"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, August 9, 2007

global warming and climate change

One of the biggest challenge human race faces today is the risk posed by global warming and its bad effects. This is brought about by changes in the environment caused by human activities. Global warming affects all parts of the world. It manifests itself as climate change, floods and droughts. Effects of this is devastating, with the melting down of arctic glaciers, destroyed homes and habitats, raising new challenges to economic development. The influence of global warming on a global scale is thus very significant. It has a big impact on the ecosystem. The contributor of global warming can be air pollution, water pollution, and the destruction of the ozone layer. Carbon dioxide emitted by cars destroys the ozone layer and leave a hole in the protective layer, removing the protective effect of ozone from UV light. This will bring new diseases to us such as skin cancer. Also, water pollution in some area in China removes the mediating effect of fresh water on climate, leading to extreme climate changes in those areas. Environmental changes also affect biodiversity. There are risks on the environment such as the use of pesticide on farming plants leading to distinction of certain species. Insecticides spray on farming plants can kill bad insects, by going up the food chain, we find out problems brought up by the use of pesticide. When birds eat these toxic insects, they become carrier of this toxic product. A falcon that eats the birds will become new carriers of pesticide and lay eggs with very soft shells that break when they sit on it. By this doing, the species of falcon will become distinct. Other problems such as the pollution of water also pose problems on the living of ocean of fresh water species.
The 21st century environmentalists will be on a rapid pace to change this instability in our environment and try to reverse the negative effects. Through collaboration with the government, they will make changes in products, human habits and education to raise awareness of people toward this issue. The world of 21st century is in the phase of reversing the bad effects on environment to save our habitat into a more health environment to live in. According to the Panarchy model, we are in the --- phase and our collective effort will prevent the worsening of environment by upholsting the scale into-----.
As a global citizen, I have the goal of educating people around me about the significance of global warming and make changes to the negative impact. As I am fond at talking to people and learn about issues on environment, I will dedicate my time into teaching and animating activities for people around me. I have the mission of making my community well aware of the climate change, bad effects on the environment caused by certain human actions and the importance of collective effort into reversing the negative changes. I will make them to take actions in improving the habitat we are living in and contribute to spread good knowledge about environmental protection.
Being a passionate participant in various community activities, I will make contributions by participating in various volunteer projects such as Clean-up Chinatown, and join environmental groups at work or within communities. I believe with our collective effort, the issue of environmental protection will become sound to every individual within our community. As well, I will involve them into projects or discussion sessions teaching them and involving them into creative thinking and find out about solutions to environmental problems. I will bring out influencial actions into changing the everyday actions of citizens and make them aware of environmental issues in their lives.
First, it is crucial that people in our community understands about the importance of environmental protection, the state of our environment and what we can do to change it. I will select English and French classes from Huaguang association Chinese schools in Montreal to talk about environmental issues to senior, adults, as well as children. I will give presentations each week for one hour in each class for a period of one month. I will be talking to each class about water pollution, air pollution, recycling and energy saving, waste management as well as food web. These lecture sessions will bring new concepts to the classes and enhance their understanding of environmental issues. The students will be exposed to great knowledge about their own environment and from an appreciative inquiry approach, I will let them develop what they’ve been doing well and teach them on new things into contributing to the environment. For example, if they already collect objects for recycling, I will encourage them to continue this action and also tell them about the importance of separating the trash into different categories. The milk boxes go with the mild boxes. The plastic bottles go with the plastic bottles and recycle plastic bags with no tags on it. I will make interactive sessions by showing them videos, such as ‘50 years of Protecting Europe's Environment” and organize group discussion session about what they can do to reverse changes at home, in their communities and at work. I will also have feed-back session where they draw on a poster what they think of the environmental issues and have groups presenting their drawings to the rest of the class. I have the goal of making them well informed about the global environmental change and stimulate their creative thinking into finding out solutions to bring positive changes on the environment.
Next, I will make information pamphlets out of recycled paper on information about the environment in Chinese and have them distributed in Chinese community in China town, in Chinese schools and various facilities involving Chinese language. I will make my best effort to publish my articles on Chinese newspaper to spread the news on a big scale and influence people about this environmental project. Pamphlets that will be made will be on subjects of air pollution, water pollution, energy saving and wastes management. Every pamphlet will contain six pages including a cover and information resource page.
Finally, I plan to register a club at McGill called Green Route Biking Trail for environmental protection. With the development of green route in Quebec, there are many routes available already for biking. I will organize a club at McGill where we will bring positive changes into the community through bike the start to the end of the biking trail and have our publicity published on McGill websites. I will create a website under the name of Green Route Biking Trail. Visitors visit the website can sponsor our activity through clicks on icons and we will fund-raise money to sponsor other environmental project such as lectures to the public or other activities such as Clean-up Chinatown and Green Life (an organization working on recycling). I will also interview other environmentalists and participate in television show for interviews on environmental issues. The Green Route ranges from Abitibi-Témiscanmingue to Gaspé and is about 4000 kms long. The biking trail will take place during the summer of 2008.
Throughout the trail, we will find shelters and motels to rest and bring some food on us or eat at designated areas or stations. We will fund-raise by selling recycled arts and crafts out of recycled materials. We will learn group work and a lot of creative thinking in making our way through the trail.
Success in this project will depend on innovations of the things discussed and a thorough research about the content. For the three parts of the project to achieve, we will have interactive sessions with lots of people and it will raise environmental concerns to a lot of people around. The increased connectedness between people will assure the good progress of the project.
Nowadays, people are more and more environmentally conscious about the habitat we are living in. Governments are giving out brochures, information booth and websites about environmental protection. A lot of funded projects are being organised in order to raise environmental concerns in people within the community.
Every year, a Clean-up Chinatown event is organized by the Chinese Community to contribute to the cleaning of Chinatown. During this event hundred to two hundreds of volunteers are gathered and take their brooms to clean one part of Chinatown. They are divided into groups of tenth to a dozen and led by a group leader. There are multicultural shows given at the same time and clips about recycling to increase awareness of people into recycling and teach the kids also about environmental issues. The show divides recycling products into categories and tells people where they should put each category. For example, milk boxes should be washed before turning it into recyclable product. Plastic bags should not have paper tags on them. Plastic cans should be separated from the bags and milk boxes. The whole show is presented in animation. The whole event starts at around 12 pm and ends at around 4pm in Chinatown on 9th of September each year. The event is organized by Eco-Quartier and Chinese Family Service.
Also, a group of environmentalists formed a recycling group leading the community into recycling their wastes to reduce the amount produced each year. There are a lot of things that can be recycled, such as paper, carton boards, cans, plastics and glass. This group writes articles about recycling and environmental protection
The website of environment Canada is a writing article to raise environmental concerns to the whole Canadian population. National Research Council is running a project on reducing living green algae in polluted fresh water sources. They organize booth activities to talk to residents within the area and educate them about the importance of waste water management in the area.

