The spotlight’s on climate change, all write?

Whether it’s naked protesters (don’t look, mum!), or children skipping school to become environmental activists, it’s hard to ignore the widespread attention that climate change has been grabbing recently. Being such a ‘hot topic’, climate change often features in English language writing exams, and students studying science, geography, politics, history, even art or drama may find themselves exploring and writing about the theme in more detail.

We all know that, with writing, getting started is the most difficult part, so here are some ideas help you with your brainstorming:

One of the most common ways to write about climate change is to consider the causes (why is it happening?), the effects (what changes does it bring?), and the solutions (ways to fix the problem).

Causes of climate change

• The burning of fossil fuels causes global warming. We use fossil fuels in order to heat our homes or to generate electricity.
• Increased use of personal cars produces large quantities of greenhouse gases which trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse effect.
• In order to create more housing to manage overpopulation, mass deforestation often occurs. This means there are fewer trees to absorb carbon dioxide.

Effects of climate change

• Countries are experiencing extreme weather leading to flooding and droughts. This can destroy towns and cities leaving people homeless and without clean, fresh drinking water.
• Polar ice caps are melting which causes sea levels to rise. Coastal habitats are at risk of disappearing completely, and wildlife that lives on the ice caps is in danger of extinction.
• As the temperature of seawater increases, marine wildlife is put under stress. Coral reefs (which are vital to maintain the health of the oceans) are being damaged or dying out.

Solutions to climate change

• Try walking or cycling instead of driving in order to reduce your carbon footprint. If that isn’t possible, take public transport or try to arrange a car pool.
• More and more eco-friendly products are becoming readily available and affordable. Why not try going eco-friendly for a month?
• Government investment is needed to change the infrastructure of the country. Most new build houses are now fitted with solar panels and are more energy-efficient than older properties.
• More research is required into ways to remove carbon dioxide from emissions – this is known as carbon capture.

This list is by no means exhaustive but hopefully it will help to get your creative juices flowing! Good luck!

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