Climate change: A major global threat

Climate change: A major global threat

Climate change, that is, global climate change, and in particular changes in meteorological conditions spanning a wide time span, is a major global existential threat, far greater than coronavirus.

The greenhouse effect causes the planet's temperature to rise largely due to the tremendous increase in carbon dioxide, which has risen by 35% since the beginning of the industrial revolution. And of course the lion's share of atmospheric pollution with 50% of all carbon dioxide has Europe and North America. All other countries together are responsible for the other half, while the poorest countries are the least responsible. However, the people living in these countries are the ones who will suffer the most.

The causes of climate change have been identified mainly in the burning of fossil fuels (coal, diesel, gasoline, natural gas, etc.) which account for 50% of total emissions, in the production and use of synthetic chemicals, in the disaster of forests which contributes to the production of additional gases in the atmosphere and of course to the greenhouse effect of 15% and to conventional agriculture and livestock, which account for 15% of emissions.

Expert scientists ring the alarm bell and warn that unless there is urgent global coordinated action by political leaders, governments, industries and citizens around the world, planet temperatures are likely to rise above 2 ° C relative to pre- industrial growth by 2060 and growth could even reach 5 ° C by the end of the twenty-first century, a fact that will make the lives of future generations problematic.

Such an increase in the temperature of our planet will have a devastating impact on nature, bringing about irreversible changes in many ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity, meaning all living organisms and species that make up life on the planet, namely animals, birds, fish and plants (fauna and flora). Many species are expected to disappear from areas that will be directly and severely affected by climate change.

Today, compared to 1850 when data began to record - a temperature rise of 1.1 ° C is observed. beyond this crucial point there will be no way out.

Climate change, however, which is due to human activities, is a tangible ominous reality and is already adversely affecting our planet. The sectors responsible for the production of greenhouse gases are mainly the energy production sector (power generation units, refineries) but also industrial activities, modern means of transport (cars, aircraft, etc.) and primary production activities.

So extreme weather events, uncontrolled forest fires like the Amazon that have been characterized as the "lungs" of the planet, heat waves, heavy rainfall, prolonged droughts that create serious eating problems in the affected areas of the planet, very powerful hurricanes, are becoming more frequent and more intense, costing tens of thousands of lives each year and causing major disasters.

At the same time, ice and snow on the poles are melting, with the Arctic the deadliest, and the world's average sea level rising, causing floods and erosion on low-lying coastal and coastal areas and creating environmental refugees. . If this unfavorable development continues, areas such as the Netherlands and Venice will risk losing forever under seawater like the new Atlantis.

Climate change also enhances existing diseases worldwide but also creates new ones, and can also lead to premature deaths. Many diseases are particularly susceptible to temperature change. These included communicable diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, encephalitis and dengue fever, but also eating disorders, mental illness, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory diseases.

Climate change will also have negative impacts on the economies of countries given the fact that high temperatures harm the productivity of most sectors of the economy, from the agricultural sector to processing. Valuable scientists predict that by the end of the century, global GDP will have fallen by 7.22% from what it would have been without climate change.

Swedish teenager against climate change, Greta Thunberg, has come up with the most energetic and loud way to pass the debate on this major problem, from heads of state and government and public dialogue, to society and friendly discussions, by mobilized millions of people around the world, especially young people, who began demonstrating by demanding that governments take immediate action to tackle climate change.

So Swedish MPs rightly suggested it for the Nobel Peace Prize. And Greta Thunberg is certainly right when she says that measures are being taken to reduce greenhouse gases and, above all, carbon dioxide is not enough.

So what are the appropriate measures to be taken without delay to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and keep the temperature at + 1.5 ° C?

The basic policies for resolving the problem consist in promoting and using renewable energy sources (wind, solar, biomass, etc.), improving energy efficiency, drastically reducing the use of oil and gas deposits, and imposing taxes carbon in order to limit the use of fossil fuels and thereby significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and eliminate them at the latest by 2050, rapid reduction of methane, carbon black emissions and other short-lived pollutants that aggravate the climate, restore and protect ecosystems and, above all, forests.

The Paris Agreement, the first universal, legally binding climate agreement, came into force in 2016 with great optimism and sheer ambition, despite the official US launch statement, which are one of the biggest polluters. Four years have passed since then and there are no substantive results, a fact that raises serious questions as to whether there really is the political will to solve this particularly threatening global problem.

In conclusion, I want to stress that the effects of climate change will be so dramatic that human civilization will be in danger of collapsing like a paper tower. So, in the face of this extremely dangerous climate crisis, citizens around the world need to step up their mobilization even further and political leaders to finally rise to the occasion and take the necessary drastic measures immediately, before Too late to turn this volatile course and save the planet.

A few words about Isidoros Karderinis

Isidoros Karderinis was born in Athens in 1967. He is a novelist, poet and columnist. He studied economics and completed postgraduate studies in tourism economics. His articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and websites around the world. His poems have been translated into English, French and Spanish and have been published in poetry anthologies, literary magazines and literary sections of newspapers. He has published seven books of poetry and three novels. His books have been published in the US, Great Britain, Spain and Italy.