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Group 5- The Difference We Can Make

Environment   Sep 12, 2016 by Navreet Toor

These simulations relate to our community because it shows us how we affect the planet. It affects our daily lives because it makes us realize that sometimes we are polluting our own homes. The choices given to us in the simulations make us reconsider how much of an impact our choices have our environment. Some parts of the simulations seem irrelevant to our lives because they mostly relate to Europe, while we live in Canada and are more reliant on oil. We feel that political leaders should act more on cutting CO2 emissions, because many are not very aware of things like this, so the government should help people understand more about climate change and how they can make it better. 

The simulations help us find our place in combating climate change by showing what consumption habits of ours create the most emissions so that we know what to change to make the biggest impact. People in different parts of the world create emissions in different ways and would need to change their consumption differently to reduce their CO2 emissions. The simulations really make us realize about the problems in the world and what goes into tackling them while trying to satisfy everyone's needs. It's easy to say that you will do something but it's another thing to actually make that happen. For example, we all know that CO2 emissions are a big problem but our leaders don't handle them as seriously as they should to educate everyone and expect the people to do everything to make change. For some countries, CO2 emissions aren't their biggest problems and many must focus on the greater problems they are dealing within their own countries. Everyone's situations are different but reducing CO2 emissions won't take a lot if we all contribute a little to making it better. Many of us do try to help and change these problems but leadership is needed for guidance. The problem of CO2 emissions becomes greater and greater every year yet we do no significant changes to fix it and that needs to change because eventually one day it will be too late. That's the great thing about simulations like these, they make us realize that our problems won't just disappear by themselves one day and that we need to see the impact we make and how we can change it. Each and every single person can make a difference, big or small, towards making a change for the better. If we all try to make even a little difference, it will greatly help in making our environment and our homes better places.

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8 Comment(s)

Mehnaz Shah
Sep 13, 2016

I definitely agree that the world has to work together to solve the problem of climate change. I love how you emphasized the importance of reducing our CO2 emissions and talked about how the simulation makes people realize what impact they have on the world.

Faizaan Khan
Sep 13, 2016

Yeah I really agree with your ideas,especially the fact that we're polluting our own homes and our future world we have to live in

Yujia Zhang
Sep 13, 2016

In order to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions around the world, all the countries would have to have a plan. It's not as easy as it sounds because in order to replace the things that emit CO2, we would have to make new things that would replace the old items. Making new things cost money. Some countries have that money, but others do not.

Michelle Sun
Sep 13, 2016

What do you think political leaders must do to reduce carbon emissions? What kind of balance must there be in order to reduce CO2 emissions around the world? Is CO2 emission our biggest priority right now?

LO-Bhavesh Saha
Sep 12, 2016

Do you think that political leaders across the globe should try to reduce their carbon emissions? In many countries, combating climate change is not a priority and takes a back seat to more pressing issues such as solving food shortages or economic crises. The solutions to these problems may result in more emissions being produced and political leaders would rather solve these problems or reduce their severity than take steps to reduce their carbon emissions. For example, in Venezuela, people are dying of starvation and there is civil unrest. People are unhappy with their leader and want change. 96% of their export earnings are from oil so they rely heavily on it. If they were to stop producing oil to reduce their carbon emissions, their problems would be exacerbated. Climate change is the least of their worries.

Sep 12, 2016

How do we change other nations CO2 emissions? Does Canada emit a lot of CO2?

Brian Dupuis
Sep 20, 2016

There's several ways of answering the second question. 

You can look at total CO2 emitted by everything in the country, in which case Canada is the tenth largest national emitter (eleventh if you consider international shipping).  This is a good measure for the size of the shift needed to change things.

You can also look at per-capita emissions - total emissions for each country, divided by each country's population. Sometimes, particularly in politics, this is called "carbon intensity". Viewed this way, Canada is 14th in the world. This measure is useful for seeing how carbon-efficient a country is, but it's deceptive to the scale of the problem (China, the largest single national emitter in the previous measure, is in 55th place on this ranking.) 

There's a third, less-well-known measure - cumulative total emissions over some amount of time, typically from the industrial revolution onward. This measure is very useful for assigning responsibility for the carbon problem, because carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for centuries once it's emitted - stuff burned during the railroad expansions of the late 1800s is still in the air today. Viewed this way, Canada is the 11th largest emitter. (You'll notice that China is rather low on this list, but the UK is rather high. That's because, despite China being a gigantic emitter today, the UK had a ~150-year head start on burning coal on an industrial scale.)

And, finally, you can look at Canada's breakdown by sector, to figure out what Canada's doing to emit all the carbon discussed above - simple things that can easily be phased out (like coal-fired power plants) are a simpler, easier, faster change than things that are deeply entrenched. This is something that the government makes available, and it's definitely worth looking into if you haven't already found it.

Brett Robbins
Sep 12, 2016

What are some more examples of things that pollute the planet? What can you do to reduce the pollution? For example, an individual could walk to school, take the bus, bike to school, carpool, rather than harming the environment more greatly by driving to school. More ways to reduce ones ecological footprint are found at 

sydney slubik
Sep 12, 2016

Straight to the point, I like it. The part about us polluting our own homes is scary to think about and that's why we need to make a change soon!

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