Climate change. I know it is terrifying. We are all going to burn, drown, starve or get sucked up in a tornado like some twisted version of The Wizard of Oz. Politicians are denying it, teenagers are fighting to stop it, businessmen are exploiting it and new agreements are being drawn up and then being left unsigned everyday. Meanwhile Australia is on fire, the UK is flooding, tornadoes are crisscrossing the US like they’re trying to win a game of snakes and ladders and a literal plague of locusts has descended on the Horn of Africa. Welcome the new world folks.
Floods, Fires and Twisters
It can be tempting to try and bury our heads in the sand, take some retail therapy at our nearest fast fashion outlet, forget our keep cups, decide recycling is too hard and pretend this whole thing is a bad dream. But (I know there is always a but) scientists are predicting less than 12 years before climate change is irreversible and the twisters, floods, fires, plagues and general apocalyptic scenes become a compulsory, worldwide, year-round event. So pretending its all a bad dream, well it will become the sort you can’t easily wake from. Burying our heads in the sand here is not an option, and only in part because the world is rapidly running out of sand.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel made up of over 1300 members from around the world has forecasted a temperature rise of 2.5-10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. Previous global warming impacts the panel has forecasted due to rising temperatures such as shrinking glaciers, river ice breaking up sooner in the season and the melting of sea ice have already started to occur.
The warming of the planet is largely due to increases in greenhouse gasses from mostly human activities, these gasses trap heat in the atmosphere, creating an increase in temperature.
Global warming is one of the main drivers of climate change, climate change being a global issue and one of which the effects will be felt world-wide.
With 39% of humanity living within 100 kilometres of a coastline, countless people will be displaced, heat waves will become more common and severe, farming practices will be disrupted and animal species will begin to die out.
And Droughts Too…
In some areas droughts and water scarcity will become more common, with Cape Town already having faced the prospect of running out of water, and other areas will become far more prone to severe flooding.
If we ignore the issue of climate change then the impacts on the economy, immigration, world aid, food, water, trade and society as we know it will be impacted far more than if we implement change to tackle this issue before the house is burned down. If you are still leaning towards pretending this isn’t happening and going out to buy that coffee in its disposable cup, know that two of the crops that will be affected by climate change and rising temperatures include coffee and cocoa. So enjoy that coffee while you still can.
Now, this may seem like a lot of doom and gloom, but the positive news is that the world is starting to realise the full extent of climate change. We have seen movements like Fridays for Future spread across the world, a reported increase in the concern and awareness of the public about climate change and changing trends, albeit it sometimes slow, in consumer habits towards more sustainable practices.
Our clock is ticking but our time is not up yet, we can all make changes to help turn this around. That twister may be on its way but we are still the ones that can change it, at the moment we are still in Kansas.