Climate change puts planet in grave danger
The most serious warning has so far come from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Guterres has said that climate change has “left our planet broken” and urged nations to make radical changes before it is too late, according to the BBC. Guterres has also warned that humanity is waging a war on the natural world, describing it as “suicidal”. “Nature always strikes back, and is doing so with gathering force and fury.” Yes, Nature has its own way of hitting back at indifference of human beings and their ravages on the earth. In recent weeks, the world has seen ferocious wildfires in the US West, torrential rains in Africa, strange warm temperatures on the surface of tropical oceans, and record heat waves from California to the Siberian Arctic. Natural disasters in the past two months caused Vietnam 30 trillion dong ($1.3 billion) in economic damage and killed 192 people, with 57 still missing. This spate of wild weather is consistent with climate change, scientists say, and the world can expect even more extreme weather and higher risks from natural disasters as global emissions of greenhouse gases continue. Already, some countries have started initiating some moves. New Zealand was the latest nation to have declared a state of climate emergency. Britain’s parliament became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency, passing the motion in May last year, followed closely by Ireland. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said urgent action was needed for the sake of future generations. Ardern said the science on climate change was clear and New Zealand had to acknowledge the threat. “In those cases where we do issue declarations, it is often where there is a threat to life, a threat to property, and civil defence emergencies,” she told parliament. “If we do not respond to climate change, we will continue to have these emergencies on our shores.”
The climate phenomenon that was dismissed by US President Donald Trump as nothing but a hoax is assuming alarming proportions as the days go by. “We are seeing the emergence of some signals that would have had almost no chance of happening without human-induced climate change,” said a climate scientist at a Swiss university recently. For decades, scientists have warned of such events – but have been wary of saying that a particular storm or heat wave was a direct result of climate change. That’s now changing. Advances in a relatively new field known as “event attribution science” have enabled researchers to assess how big a role climate change might have played in a specific case. In determining that link, scientists assess simulations of how weather systems might behave if humans had never started pumping carbon dioxide into the air, and compare that with what is happening today. They also factor in weather observations made over the last century or more. The most serious impact of climate change will be on future generations, specially children. A child born today faces multiple and life-long health harm from climate change – growing up in a warmer world with risks of food shortages, infectious diseases, floods and extreme heat, a major global study has found. Children are particularly vulnerable to the health hazards of changing climate conditions. Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants. Climate change is already harming people’s health by exacerbating air pollution, according to a study. And if nothing is done to mitigate it, its impact could burden an entire generation with disease and illness throughout their lives. Without immediate action from all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, gains in wellbeing and life expectancy will be compromised, and climate change will come to define the health of an entire generation.