Don't step on the gas!
Life Positive|December 2021
The imminent threat from the climate emergency needs to be tackled urgently. Fortunately, there are ways and means available, says Darshan Goswami
Darshan Goswami

Climate change is real and happening now. The crisis is accelerating more rapidly than most scientists anticipated, and many of them are deeply concerned that climate tipping points are now imminent. This could cause significant disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies, potentially making large areas of the Earth uninhabitable.

The climate crisis is driven by emissions of greenhouse gases, the main contributor to warming temperatures. Every additional delay in action will result in worsening the consequences of global warming, including more extreme weather events, higher temperature extremes, and a higher risk of fire, droughts, and flooding.

Fortunately, it is something which is solvable. There are plenty of well-understood solutions, but the leadership and the courage to change course are sine qua nons.

What is ‘climate crisis’?

Climate change is a modification of the global climate over a long time. During the past few centuries, humans have released more greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere, increasing the Earth’s temperature and contributing to a serious climate crisis. At least 97 per cent of published climate experts agree that global warming is real and caused by human activities. The release of harmful gases from burning fossil fuel (coal, oil, and gas) is the main cause. The planet has already heated by about 1.2°C due to past emissions, and the temperature is certain to increase further because greenhouse gas levels are still rising. If it continues at the current rate, global warming is likely to increase the Earth’s temperature by 1.5°C between 2030 and 2050. [1]

Impact of the climate crisis

The impact of climate change can be seen in the massive raging wildfires in California and Turkey; surging global temperatures and heatwaves of 49ºC in Canada and Morocco; devastating flash floods in Japan, Europe, US, India, and China; the rapid melting of glaciers; rising ocean temperatures; widespread megadrought; increased respiratory diseases; and mass forced human displacement that is affecting every living being on Earth. Recent scientific reports show that the climate crisis is only getting more severe and that we are not prepared for the worsening impacts.

These impacts are specifically affecting the planet’s poorest countries and low-income communities, which face higher risks of death and displacement. In addition, the record-breaking heat waves are rippling across the planet, bringing death and destruction in their wake. Refusing to address the climate crisis will cause significant economic damage and global supply chain interruptions.

What can we do?

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