Everything will be alright

Ángel Marroquín

Imagine you have an eight-year-old daughter who collects plastic bottles, washes them carefully, and then stores them in her bedroom to take them to the recycling place the next day. Every day she saves water, electricity and tries to motivate her classmates to do the same. Now imagine that she falls asleep crying at night, thinking about the state of the world around her. Did you get the notion?

Now tell me: What would you do to restore the peace of mind of this little girl after reading the latest IPCC climate change report?

What is the IPCC? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an international body that brings together scientists from around the world who report on the current state of the planet regarding Climate Change and its consequences. They published their latest report on August 9, which indicates that climate change already affects the entire world, and its effects will only increase over the next few decades.

In simple: the heat waves that we have been suffering will last for most of the year, and the cold seasons will shorten. Extreme heatwaves will tend to exceed critical levels, endangering agriculture and human health. (Note that July 2021 became the hottest month on record so far on planet earth. This summer, Italy registered a record 47.1 degrees Celsius, and Turkey, Greece, and Italy suffered severe fires caused by these high temperatures). This heat will alter the hydrological cycle, even more, generating a global reduction in precipitation and producing intense rainfall (flooding) in geographically vulnerable places where poor people live.

Rising sea levels will increase and affect coastal areas with greater force, altering their ecosystems and annihilating the weakened biodiversity. As a result, thousands of species will be extinct forever.

The report ends by stating that: “unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced immediately, rapidly and on a large scale, limiting warming to around 1.5 ° C or even 2 ° C will be an unattainable goal.”

No, there are no signs that achieving this is even possible. What’s more, Covid-19 showed that after a slight reduction in emissions during the onset of the pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions rose again and reached their normal pre-pandemic levels in just a few months. In other words, the economy recovers and emissions rise, business as usual.

Now, look at the little girl and, if you dare, tell her that everything will be alright.

Photo: Special Patrol Group

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