Global warming is an issue that has been imposed on us since my generation was born. We have been told that mankind is destroying our planet; concerns about the uprising level of the oceans have arisen among the population within the last decade. Some criticise scientists and denounce them as ‘paranoid’. Some join organisations and try to prevent their message from being heard. The world is divided between those who firmly believe the Earth is in critical danger and those who state that there are more important issues to be taken care of. Throughout this article, I intend to analyse those arguments supporting the danger of climate change and some of the measures proposed to correct it.
Barack Obama said once: “climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here; it is happening now”. The temperature of the global surface is rising alarmingly due to decades of deforestation and carbon pollution, resulting in an unstoppable change of natural disasters such as floods, the vanishing of glaciers, extreme weather… the list goes on and on. As a result of just a total of 0.85º in temperature rise, the ice in the Artic is melting before our eyes. The oceans are rising and thousands or people are being forced to leave their homes and start a new life in a foreign country, a foreign culture. Citizens of island-nations such as the Solomon Islands or Kiribati are suffering the most from these side effect of industrialisation. It is ironic that those who are less to blame, are also those affected the most.
In a world driven by the concepts of wealth and profit, corporations play an enormous role in climate change. In Indonesia, a country which hosts one of the three major tropical rainforests in the world, the palm oil business is a billion-dollar industry that attracted many food producers. These profits have also resulted in a massive deforestation of the Indonesian rainforest which has threatened critically endangered species and has had landslides and floods as its by-product.
Despite such an unpromising future, it is not too late to change the world’s destiny. Solutions exist and are provided by many organisations whose main aim is to educate the public into making crucial lifestyle changes. History has shown that individuals decide whether the government accepts a proposal or not. Renewable energies must be a priority for governments all around the world instead of a mere suggestion that keeps being postponed. It is not an unachievable goal; Sweden has taken a step forward and is becoming one of the first fossil-free countries in the world. The percentage of electricity generated by renewable energies in Spain is an astonishing 42.8% and Germany has been transitioning towards a minimum use of biofuels. Climate change education should also be a priority in order to concern the new generation about responsible production and forest conservation. Education should also concern the massive and uncontrolled consumption of animal products is damaging the Ozone layer in different ways. Change is not another word in the dictionary; is an urgent need that cannot be ignored.
We were not the generation that granted women the right to vote, the right to get a higher education. We did not see the fall of the Berlin Wall, the unification of Germany under a common authority. We were not born when Martin Luther King fought for equality. But we have the duty to act, to address an issue that can no longer be ignored. And perhaps, in the future, we will be able to tell our grandchildren we were the generation that saved the Earth.