As Barack Obama speaks to COP26, Lucy, 16, explains climate change and urges people to take a stand and save the planet

Former US President Barack Obama is this afternoon addressing COP26 in Glasgow.

He is the latest in a high profile line up including Prince William, Professor Brian Cox and Sir David Attenborough to warn us of action needed.

Climate change is a global environmental disaster that has been the premises of many strikes and protests over the last decade. 

But what exactly is it, and what can we as humans do to stop it from reaching the point of ‘no return?’

Climate change in the long-term alteration of the world’s temperature and typical weather patterns. 

It is caused largely by human activity, from the burning of fossil fuels, for example: coal and oil. Burning these materials releases what we call greenhouse gases into the atmosphere such as: methane and Carbon Dioxide. 

Greenhouse effect 

These toxic gases get trapped in the ozone layer, producing something that is called the Greenhouse effect. 

The consequence of this means that heat is radiated back to Earth and is causing the planet to slowly heat up.

But why is this a bad thing? 

Surely we want the world to become hotter, with longer holidays and more days in the sun. 

Rising of Sea Levels

Unfortunately this is not the case. Instead the warming of the planet means that the sea ice at the Poles are melting at a deadly rate resulting in the rising of the sea levels. Whole countries and Islands have already been reclaimed by the seas’ icy depths with more facing this same fate in the next 10 years such as the Maldives. 

Moreover, beach side towns will no longer be habitable, as people will flee inland, causing a shortage in resources and overpopulation in some areas. 

Rain, famine and destitution

The weather won’t be hot and sunny as you may think as well. Instead torrential rain will become almost ordinary with hazardous weather being swept across the globe at a more lethal rate than ever. Crops will fail; famine will be high and destitution will reign across the world.

But how can we stop it from happening ? Is there any hope that we won’t meet this harsh and brutal future?

Act now and save the planet

Yes, but we have to act now. The world is reaching its tipping point and soon the consequences of our actions will be irreversible. 

So take action! 

Do anything you can to decrease your use in fossil fuels, for example: walk instead of take the car; recycle instead of your rubbish being taken to landfill. There is so much you can do, and it only takes one person in the world to make a positive difference. 

Take a stand and save the planet!