Winter like the deer

When it comes to global warming, everyone has a responsibility to change bad habits.

Zhijuan Sun

One may think global warming is very far from us, but it is nearer than we may expect. One day, we may wake up and find ourselves floating in water. After seeing the movie âÄúAn Inconvenient Truth,âÄù I canâÄôt help but wonder what we can do as inhabitants of this Earth. The Earth is really tolerant. It takes whatever we do to it. We dig tunnels and mineshafts into it, we change the courses of rivers, yet it keeps silent. But there is a limit to everything. The day is coming when she can bear no more, as we can see from the severe floods and droughts around the world, from the diminishing of the Antarctic ice cap and so forth. When that day comes, it is the end of this world. The movie tells us we are emitting more carbon dioxide than the total of the Asian countries or Africa or Europe. WhatâÄôs wrong with us? Is it because we consume more food or wear more clothes? It is neither of these; our problem is greater. We are wasting more of the EarthâÄôs produce than ever before, and the problem, from my view, is because of our living habits. When I got here as a visiting scholar I came to understand it all of a sudden. Inside the building that winter, everywhere I could see were people dressing for spring or fall. In fact, the classrooms were quite warm and comfortable that season. Sometimes too warm to wear a sweater. Perhaps we have gotten used to the warmth since then and donâÄôt know there are other means to survive the winter. But actually, if we just keep the room temperature a little bit down and have one more piece of clothing on, much energy can be saved. Actually, we can adjust to the change of weather to decide what to wear to feel comfortable. Now it is the outside world which is adjusting to us, that is not the case of the natural world. Gradually our viability will die down. There is another thing we can do: drive only when necessary. If one lives within 20 or 30 minutes from the work place, why not walk to the work, at least when the weather is nice? It is economical, healthy and environmentally friendly. And the money saved on gasoline or gym memberships can be spent on something else. We could also take a second thought of the use of plastic bags and disposable cups, plates and bowls. The production and recycling of these items has cost energy and natural resources and emits much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. What about the idea of carrying boxes or baskets when doing grocery shopping? Or using durable utensils and have them sterilized each time after use? In fact, there are many things we can do to be environmentally friendly. The key point is that we should always keep in mind that the Earth is our homeland. If we take care of it, it will treat us nicely. And if we take everything for granted and do whatever we want for our comfort, we will pay the price in the end. Japanese chemist Masaru Emoto tells us that âÄúwater knows the answer.âÄù So does everything in our habitat. Zhijuan Sun, University faculty