Why The Next 4 Years Are Crucial For Climate Change

We are out of time to combat climate change.
Climate change protest sign
Image Source: Pexels

Climate change is a widely popular topic these days, but finding a universal consensus in terms of its legitimacy and a plan of action feels difficult.

Depending on where you are and who you talk to, expect to find a variety of different responses, anywhere from it being the biggest issue facing humanity to being a complete hoax.

Humanity faces a stark reality that we are out of time to take action against climate change. We already face irreversible damages to our planet and climate. If drastic action is not taken in the next 4 years, we face threats to the human race itself.

The following reasons to fight climate change are becoming more and more obvious.

1. Saving The Human Race

“Saving the planet” isn’t really the core message behind climate action activists. At least, it shouldn’t be. “Saving the human race” is a more accurate mission statement, although that could easily make conversations even more divisive.

The planet will be fine, regardless of what happens with climate change. It will simply become uninhabitable for humans if we continue on this path. Many people have likely seen graphs and information regarding the many warming and cooling periods that the earth has experienced over its lifetime.

There have been those cyclical times, however, that information is often used to dismiss the severity of the current warming trends caused by anthropogenic (human) effects. Whether the earth got extremely hot or extremely cold - it bounced back and became balanced again.

What is nearly impossible for humans to comprehend, however, is that those periods happened over 10,000+ years, almost every time. Even with the earth being 4.5 billion years old, a timeframe like 10,000 years is so hard to fathom.

The issue here is that our current warming trend is accelerating faster than the warming trends over 10,000 years, and we have seen that climb happen in a hundred years or even just a few decades.

2. Lies and Misinformation from Corporations

A huge contributor to not only climate change itself, but the lack of urgency among the general public has come from big corporations and the oil industry. ExxonMobil, for example, knew about and was researching climate change in the 1970s.

Yet, they still continue to fund climate-denying groups, so the population gets information presented to them that “climate change isn’t real” or “it's just another cycle of warming”.

That is exactly what the oil companies want to happen, so they can continue drilling for fossil fuels and contribute massively to the carbon emissions that create greenhouse gasses and a warming effect on our planet.

They certainly did not stop there. Oil companies put the blame on the consumer as well. British Petroleum - or BP - released a “Carbon Footprint Calculator” in 2004. The intent of the calculator was so the average consumer could see how big their “footprint” was in terms of carbon emissions and the impact on the environment.

Should you carpool, cut single-use plastics from your life and recycle more? Sure, those are all great things for sustainability. However, I feel like this is a great time for a gentle reminder that BP directly spilled 210 MILLION GALLONS of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Just some food for thought, next time a mega-corporation asks you how you can lower your carbon footprint.

If you have not yet spilled 4.9 Million Barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, you are doing better than BP. You may also find a single long-haul flight cancels out an otherwise carbon-neutral lifestyle.

3. Political Disregard Historically

The United States, generally touted as a world leader, has fallen short of Climate Action expectation. Al Gore, the author of “An Inconvenient Truth” lost the 2000 Presidential Election to George Bush. One has to wonder how different things may look for the climate now 20 years later. The Gore administration was clearly privy to climate change and its dangers.

Instead, George W. Bush took office and certainly wasn’t remembered for his action to combat climate change. The Paris Climate Agreement was created in 2015 to reduce carbon emissions and keep the global temperature rise under 2.0 degrees Celsius. Some 200 countries have agreed to partake in the agreement and do their part to help our planet.

Donald Trump declared to leave the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017, and it became official that the USA withdrew from the agreement on November 4th, 2020, becoming the first country to pull out of the agreement. With a new administration on the way in January of 2021, it marks the beginning of a lot of potential improvements.

Many other countries, meanwhile, are charging ahead with aggressive climate change fighting policies and goals. New Zealand just announced a climate emergency and will attack its climate goals to be carbon neutral by 2025. This is a tremendous leap in the effort, as the bill passed by Jacinda in her first term was to be carbon emission neutral by 2050.

4. Irreversible Damage Has Already Been Done

What happens if these goals are not met? Well, here are a couple of examples of what you can expect in the 2020s over the next decade, regardless of what action gets taken.

If there are not massive commitments made within the next 4 years to fight directly against these effects, catastrophic results will be normalized in our everyday lives. It is already being seen across the globe.

With the threat of entire US cities like New York and Miami being underwater, there is no more time to wait for action. It is not a debate.

Enjoying an active lifestyle, focused on family and community. Writing on relevant and helpful topics that most people can relate to.

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