Our Planet has a fever. The effects of the ongoing climate change are devastating and, to some extent, can already be noticed. What might be the solutions? What can politics do?
Our Planet has recently reported the warmest day, week, and month of the last 120,000 years. Several countries are on alert because of the extreme heat. Italy has been facing record-breaking temperatures in the South and cloudbursts in the North. The skies of New York and North America have turned orange due to a toxic cloud, while millions of people are starving because of an unprecedented mega-drought in East Africa. They might seem like science fiction scenarios, yet they are not. Our Planet has a fever, and according to the World Health Organization, between 2030 and 2050 the direct and indirect effects of climate change will cause the death of 250,000 more people in a year.
Global warming is definitely not news. Human activities have been the main responsible for the huge emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the last century, and in the last few years, the consequences of climate change have become visible. According to the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the Italian National Research Council, since 1900 there have only been 14 summers with above-average temperatures. 8 of these have been reported in the last twenty years and 6 in the last ten years. This should make us think and reflect!
The Effects Of Climate Change
Our Planet has a fever and it’s not only about the 2-degrees temperature increase: it is a way more serious matter.
The temperature increase which is worrying scientists all around the world refers to the average measured in different places of the world. The phenomenon as a whole is producing several disruptive effects, which are going to become more and more noticeable. For example:
- prolonged drought
- greater spread of fire
- melting glaciers
- rising sea levels and risk of unhinabitability for several cities
- growing extreme meteorological phenomena, such as heavy rainfalls, cloudbursts and disruptive winds
- deterioration of the quality of water and lack of water resources
- warming of the oceans
- extinction of several living species
What Can Politics Do?
If people are very much aware of what’s happening, this will definitely be of much help to politics, too.
Let me explain better. Knowing that we need to find a solution to what’s going on means giving our consent and approval to politicians to make better choices and not be hesitant about it.
What is certain is that, regardless of political beliefs, governments can do a lot to slow down climate change. For example:
- Introducing carbon taxes, because overcharging the most polluting products and services might be helpful for reducing greenhouse emissions.
- Encouraging green energy, for example by promoting the installation of photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.
- Stimulating public transport and non-polluting mobility, like electric vehicles that are powered by clean energy.
- Promoting “soft mobility”, by creating more secure walking and cycling routes, or by installing bike sharing stations.
- Developing more green areas and wetlands in big cities, in order to increase biodiversity and store water to use when needed.
- Investing in technology, motivating both companies and individuals to use technology to reduce waste of energy and water.
- Assisting organizations that are investing in a better future (for example, by investing in organic methods or green energy).
The problem is enormous, and politics should act immediately in order not to be ill-prepared. We must hurry, as bureaucratic times are not compatible with the rhythms of nature, in the most absolute ways.
What Can We Do?
We can also give our little contribution by making sensible choices which can have important consequences. Some of these are:
- eating less meat and choosing vegan or vegetarian menus
- avoiding waste of food, water, and energy
- choosing trains and other public transport instead of cars and airplanes
- going on foot or cycling whenever possible
- avoiding using the heating and the air conditioning, even when it’s hot
- using only energy that comes from renewable sources
- purchasing less and choosing second-hand objects
- cooking organic and local food and growing your own garden
- electing political representatives who are active and committed to stop global warming
These are baby steps, but if everyone makes an effort, they will definitely be of great help.
The Impact On Our Health
Global warming has a dramatic impact on our Planet, and it can also be very harmful to our health. As a matter of fact, it will lead to worse air quality. Consequently, life expectancy will go down, especially for the most vulnerable and elderly people. Moreover, outdoor activities might become a serious problem, there will be more and more un-arable land due to lack of water, and malnutrition and diseases related to food shortages will rise.
Our Planet has a fever, and we need to find a solution right away. Tomorrow will be too late!