Any time the media brings up the topic of climate change, often our first instincts frame the conversation from a “What If” standpoint – “What if we continue current carbon emissions? What if we don’t recycle?”.
Climate change is seen as some sort of vague consequence that looms over us, like a shadow far in the future, out of sight and out of mind. As individuals, we ignore its immediate effects because it’s convenient to, and it puts the onus off us by thinking that the governments and environmental groups will do something about it.
In the past century, humanity has heavily prioritised comfort and profits over the symbiotic nature of our relationship with the environment. Bulldozing forests to make way for high-rise buildings, polluting the ocean with single-use plastics, and burning natural fuels to satiate our never-ending obsession with consumerism. Throughout all of this, society still fails to notice the very real and present effects of climate change.
Slow and steady rising temperatures have led to an increase in natural disasters globally. The planet we live on is now fraught with droughts, floods, and typhoons seasonally. Ironically, such phenomena that we used to term ‘Acts of God’ are entirely of our own undoing. It is by this very same hand that we need to take immediate actions to fight climate change in our daily lives, to set our very existence on a more sustainable path.
Substantial Impacts Across The World
Since the 1880s, the planet’s average temperature has risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius. Confirmed by both satellite measurements and thorough analysis with hundreds of thousands of independent weather station observations globally, global warming is an undeniable fact. The ramifications of this have been plain to see – a significant decrease in the planet’s surface ice cover and hotter average days in many locations across the world.
This crazy temperature fluctuation had led to rising ocean levels, impacting coastal cities and settlements. The famed canals at Venice see rising tides year on year, with experts projecting the Italian tourist landmark to be fully submerged before the end of this century.
Bushfires in California have also become a common problem as the American West Coast erupts in flames every summer. Across the world, the Australian continent faces similar issues six months after during their own summer season. Rising temperatures threaten the delicate ecosystem of wildlife, driving them out of their natural habits.
In addition to these natural disasters resulting from global warming and climate change, the very systems we have developed to sustain life on Earth are also being threatened. In a capitalist based society that survives off extremely precise international supply chains, climate change brings heavy socio-economic impacts.
The most apparent stands before us as food systems start to be affected by weather conditions. Crop cycles and their respective availability might be damaged by unconducive weather conditions. Furthermore, the natural capital that we trade in order to obtain sustenance is dwindling away. Our valuable ecosystem, one that has existed since the dawn of man, sees little to no replacement while corporations profit off them.
On an individual level, the average human’s ability to live and work becomes hampered due to heat stress. If the average temperature continues to rise, we risk playing a lose-lose game when we burn through precious resources to make ourselves feel more comfortable, while entirely ignoring the root of the problem.
The Time to Act is Now
I have always firmly believed in the idea of “If not now, then when?” As I might have alluded to earlier, it is easy for any one of us to shirk responsibility and place our faith in bigger entities to fix the problems lying before us. The truth is, we owe it to ourselves to fight the good fight against climate change. It all starts with you and me, and how we can be conscious about our behaviour.
As the consequences of climate change start to become omnipresent, everyone has to do their part and take up arms in this battle for a more sustainable and livable ecosystem. Let’s work together to fight climate change as a team today.