Climate change has emerged as a pressing global issue over the years. Unfortunately, some individuals still attribute climate change to mere folktales, failing to recognize the scientific evidence supporting its existence. While folktales may not serve as direct or the most reliable evidence, they can play a significant role in promoting sustainable measures to mitigate climate change. This blog post aims to shed light on prevailing mythical concepts surrounding climate change, its adverse effects resulting from natural and human activities, and highlight some mitigation practices to combat this pressing issue.

Scientific observations have led us to a consensus that climate change refers to long-term alterations in atmospheric conditions within a specific geographical area, spanning a period of 30 years or more. On the other hand, climate variability occurs within a range of five to 30 years. Climate change can be attributed to both natural and anthropogenic (human-caused) factors, as mentioned earlier. Human activities such as bush burning, deforestation, emissions from transportation and industrial processes, among others, contribute to the gradual warming of our environment, ultimately leading to climate change on a global scale.

In the realm of myths and folklore, certain climatic phenomena are often attributed to supernatural causes. These beliefs have given rise to several challenges that our world faces today. For instance, deforestation due to spiritual sacrifices is a significant issue. Some religious practices involve cutting down trees from forests, considering them as ideal locations for rituals. However, this has resulted in the loss of biodiversity, negatively impacting various animal and plant species. Similarly, the misconception that burning vegetation enhances soil fertility and improves agricultural yield has led to rampant bush burning, resulting in extensive land cover loss. Uncontrolled burning releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and further exacerbating the effects of climate change.

Interestingly, these same myths can also be harnessed to combat climate change. In certain religions, the principle of minimizing harm to the Earth is emphasized. As a result, they advocate for environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices, eschewing the use of synthetic fertilizers. This approach helps prevent climate change-related issues like eutrophication, which occurs when excess nutrients in water bodies promote the growth of algae, leading to increased methane gas emissions.

Given the pressing challenges posed by climate change, international bodies like the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Environmental Protection Agencies worldwide, and various stakeholders have organized numerous training programs to empower young people in climate advocacy. These efforts aim to combat environmental illiteracy and enhance environmental protection measures.

To address this illiteracy effectively, policymakers and stakeholders must prioritize community education. Based on a survey I conducted, many Ghanaian citizens expressed the need for extensive education on climate change. Utilizing platforms such as social media, magazines, newspapers, television, and podcasts in multiple languages can significantly contribute to reaching out to the illiterate segments of society. By targeting these audiences, we can dispel the misconceptions surrounding climate change and its associated myths.

Moreover, religious leaders and organizations have a crucial role to play in advocating responsible and sustainable environmental practices. Recognizing the importance of protecting our Earth and adopting environmentally conscious behaviors can contribute significantly to the fight against climate change.

By raising awareness, fostering education, and engaging various stakeholders, we can collectively combat climate change and create a more sustainable future for generations to come. Let us embrace the power of knowledge and take meaningful actions to safeguard our planet.

About the Author: Godwin Ebo Fosu is an ambitious undergraduate student with a strong passion for environmental engineering. With a firm belief in the power of engineering to address global environmental challenges, he is dedicated to becoming a world-renowned climate activist. He is currently pursuing Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural and Environmental at Ho Technical University; and actively engage in coursework and extracurricular activities which focuses on sustainable solutions and innovative technologies in combating climate change. His goal is to utilize knowledge and expertise to make a significant impact in the field, fostering a sustainable future for generations to come.