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Heather Rutkowski asks for urgent action on climate change

"The 2015 Paris Climate Conference has come and gone. It left many hopeful that an agreement was finally reached to keep temperatures below 1.5°C but since the treaty does not take effect until 2020 and governments do not have to assess their progress until 2023, others are not feeling quite hopeful at all. With an eight year difference between the signed agreement and assessment, there seems to be a lack of urgency to get global warming down and climate change under control. So what now?"

​"I personally struggle most days with thoughts of absolute doom and fearfulness for my children in respect to climate change. I often worry about how the world is going to be to be for my children in the next 30 years and maybe even sooner than then. Will the effects of climate change be so severe that we will have to fight for our lives? I certainly hope not. This however is a reality for some, more so in poor populated areas affected by extreme weather events intensified by global warming. With all this in mind, I am very fortunate to live in an area that experiences little to no extreme weather events as well as having the luxuries of clean drinkable water, food and shelter – this realization helps to distract my thoughts for a short period of time before thinking about a possible gloomy future."

​"To help alleviate some of my fears, I firmly try to see each moment with my family as a blessing. With a demanding job and two young energetic kids, this sometimes can be a challenge but nonetheless it’s an important aspect that all should try to get in the habit of doing. Making a conscious effort to reducing my carbon footprint as well as my family’s, is another was I cope. I am by no means perfect but I do try as much as possible to make the best choices around the house that would reduce wastes – whether it be purchasing less products or products with less packaging, especially plastic; reducing the energy needed to heat or cool my home; and eating less meat, especially beef, just to name a few. I completely struggle with last one as it is the one that has the largest impact on global warming. I know in my heart it is the right thing to do but with two young picky eaters at home and a busy home and work schedule, it’s extremely difficult to find a balance. Like I mentioned before, I am far from perfect!"

"We all can have an important role to play when it comes to the fight against climate change. No role is too small. Albeit most change must come from governments, but the choices we make on a daily basis still have huge impacts. After all, there are currently 7.1 billion of us living on the planet. To find out what changes need to be made, we first need to consider how the world got to this point in the first place. While our advancements in technology have made some outstanding discoveries and life saving techniques, technological advancements has really changed our lifestyles and our desire to have what we want and when we want it. Therefore, a change in lifestyle is a reality for many in order to help avoid the very worst effects of climate change and help save as many lives as possible. However, a change in lifestyle, from one that is lavish or comfortable to one that is mediocre or basic, can be very challenging just like any change would be. I believe a lot of people are afraid to acknowledge the existence of global warming and climate change because firstly they’d have to admit their actions have been part of the problem and secondly, they feel overwhelmed and don’t even know where to begin. It’s not an easy task, no challenge ever is. Being a climate change activist doesn’t have to mean you have to give up everything, go cold turkey and hit the barricades. But it could mean doing something as small as signing a petition or educating others about the effects of climate change and small things everyone can do. Or it could even be as big as going vegan, going to every climate change march in your area or trying to live with only the necessities in a tiny home."

"We are all in this together; we don’t have a choice anymore. We live on the same planet, the only hospitable known planet in the universe and we are the same species, the human species. We need to really become supportive of one another and must encourage, teach and learn from one another. This is it – the eleventh hour. Our oceans are being depleted and acidified, our land being clear-cut and dug and our air is becoming too polluted to breathe. Soon the biosphere may become too damaged to support human life. Is this what we really want? I certainly don't believe."

Melting Glaciers

Glaciers are large sheets of snow and ice that are found on land all year long. Warmer temperatures cause glaciers to melt faster than they can accumulate new snow.

They started measuring carbon dioxide since 1958. We can see that the line of the C02 content continues to rise relentlessly hard. The consequences can be seen everywhere. The Glacier Park in 1910 and now. Within 15 years, this "Previously, the Glacier Park."

This is what is happening to the beautiful Columbia Glacier. Each year it get's shorter. Who is going to look there, will see these crumbling.

Additionally, there is another problem in the Himalayas. About 40% of the world's population gets its drinking water from rivers and springs fed by melting glacier ice. Within half a century, 40% of the population get's a severe shortage of drinking water because of the shrinking glaciers.