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Why Should We Save The Environment?
Written by Hayeon Shin | Published. 2020.08.24 16:33 | Count : 277

There is increasing emphasis on reducing the use of fossil fuel for electricity production, restricting spillover of industrial chemicals, and recycling plastics. However, are these enough to protect the environment? 

Currently the most serious issues related to environmental pollution are global warming, air pollution, and water pollution. As devices such as smartphones and computers are operated by electricity, fossil fuels are supplied continuously to support the enormous demand for electricity which amounts to 25,320,360,620 Megawatt per year. The gas emitted from burning fossil fuels not only results in air pollution and global warming, but also causes increased sea levels which can potentially lead to flooding.

[Members of ‘Youth for Climate Action’ / Photo Credit: Do Hyun Kim]

Although environmental pollution takes place rapidly, it requires a vast amount of time for nature to recover from this damage.  Students, who will become the next generation of leaders, should be especially more aware of finding an effective solution to protect the Earth which is currently being threatened by environmental pollution. A suitable solution must be able to lower the global temperature, protect marine lives and save Mother Nature. 

To better understand these issues, I interviewed the ‘Youth for Climate Action’ which is an environmental group led by high school students. Youth for Climate Action organizes campaigns to demonstrate ways of protecting our environment from climate change and global warming. They have carried out four major demonstrations so far, cooperating with people in London, Singapore, and Sydney. Their four demonstrations were led by Hee Yeon Cho, a superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, and Myung-Rae Cho, the minister of the environment. The two experts have carried out many social activities including donation for the Human Rights Funds. 

According to the interview with Do Hyun Kim, a member of the Youth for Climate Action, the group has recently sent a constitutional petition to the National Assembly and government of South Korea to appeal for a law regarding climate change. The constitutional petition claimed that “The government and national assembly have to make strict regulations such as greenhouse gas emission targets in order to prevent climate change which is currently threatening the future of young people around the world” 

For the members of Youth for Climate Action, the most difficult task was preparing for the press conference. As high school students, they felt a lot of pressure since it was not easy to focus on their academics while carry out these activities at the same time. The legal affairs were handled by lawyers they met during the activities and campaigns, but members had to work by themselves to prepare for the interview and make statements for the press conference.

Youth for Climate Action said that teenagers can take part in saving the environment by simply using public transportation, recycling and using sustainable products. Furthermore, they can demand for the government to support environmental demonstrations and campaigns. During the interview, Youth for Climate Action strongly highlighted that we must come up with solutions that show detailed steps of “how” to lower the global temperatures and decrease greenhouse gas emission.

[People from ‘WWF(World Wide Fund)’ demonstrating / Photo credit: Kyung Hee Lee]

WWF(World Wide Fund) is one of the well-known organization that fights for wild animals and climate change. I had the chance to interview Kyung Hee Lee, a member of WWF. Lee explained that “WWF is a nongovernmental organization which officially established WWF-Korea, a Korean corporate body, in 2014 in order to conserve energy, stop climate change, and protect wild animals which will harmonize mankind and nature.” WWF was established on September 11th 1961, in Morges, Switzerland, focusing on preserving endangered species. Julian Huxley, who served as the first secretary-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, submitted an article in the journal Observer in 1960, warning about overfishing and habitat destruction in Eastern Africa. This was the start of WWF which has since expanded its activities to become a worldwide organization.According to the interview with Kyung Hee Lee, the problems they are focusing on are now recognized as the most critical and urgent issues. Marine conservation is related with various activities such as sustainable fishing in environmentally protected areas. The organization also carries out management projects such as freshwater restoration projects, urban forest development projects, and nature conservation campaigns.

Many scientists all over the world have warned about the dangers of environmental pollution from a long time ago, and we are currently facing these dangers. As Youth for Climate Action and WWF have mentioned, our small efforts can come together and make a positive impact on saving our environment. In the current circumstances, it is everyone’s responsibility to preserve nature. Humans have started these problems, so it is our duty to work towards resolving them.

 

 







Hayeon Shin
8th Grade
Saint Johnsbury Academy

Hayeon Shin  student_reporter@dherald.com

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