The European Geosciences Union has predicted that by 2035, our planet’s temperature will have increased by almost 4 degrees Fahrenheit, causing coastal flooding, heat waves, and extreme weather.
According to scientists, 2035 is the year of no return. If serious changes are not made quickly, after 2035, we can no longer mitigate anthropogenic effects of climate change.
But I’m not going to sugar coat it, if we want to mitigate these changes, it’s going to be really fucking hard.
Just like with pollution, the countries that will suffer first are often the ones least responsible. Rich countries that emit the most carbon and pollution will be able to sustain themselves longer than poor countries who are already running out of water, and are literally burning up.
Source: Mesfin M. Mekonnen and Arjen Y. Hoekstra | New York Times | 2016
My point is, even if we as Americans aren’t immediately feeling these effects, other countries are. These are the people that need our help the most, so please consider than next time you forget to bring your own mug and “need” to use a single-use cup. Every little action adds up.
“If governments don’t act decisively by 2035 to fight climate change, humanity could cross a point of no return after which limiting global warming below 2°C in 2100 will be unlikely, according to a new study by scientists in the UK and the Netherlands. The research also shows the deadline to limit warming to 1.5°C has already passed, unless radical climate action is taken.”
We haveto reverse over 100 years of infrastructure, corporate greed, and caustic policies. This is no longer something we should do, or something we will start soon.
We need to start yesterday.
Image Source: Paul Gouders | Getty Images
Why so serious?
Why do we only have about 15 years? Well, we had a century, we just ignored the signs the environment was waving in our face. This began over a century ago with the creation of the steam engine, a mechanism requiring coal burning, which spawned the entire Industrial Revolution.
During the Industrial Revolution, propaganda actually glorified images that we would shudder at today.
This is a poster says: “Smoke from the chimneys is the breath of the Soviet Union.”
When I see smoke stacks, I think of, well, death. However, during the Industrial Revolution, smoke stacks were symbols of progress, especially in Russia.
It’s so important to understand the history of our fossil fuel consumption, not only so we can learn the technology, but we get to see the trends in corporate greed that influenced politics, and therefore law. I’d love to write about it, honestly, I would, But Josh Green does a much better job explaining it:
Armed with this knowledge, we can now see that this battle is not going to be an easy one. It’s not just about switching to reusable water bottles and bringing our own cotton bags to the grocery store. Our fossil fuel habits are engrained in us and in our society. We have to destroy the system from the inside by no longer contributing it.
Switching to electric cars isn’t that helpful either. Electricity still comes from a grid that burns coal for energy. This is extremely hazardous to our environment. Even when carbon capture units are implemented, noxious particles are still escaping into our atmosphere:
So what can you do?
Reports have stated that in 15 years, if our trends continue, we changes to our climate will have been exacerbated beyond the point of mitigation.
Beyond practicing our a zero waste lifestyle to the best of our ability, we have to raise our voices. We need to lobby against corrupt policies and corrupt organizations that hold the purse strings of American politics.
I know, I’m not happy about it either, but I’m less happy about watching my fellow humans and animal friends suffer.
If you haven’t signed up to join 350.org, this is a good place to start.
This organization helps rally together like-minded people to keep them informed about causes, events, and protests both locally and globally. Click Here to join the movement to end our reliance on fossil fuels.