Science has never been a hotter subject amongst the general population, and concepts like climate change, energy, and sustainability are starting to become all ‘the rage’. We’re more aware than ever of the impact of mass consumption, and we, today’s eco-generation, have been presented with a new challenge: saving the planet.
Sustainability is all about balance, with the aim to leave enough resources for future generations. But Earth is actually on overshoot, meaning we use more resources each year than the planet can produce.
So is it too late for any kind of change? Perhaps not, but it is a challenge that we all face – one that everyone can take part in by helping to slow down global warming.
The race is on
Climate change affects all walks of life on the planet. Now more than ever, the race is on to mitigate damage by 2030, and reduce impacts on land, oceans, and water. Agriculture and waste pollution – the main contributors to storms, floods, drought and water shortages – also impact our food security, with crop failures also on the rise.
Here’s the good news. Fast action to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and to cut deforestation and environmental pollution across the globe, could stabilise long-term damage to reverse Earth’s overshoot, says the Global Footprint Network. Currently, our yearly natural resource quota, provided by Mother Nature, is used up as soon as August. If we cut consumption by 50%, we can #movethedate back to the year’s end, and restore balance by 2050.
This is achievable in our lifetime, but it will be a big challenge. We need change-makers, educated in such areas as urban or rural planning, marine science, and Sustainable Development, to name a few.
Save our seas
Real world issues need expert problem solving. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef marine researchers are working to halt coral bleaching and save reef ecosystems. These are topics you’ll explore in degrees such as the Bachelor of Science (Applied Sciences).
Around the globe, massive plastic waste dumps are carried on ocean currents, says the CSIRO, trashing our beaches and paradise islands, choking marine life, and killing tourism. According to a UNEP study, “Biodegradable plastics will not play a significant role in reducing marine litter”.
That’s another big challenge, which calls for innovators, who can design reusable, earth-friendly alternative product designs that do no harm. Making change will also rely on increasing awareness and changing people’s behaviour, which is a fascinating area in itself and can be studied through a degree in Psychological Science.
Is big business playing fair?
Do big corporations plan to make a difference, and care for the planet before profits? Social research reveals companies are breaking promises to change unsustainable practices on last remaining ecosystems. Future leaders have a job ahead. Innovation, policy and law, and people power, will lead the change.
We can all make a difference by researching products we buy, or take it up a notch, and study subjects such as RMIT’s Sustainable International Business Future. Amazing innovations sprout from universities and social enterprises to make positive, ethical changes every day. Be a change leader from the inside.
Industries must unite
If you’re keen to make a career of improving our future, you’re not limited to only science-related degrees – there are so many industries that must play their part if change is going to take place.
Education: Learn to educate our next generation and future leaders. An Education degree can take you everywhere.
Communications: Have a passion for writing and multimedia? Tell Earth’s stories to the world. Spread the word on solutions and successes with a Communication degree from Griffith or Marketing with UniSA.
If a greener, more sustainable future is important to you, then why not formally educate yourself on how to make that a reality? To express your interest in any of the degrees or single subjects on offer through OUA – fill out the form below and a friendly Student Advisor will get in contact. Otherwise, head over to our website to browse over 150 degrees and 1300 subjects from leading Australian universities.