As heat waves intensify globally, we are reminded of the good old days as we continue to make comparison of then and now. Our environment continues to deteriorate and with each passing day the greed that we exhibit in our “profit over planet” mentality puts us further in danger.
Emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise and, if we are to stay off the worst effects of climate change, we will need incredible new technology to suck out carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. United Nations scientists have warned in a recent report that we are on course for devastating changes to our climate. It’s a global slap on all our faces that leaders and businessmen continue to make fake pledges to mitigate climate change.
Advances in climate science provide us with the clearest pictures, we continue to see how human activities affect our climate in more ways than many, our activities continue to undoubtedly impact our planet negatively. The scales and rate of recent changes are clearly unprecedented for centuries.
The third and final major part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report is out, a lot of people have patiently waited for it to help serve as a roadmap for how we are able to pull ourselves out of this climate mess. The simple answer is to stop burning, coal, oil and gas but how we are able to achieve that is one hell of a question.
Although there’s been improvement since the IPCC fifth assessment report in 2014, around the world, new laws and policies which have helped us to emit less than we would have otherwise, this has made a worst case scenario where the world heats up by four or five degrees Celsius unlikely.
Progress, yes! Enough progress, no! Because emissions are still “hitting the roof” for every known greenhouse gas. Continuing to use fossil fuel infrastructure puts Earth on a path well above 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. There are rising cases of “crazy storms”, devastating fires, mud and land slides, flooding, etcetera with a one degree of warming so keeping the heat below 1.5 degree Celsius should be our lives goal right now, although the report doesn’t actually say that, I think it should have.
Countries around the world continue to get better at talking about how we can all stop climate catastrophe, their speech eloquent and words firm, but ironically they invest in new fossil fuel infrastructure all the time. It will actually be pretty hypocritical of us to not talk about climate change, but what’s really needed is a replacement of fossil fuels with renewables everywhere possible.
The cost of solar, wind and batteries have plummeted in the last 20 years and more and more of them are built, despite the growth in renewable energy, they are still a small percentage of our overall energy usage.
Every per cent of increase per Celsius in our global warming makes a huge difference, it’s much more than wearing a cardigan or taking it off. It could make a difference between snow and sleet, although in our day-to-day life it may not seem significant but higher degrees of global warming will be more than a catastrophe. The scary thing is we are well on our way to more than 1.5 degrees, it is a problem that children, (yes, them) will also have to live with.
According to a report, children born today are up to seven times more likely to face extreme weather than their grandparents and the latest IPCC report have also projected that drought will displace 700 million in Africa. Hollywood has always enjoyed imagining the end of the world, if we do nothing, the end will be appalling than the scariest end of the World movies ever produced.
In many parts of the world, the ruinous proof of inaction is glaring, climate migrants swell in their numbers, with the victims loosing absolutely everything to natural disasters, what’s scary is that climate models show there could be much worse to come.
By Halima Imam