Today, for a girl who was born in 2004, the future looks like an incredibly daunting place. With the current trends in population growth and carbon emissions, it seems that we will struggle to maintain areas where the air is clean and where oceans are habitats for life. However, there are many things we can do to give future generations the best possible prospects. These actions are incredibly important when individuals carry them out, but the most change can be achieved when communities pressure world governments to fight for our futures
At the moment, education into environmental protection is small in the UK and is having an impact on how children view their place in the world. Many children simply dismiss climate change, plastic pollution and other environmental issues because society has taught them to. These issues are not being highlighted in schools as often as they should be. Providing school children with an education that has a foundation in caring for each other and the planet would ensure that everyone in society has a good understanding of how they have an impact on the world around them as well as how they can make a difference. This would include growing the current climate and environmental topics in subjects; to increase the amount of knowledge a child receives at school about how they can change their lives and the world, to become more sustainable. Hopefully, in the future, these topics will be implemented into subjects such as Art and Drama, which will give all children the chance to enjoy learning about the environment in their favourite subjects. You can contact the Department for Education here.
National and International Agreements
International agreements have a big role to play in protecting our futures. The 2015 Paris Agreement was signed by 184 countries out of the 195 in the world. That sounds like a good amount of countries, but scientists still believe that the plan was not ambitious enough. £1.53 billion are expected to be lost each day due to human-induced weather hazards. China pledged to reduce her emissions by 60-65% from 2005 to 2030, however, her carbon dioxide emissions increased by 80% between 2005 and 2018. If countries are not held accountable for their emissions, we will have a climate disaster within a matter of years. Encouraging the creation of environmental international agreements that are ambitious while also able to hold offending countries responsible is the way forward.
As you may have heard, the UK Government has created a new Tackling Obesity plan that will help end our reign as the third fattest country in Europe. This will, of course, reduce the pressure on the already crippling yet amazing NHS, if the government follows through. However, this document fails to mention what NHS doctors are asking for: the promotion of plant based lifestyles. A compilation of 15 different studies involving 1.2 million people found that found that those who ate high levels of products such as bacon or sausages had a 9% increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who ate little. If everyone cut down their meat and dairy consumption to a point where they are only eating them a few times a week or less, the NHS would be suffering less due to cases of preventable diseases, such as coronary heart disease, being reduced.
We will also need laws to change, such as those that fine people who are caught littering, to have more severe consequences. These actions would ensure that the importance of conservation is instilled within our nation.
Of course, there are many more steps we need to take to ensure that future generations inherit a healthy planet. These are only a few and everyone has their own views. However, we need a variety of views and opinions to make actions, agreements and laws as strong and reliable as they can be, if we want a blue planet in 50 years time.