Ayushi Gupta: a climate activist advocates for mother Earth by putting it this way: “Climate change is among the most crucial issues that the world is facing today. In fact, if we fail to reduce our carbon footprint by 2050, there will be no way to stop catastrophic climate changes from happening.”
In the past few months, the number of reports about climate change has been increasing. Despite the repeated warnings from scientists, environmental activists, and concerned citizens, people are still not taking climate change seriously nor are they willing to do anything about it.
To get the ground report, we got in touch with Ayushi Gupta. Ayushi runs climate change awareness programs in India. We wanted to know what people are doing all over the world to combat this issue. So here is what we found from our conversation.
Ayushi Gupta, A Law Student Who Spreads Awareness
I’m Ayushi Gupta, a law student, and an environmentalist. Apart from studying law, I’m conducting climate change awareness programs in schools and colleges to provide knowledge on the issue. Scientists have been publishing many studies to warn people of a seriously alarming future. However, the truth is, most common citizens have no idea about the outstanding risks. That’s why I started this program.
A Law Student Turned Climate Activist
My love for the environment grew when I shifted to Pune for further studies. Back in 2017, Pune had a pleasant environment, and the city was filled with fresh air and greenery.
With time, its weather started deteriorating. Often Pune would experience hot airs and long summers. Earlier, the city had never experienced so much heat and it would usually remain the same throughout the year. Now, it turns cold in some places and hot in others. The overall weather structure is getting messed up.
These sudden changes piqued my interest in climate change. I started researching it to know the truth behind these drastic changes. That’s how I became an environmentalist.
Climate Risks Are Real
In my research, I found out that the effects of our changing climate are already felt around the world. In the future, the impacts of global warming will continue to harm people, animals, and ecosystems in various ways. While many parts of the country are experiencing severe droughts, other areas are being flooded with rainwater. Scientists have predicted that average temperatures will rise by as much as 8°F by 2100 if carbon emissions remain at their current status.
The rate of warming of the earth’s temperature has increased by 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1850. The average rise in sea level is 3.3 millimeters per year, where about 1/4 mm of this rise can be attributed to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. As a result, oceans are becoming more and more acidic.
According to a study by the World Wildlife Fund, climate change has caused the number of wild animals in Africa to decline by over 40 percent. The decline of wildlife and natural resources has increased extreme weather events, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, loss of habitat, deforestation, and many more catastrophes.
The Severity of Climate Change and Need for Awareness
Sadly, the people who bear the brunt of climate change are the ones who can least afford it. They live in developing countries where resources and money are scarce. Natural disasters have turned more and more disastrous. Global warming hits the poorest areas of the world first and hardest. In many cases, they don’t have any way to deal with the changes they experience. It is up to the developed countries to help these communities.
After finding these facts in my research, I decided to raise awareness regarding climate change. I went to schools & colleges to launch these campaigns.
However, I was stunned when I discovered that 80 to 90% of students have never heard anything about climate change. It has no trace in our education system. The upcoming generation is going to face these issues and they have no idea what is approaching them.
Society is not at all apprehensive about climate change. However, I think we should start taking measured steps to reduce the effect of climate change. We can start by getting information about the issue, using energy-efficient appliances, and taking public transportation to work or school whenever possible.
I launched Climate-change Awareness Program- Mission ACT. In which, A stands for awareness, C stands for climate change, T stands for Time to take action. This mission includes a 90-120 minutes program.
I start the class with a survey that comprises formal details and significant data about climate change. Through this, I describe things like what climate change is, its consequences, information, reasons with logic, and practical examples. I tell them the things that are happening around us and explain the importance of noticing them.
Then I encourage them to take part in the program and speak a little about their experiences. Finally, I ask them to share their opinions and suggestions like what they can do to combat this problem.
What Can we Do?
Awareness is a must so we must launch climate change awareness programs all over the world. We’re all aware of this issue and we know that there are many negative consequences. We could avoid them if people would just start treating climate change as an actual problem. At schools and colleges, we must include chapters on the changes in the education system. We also should ban cutting down trees and deforestation or at least restrict it to an extent. The use of plastic should be within limits. The world should switch to green energy as soon as possible. Government should impose strict laws to protect nature, water bodies, and trees. Violation of this act should be seen as a crime and the guilty must be punished with a fine or prison sentence.
In the end, I want to tell everyone, please wake up and realize your responsibilities as an individual. Instead of blaming and waiting for others to take action do it yourself. Stop taking the environment and climate change for granted. Otherwise, you, your children, and upcoming generations will pay for it. What you do today will be their future tomorrow. To save their future, save this earth, and save human existence.
Authored by Aashna Chawla
Edited by Yara Fakhoury
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