October 6, 2022

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We must tackle climate change – Environmentalist

An environmentalist, Banke Oniru, Thursday, highlighted ways by which Nigerians can join the rest of the world in tackling climate change.

Oniru, who decries the havoc that climate change is causing on the earth, notes in a statement that the “earth is dying” adding that she is passionate about what humans must do to save the planet.

The PUNCH reports that countries in Europe have recently been experiencing wildfires and heatwaves as a result of increasing temperature, which reached 40 degrees in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, for the first time in history.

In France, towns and cities in the country’s west registered their highest-ever temperatures Monday, the national weather office said.

The western region of Brittany – normally cool and often wet in summer – set new record highs Monday above 40 degrees Celsius.

Despite cooler air from the Atlantic offering some respite there on Tuesday, dozens of departments remained on orange alert, with temperatures still expected to top 40 degrees Celsius in the East and South and violent thunderstorms forecast locally.

The heatwave – the second to engulf parts of Europe in recent weeks – has contributed to deadly wildfires in France, Greece, Portugal, and Spain, destroying vast tracts of land.

Oniru noted that climate change affects everything, from geopolitics to economies, to migration. “It shapes cities, life expectancies and wine lists,” she said.

Explaining climate change, she said, “Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases.”

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She further stated that global warming would “only get worse if action isn’t taken and if we don’t act now. Climate change is a genuine emergency and tackling it is utterly essential.

“World leaders have a major role to play in climate change. I challenge them to support the awareness today for the sake of the future.”

She noted that one of the effects of climate change was hotter temperatures arising from greenhouse gas concentrations, which led to the global surface temperature.

The PUNCH reports that greenhouse gases include Carbon dioxide, Carbon(IV)oxide, Chlorofluorocarbon, and methane gases, all of which result from combustion engines, cooling devices, wastes, etc.

She highlighted other effects of climate change to be severe storms, increased drought, rising ocean, loss of species, food scarcity, health challenges, poverty, and displacement.

The PUNCH reports that Lagos and some South-South regions battle persistent flooding, as a result of rising sea levels, caused by global warming.

The northern part of Nigeria also suffers desert encroachment due to increasing temperature, which can be linked to many herders moving down South in search for pasture. This cannot also be disconnected from the farmers-herders clash in many parts of the South-West.

She listed ways to save the earth from climate change as “planting trees in cities and using paper products such as paper straws and bags.”

Oniru advised the rich and celebrities to avoid stop traveling on private jets while urging everyone to eat the food they buy.

“Use Led bulbs. Change a light. Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year,” she said.

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“Drive less, recycle more, use less hot water, avoid products with a lot of packaging, make your voice heard to those in power, eat less meat and dairy, cut back on flying, reduce energy use, respect and protect green spaces, cut consumption and waste,” she advised.

She concluded that “climate change is manmade and we are 30 years late, let’s act now!”