The man-made apocalypse hovering over us

THE persistent downplaying of climate change mitigation actions worldwide is really heartbreaking. Most disturbingly, quite a number of folks still doubt the existence of climate change. After seeing the aftermath of hurricane Ida that has, so far, claimed 45 lives as well as destroyed multimillion dollars worth of properties, I asked myself, when will world leaders take drastic measures to save our planet from environmental catastrophe hovering over us? Is it until extreme weather swipes one third or half of the human race?  Out of all planets in our solar system, only Earth supports life. No proof yet that man has the adaptive features to survive on Mars—the other planet debated to have tendency of supporting life. We’re collectively obligated to save the Earth from impending doom. Sustainable development which is the solution to climate change is capital intensive. Consequently, in my own perspective, bulk of the funds invested into mission to Mars should be diverted to saving our planet. At least, our hope of surviving here is guaranteed if we keep up with sustainable development in our socioeconomic activities and urbanization strides,rather than chasing shadows to other planets.

Meteorologists are now recording unprecedented high temperatures since official record keeping began. In May 2021, temperature breaking the world-record beforehand was recorded at Lut desert, Iran and Sonoran desert, Mexico according to bulletin of American Meteorological Society. The Amazon, proverbially the world largest rainforest, was  previously a big absorber of carbon. Sadly, the forest emitted nearly 20 per cent more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past decade than it absorbed as revealed by new studies; and this anomaly is attributable to poor enforcement of conservation Law by Brazilian government, thereupon escalating deforestation and bush burning. Large percentage of woods in global timber trade are sourced from Brazil.  Climate change is sequel to emissions of greenhouse gases polluting the atmosphere subsequently depleting the ozone layer. It’s an overlooked human induced environmental knotaltering the natural systems  making the earth habitable. Though all countries emit these gases, China, United States, India, Russia and Japan are largest polluters accounting for almost 60 per cent of global emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted an increase in emissions of greenhouse gases globally to 130 per cent by 2050 if left unabated.

The impacts of climate change are more severe in developing countries leading to food insecurity, sickness, death, water scarcity, and malnutrition of millions of people annually, to say the least. The United Nations’ report lending credence to this argument revealed that there were above 11,000 weather related disasters between 1970-2019 claiming over 2 million lives and 90 per cent of the deceased were resident in developing nations. Though the developed nations suffer less consequences of climate change owing to their technology advancement and low poverty vulnerability, they’re now increasingly cut in the aftermath. The July 2021 severe flooding that struck Germany for days resulted in more than 184 fatalities. It was the deadliest disaster to strike the country in decades. In Canada, all-time high temperature was recorded during the heat wave in June, 2021. The extreme weather took dozens of Canadian lives. In August 2021, devastating storm in China birthed serious flood that killed over 21 people and left 80,000 people displaced. Climate change evidently raises global temperature thereby enhancing dryness of forests precipitating an increase in wildfires worldwide.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the United States in 2020 recorded 58,920 wildfires compared with 50,477 in 2019. The intense heat of the raging conflagration consumed above 10 million hectares of land, damaged thousands of properties equally killed 33 people. Currently, our air, food, and  water are being polluted by our activities. Professor David Suzuki said, “if we pollute the air, water and soil that keeps us alive and well, and destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, not amount of money will save us.” The ecosystems which man is an integral component are strongly connected to one another. Environmental degradation is detrimental to our mutual survival and generations yet unborn. Without the environment, no humanity. Reactions of the environment towards us are predicated upon our activities. Globally multiple studies year-on-year have proven the verity of climate change beyond rhetoric, but politics among world ruling class is militating against implementation of mitigation recommendations postulated by climatologists.

China, especially in its quest to be a global economic stronghold, emits more carbon into the atmosphere than any other country, yet makes infinitesimal efforts towards cutting down emissions, despite being a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol. The surging emissions are the harbinger of lethal weather disasters to come. Some resultant effects of climate change like the melting of icecaps at the Artic and Antarctic regions are irreversible. However, accelerated precise apolitical efforts would palpably degrade the impacts already posing grave danger to lives on Earth. The best time to act is now before it is too late.

  • Samson writes in via: brightsamson37@gmail.com

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