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Environmental awareness and its importance for combatting climate change

A common question regarding climate change is “what can we do to help, in whatever way”. Environmental awareness is a possible answer to this question.

What is environmental awareness?

It is a widely debated concept, but what we understand by environmental awareness is a general philosophy, a social movement and ultimately, “an attitude to life” that is concerned about protecting and improving the environment.

This awareness of the environment in which we live has become particularly important in recent years, when the scientific community established that human activity is having a direct negative impact on the environment.

Related: Environmental science course

Climate change awareness in the scientific community

This week a group of 15,000 scientists from 184 countries have warned of the negative environmental trends that are threating human wellbeing and causing irreversible damage to the Earth. This is not the first time they have done so; in 1992 they issued their first warning.

Twenty-five years later, they are back with an article signed by everyone at BioScience magazine, which you can read at the following link World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice.

Over the last 25 years environmental trends seem focused on a climate change scenario with serious consequences, including deforestation, availability of freshwater and extinction of species. How can the outlook be improved? The experts point to various ways of tackling it.

  • Create more nature reserves, both on land and marine.
  • Restrict wildlife trade.
  • Switch to a plant-based diet and reduce meat consumption.
  • Mass use of renewable energy, not occasional.
  • State legislation that consolidates all of these changes.

In this context, it is essential for the public to be aware of the need to protect and improve the environment.

Another concept closely related to this one also arises; environmental education. This type of education aims to raise environmental awareness and also increase ecological knowledge and develop the attitudes and values necessary so that anyone can undertake to take the actions required to improve the environment.

This type of education can be developed throughout the lifetime and it is never too late to start learning, but it is important for children to start learning from an early age.

So, is there any hope against climate change?

The data is not good but a change to society’s mindset that urges governments to support the fight against climate change could prevent the worst climate change scenarios.

Scientists and experts cite the ozone layer as an example of an environmental problem that was corrected when appropriate measures were implemented.

That is why environmental awareness in society plays a crucial role in Earth’s future. It is not enough to make individual decisions; a wide social movement must be created that can demand these types of measures from heads of government or large corporations.

Sources: Revista Internacional de Sociología, Bioscience.

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