The world is plunging into chaos. Lately, media in all forms has been flooded with heartbreaking clips of catastrophic events. The Australian and Californian fires, the Bihari floods, the world wide droughts and famines are just few of the hundreds of crises that have shocked the entire world. In most cases, the cause is relatively straightforward. Its none other than us. Here’s a blog on everything you need to know about the climate crisis and why you should care.
Let’s step away from that for a moment and turn to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has shocked the world, with thousands dead and nearly everyone locked down. Without any warning it changed the way almost every single one of us lives our lives. If there is one thing that we should take from this, it’s how quickly a crisis can topple our lives. It’s easy to look at something on the other side of the globe, feel bad for a moment and continue living unbothered. But this pandemic has shown us how quickly something that is seemingly far away and that doesn’t bother us can completely wreak havoc on life as we know it. This pandemic has been one of a kind and has had horrible impacts. But we are far from done with global crises. In fact, there is another one that is looming right over us. One with far greater consequences than the current COVID-19 pandemic. That is, the climate and environment crisis.
There have been a plethora of studies announcing dire findings. A lot of you reading this may have seen certain projections and snippets. However, there has also been a lot of misinformation and confusion associated with this whole crisis. In this piece, I will provide you with an overview of the issue and explain why you should be concerned.
Let’s start off by refreshing our knowledge on what causes climate change. Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from leaving the earth. This is known as the greenhouse effect.
In limited quantities, these gases play the important role of keeping our earth warm. However, human activities are changing the amount and composition of these greenhouse gases. For example, burning fossil fuels have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This leads to increased amounts of heat being trapped in the earth, leading to an increase in temperatures. This has very serious consequences on us. This increased temperature leads to glaciers melting, increased evaporation, greater droughts, to name a few. Over the past few decades, our consumption of fossil fuels has exponentially grown – leading to greater amounts of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. In addition to the heating of the earth, all sorts of pollutants are being released into the atmosphere, leading to a rapid decline in the quality of air. Soon, we may have to wear masks all time.
Scientists more or less agree that the global temperature rise, must be kept below 2 C by the end of this century in order to prevent the worst impacts. Just a 2C increase, will lead to coastal flooding, erosion, droughts, salinization of water and millions of lives lost or displaced. Millions of people would suffer, especially in South and South-East Asia and Island cities like Mumbai and New York. Further, the WHO predicts that, at this rate, between 2030 and 2050, climate change will cause 2,50,000 deaths per year. Further, analysts emphasize that by 2100, if left unchecked, the climate crisis could cause 5 times the deaths as COVID 19.
There has been a lot of buzz around the statement that we have only 12 years to fix this crisis. While this is somewhat ambivalent, it does emphasize a crucial fact. This decade will be the MOST crucial decade in fighting this crisis. We cannot be unconcerned or unbothered. If we fail to act in this decade, we will face unimaginable consequences. If you want to imagine what life will look if this is ignored, take this COVID 19 pandemic, multiply the deaths and destruction by 10. Imagine a world full of natural catastrophes, displaced people, death, extinction, destruction, fear and suffering with no end in sight. Masks and lockdowns will hardly be a bother then.
After reading all this, I hope are more informed and want to do something about this. As Bill Gates says “COVID-19 is awful. Climate change could be worse.” We are facing the greatest crisis in human history. We need to fight it.
What can you do to fight this?
- Start by reflecting on your own life. Choose to be climate friendly. Whether that’s turning off the AC an hour early or turning off the tap when you’re not using it.
- Educate yourself more on this issue. This article was aimed at being a gateway and explain the issue as simply as possible. Read more about what you can do in your community to help. I’ll include a list of further readings down below
I hope you found this article on the climate crisis and why you should care useful. This was meant to be an introductory article. In the coming days and months, we’ll publish more detailed and more specific things about climate change, including what YOU can do help fight this. If you’d like to stay in the loop and be notified, subscribe to our mailing list. We would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
P.S: I do not mean to undermine the COVID19 pandemic. It’s been terrible. But I want to stress that this sort of lifestyle could become commonplace with climate change.
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Further readings and sources: