Public participation needed against climate change

Updated: 2013-08-19 23:44


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Unprecedented high temperatures have dominated this summer. How did that happen and what can we do to prevent it from recurring? asks a column in People's Daily. Excerpts:

The summer of 2013 must be one of the hottest since 1951. The temperature has broken historical record in several southern cities — during the worst days, one-sixth of China with a population of 700 million people suffered.

Experts blame the tendency to high temperatures to global warming. However, this disaster has sounded the alarm about climate change and warned us to do better in our urban planning and development.

The urban heat island effect has been very obvious for the past few weeks. The lack of green belts in China's cities is exposed by the steadily rising temperatures in the cities and the wide temperature gaps between urban and rural areas. Research shows that high green coverage can lessen the heat island effect, which is what China needs to improve in its urban planning.

It should arouse our concern, too, that the high temperature is only one of the extremes caused by climate change. Concentrated heavy rainfall for the past several summers, as well as extreme cold in the winter of 2012 and co-existing drought and floods in different places in China are all headaches to us.

The solution to climate change lies in cutting carbon emissions. The State has much to do, such as transforming the economic development mode and encouraging the recycling industry. However, as individuals, we can also make our own contribution, by turning off the power upon leaving the office, choosing more public transportation and turning the temperature of air-conditioners higher to save electricity. After all, it needs everyone's cooperation to fight climate change for a better tomorrow.