In the club, I will first design a website. The website will have our logo, the name of the club, and sponsors plus the activities we do in links. We will have a short description of each activity we do. For example, in the icon of multicultural food fair, we will have the variety of food coming from different countries with the name of the food and the country of origin. Next, in the arts and crafts icon, we will have the picture of each craft we will make and steps into making it. Very importantly, we will have an icon for biking trails and plans and time of biking. I am planning to start biking from Montreal to Quebec City for our very first biking trip. The link will contain the map of biking and starting time, things to bring and weather forecast link. Like this, our club members will be better prepared to bike the trail. Each year, we will have fund raising activities such as food fair or car wash. Since we are a non-profitable organization, all the money we will collect will go to places where they need a lot more environmental protection procedures such as certain places in Quebec where they need water treatment improvement and some third world countries where pollution is still a very big issue. We will have an end of year event. It can be a booth where club members will show the public what we’ve done throughout the year and what are the other events coming up. We will also have pamphlets made in French and English that includes issues of environmental protection and also publicity of the club and sponsors.
Here is the map of the whole Green Route, it extends from western Qubec to the Eastern parts. My plan is to start from Montreal to Quebec the first year, and another trail the second year. We’ll bike a different trail each year and finish the trail in a few years. I will make T-shirts with the club logo and image of all the sponsors. In this way, we will be able to publicize all the sponsors from our website or our t-shirts.
Map of the Green Route:

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