Climate change: just don't see those who don't want to
We have all heard about the countless consequences of climate change - the increase in temperature, the melting of glaciers and consequently the rise in sea level, the extinction of various species of fauna and flora that can no longer survive these weather conditions, droughts, floods, fires, among many other phenomena.
If a few years ago there was still space for climate change denialists to speak out, there is currently no possibility of debating this issue. Our planet Earth is complaining and just can't see who doesn't want to!
Three years ago, the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, then 15 years old, started the “Fridays for Future” movement, a protest against the inactivity of politicians in relation to the climate crisis, which has globalized and culminated in a March 15 general school strike in over 100 countries. Since then, the whole world, especially the younger generations, is more aware of these issues.
Let's get to the facts
If you still have that friend or family member who refuses to give importance to the consequences of global warming, you can present these facts and alert them to something real that is happening on our Planet:
- Humanity uses 74% more natural resources than the planet's ecosystems can regenerate – that is, the equivalent of living on “1.7 planets Earth”. Portugal has an ecological footprint of 2.75 planets.
- In 2021, Earth Overshoot Day took place on July 29. This means that we have exhausted the resources available for the entire year after 7 months.
- In the year 2021 alone, the global carbon footprint increased by 6.6%.
- Throughout the history of planet Earth, during 450 million years, there have been five mass extinctions, caused by meteorites and volcanic eruptions. The sixth will be caused by the impact of human beings on the ecosystem.
- Climate changes caused by humanity will be responsible for 8% of the extinction of current species.
- Weather phenomena such as torrential rains, prolonged droughts, heat waves and tornadoes will be increasingly frequent.
By 2040 (only 19 years from now, yes you will still live this), 70% of the world's great glaciers will melt, causing more sea level rise and consequently floods and disappearance of islands and coastal cities.
It is urgent to change our lifestyle to a more sustainable one. We don't have much time left and many years have passed that we can no longer recover. However, we must do everything possible, on a personal and corporate/governmental level, to save what still exists!
Small actions such as reducing electricity consumption, avoiding using the car and opting for public or shared transport, reducing meat consumption or recycling are some examples of how we can contribute to a greener world.
Maria do Mar Sousa, 09/10/2021