We are living in a climate emergency - as many of us know and acknowledge yet some still disregard. Humans have caused the increase in harmful effects related to the environment and we need to be the ones working to reverse it. We need world leaders not only to declare a climate emergency but also need to step up and put sustainable initiatives in place that will protect the planet for us now and future generations.
Science does not lie. This past year, we have seen dramatic changes in climate. These extremes play a massive role in many aspects of our lives and highlight the urgency of climate intervention and action by our leaders. In 2020,
We saw new extreme temperatures on land, sea and especially in the Arctic.
We saw an increase of natural disasters - hurricanes in the Atlantic, flooding in parts of Africa and South-East Asia, fires in the United States and Australia.
The global mean temperature for January to October 2020 was around 1.2°C - on track to be one of the top 3 hottest years on record.
Arctic sea ice reached the second-lowest minimum ice extent recorded.
Impact on our global resources:
Droughts and flooding lead to uncertainty in water supply, sanitation and quality.
Extreme temperatures, wildfires, and rising CO2 levels lead to food production, supply, and livestock issues alongside an increase in pricing and food insecurity.
Global warming could drive many plant and animal species to extinction.
Impact on our health:
Extreme high air temperatures contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease. An increase in pollen is also associated with high air temperatures that can trigger asthma.
Floods contaminate freshwater supplies, increase the risk of water-borne diseases, and create ideal environments for disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes.
Air pollution leads to increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.
The climate is getting worse and has a great impact on all of us now and for future generations. Our health, resources, livelihoods, are all affected and it needs to be taken seriously.
We need governments and leaders to:
Acknowledge and declare a global climate emergency
Invest in sustainable energy and create green jobs
Fund research programmes and innovative solutions
Hold corporations accountable for their impact on our environment
Track and monitor our health and level of care to these issues
Listen and work with the youth voices standing up for our planet
It is our responsibility to put pressure on these leaders through protesting (digitally in the COVID era) and posting on social media expressing our demands. When we stand united, they can’t continue ignoring the climate crisis.
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