A reality we can’t escape

The world is burning. 40% of the Arctic Ice has been lost since 1975. Our world’s carbon dioxide concentration is the highest in 2 million years. Between 2011 and 2020, the global temperature was 1.09◦ c higher than the pre-industrial average. Going forward, heat waves, droughts, cyclones and heavy rains will become more often. This is climate change. It is no hero and there is not a single corner of the earth that remains untouched by climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report of 2021 where 200 plus were authors, 14,000 studies were referred to, 42 pages were finally published, and it was approved by 192 countries. The report says that the temperature are likely to rise by more than 1.5◦c above pre industrial levels over the next three decades, sea level has risen by 20cm, heat waves and heavy rains are affecting over 99% of the world, the Indian Ocean has warmed faster than the Global average and that climate change is unequivocally caused by human activities. This means that humans are to be blamed for this state of affairs. The IPCC report is a landmark report with some news and organizations declaring climate changes happening faster than previously thought.

The question we have to ponder about is, “didn’t we see this coming? Did we not willingly contribute?” We all talk about climate change, we write and read about it but when it comes to doing anything about climate change, we prefer passing the parcel. Climate action becomes a footnote at every global conference. In the media, climate change is a ten page story, buried beneath stories of Hollywood divorce and fashion trends.

However, climate change is more than a passing mention. It is a harsh reality, one that many still have a hard time believing because the truth is just too bitter and too big perhaps to swallow.

Climate change is affecting all of us, rich or poor, white or black. In just the past 30 to 40 days, the consequences of climate change have been seen. In the United States of America, heat wave has killed 116 people in Oregon and 78 in Washington state. As we share ideas, California is fighting the Dixie Fire, where 107 fires are burning across 14 states. In Canada, the temperature recently touched almost 50, where at least 233 people died in British Columbia, more than 1 million shellfish were buried in the Ocean. There is chaos in Greece, where the country is fighting more than 150 wild fires. Less than a month ago, Germany was hit by floods where at least 180 people were killed and 150 people still missing. In India, floods and landslides have killed over 150 people. Parts of Australia were hit by a mini tornado. It is so hot in West Asia that Dubai had to cool the city down using artificial rain. Unfortunately, Kazakhstan cannot afford artificial rain and drought has killed hundreds of horses.

We can now hit a reverse button, we can stop the world from heating further. How can we do this? By immediately reducing greenhouse gases emission. Without drastic efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the humanitarian impacts of climate change will be far worse in the decades to come. This is a climate emergency and is the reality of our generation and the biggest headline of our times. It’s time we acknowledge this.  We can make climate change a front page story. Us all must be at the forefront for change. Because it is us, we have set the World on fire and only we can put a stop to it.

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