Why is that important?
Well, as the Earth’s surface and the sea temperature gets warmer and warmer, the ice in the North and South poles as well as glaciers and other ice masses in various parts of the world is melting and t and continues to melt. And yes, you’re right! The melting ice falls into the oceans and the oceans are rising.
Already, the global temperature of the earth is 1 degree Celsius warmer than what it used to be BEFORE the Industrial Revolution. Because the earth’s surface is warmer than usual, the climate is abnormal-unbalanced. Already small countries like Saint Lucia are experiencing stronger storms, stronger hurricanes and worst droughts or less rainfall.
If human beings continue to burn the fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), then the earth will get even warmer and the oceans will rise even higher. Scientists continue to warn us that the warmer it gets, the worst it will get for small island developing states like Saint Lucia. For example there is the possibility that the entire country—Saint Lucia—can disappear under water if the temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius globally.
We didn’t cause the problem but…
It is important to note that the Developed Countries in Europe, the Americas, and more recently Asia, are mainly responsible for Global Warming and Climate Change. The simple reason for that is they burn a lot more fossil fuels than we do. In fact, comparatively speaking, the amount of Fossil Fuels that we burn is negligible or very little. However, because of our size, global warming and climate change will impact us the most from a negative standpoint.
So what can we do?
Every country in the world, including Saint Lucia, needs as much as possible to move away from using Fossil Fuels and start using Renewable Energy. Renewable Energy is energy that can be used over and over and over again without affecting the Earth. Examples of renewable energy are Solar (sun), wind, water, and geothermal. In the meantime, because most of the appliances and transportation that we use rely on fossil fuels, we need to use them wisely or whenever we can purchase energy efficient appliances.
Here are some other things we can do:
- Use electricity wisely, it’s a fossil fuel. LUCELEC takes oil and turns it into electricity
- Buy LED bulbs for your home. They provide you with much more light whilst using less electricity.
- Conserve water because WASCO has to use LUCELEC’s energy from fossil fuels to provide us with water.
- Plant more tress because trees absorb lots of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Carbon Dioxide is the main gas contributing to global warming and climate change. Trees also help to keep the soil from eroding and lessen sea pollution.
- Use paper wisely. Trees are cut to produce paper.
- Collect rain water. The more rain water you can collect and utilise, the less fossil fuel WASCO has to burn to provide you with water.
- Don’t keep your vehicle idling for too long. Remember that your vehicle uses gas and the more gas that you burn, the more Carbon Dioxide goes into the atmosphere.
- Buy locally produced goods. Not only are they healthier, they also help by ensuring that less fossil fuels are being used to get the products to you.
- Be careful where you build your home. If the sea level rise continues to rise, many homes and businesses near the coastline will be seriously damaged.
- Dispose your garbage in the proper way. Already we have been told that the warmer seas destroy our coral reefs. If the coral reefs are destroyed, many fishermen will lose their livelihoods and their families will suffer. Our Tourism Industry will also suffer because thousands of visitors come to Saint Lucia to dive in our waters to enjoy the beautiful Corals and the various species of colourful fish that live there. Garbage disposed of indiscriminately ends up in the sea and contributes to destroying our Coral Reefs.