Time is running out to save the planet

Dec. 20, 2021

By Tara Tiyaloglu
Staff Writer

“Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming whether you like it or not.” – Greta Thunberg at the Climate Action Summit in 2019

Eighteen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg is an inspiration and deserves to be heard.

She began her activist journey when she was 15 years old, and she continues to fight for the environment by making moving speeches to audiences of world leaders so they can take action to mitigate climate change.

So far, Thunberg has won the first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity and donated the 1 million euro prize money to charitable organizations. She also won the Shorty Award for Best in Activism, Glamour Award for The Revolutionary and many more

She is a perfect example of someone who is not afraid to make a statement and takes action. Some might not like what she has to say, but it’s the truth. 

As the weeks, months and years go by, people continue polluting the Earth and endangering its animals. It’s a grave matter, and the fact that people so carelessly turn their heads away from this matter astounds me. 

Climate change has been going on for as long as I can remember, but the actions humans have been taking have increasingly made the situation worse. As the land-disposed waste increases, there are more frequent and intense droughts, storms, heatwaves, rising sea levels and melting glaciers, and that’s only the beginning.

Even though some don’t care about this subject, others are concerned and taking action. For example, NASA is planning to increase energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and recycling. The organization is working to eliminate waste and prevent pollution. 

The car industry is also making small improvements. Six major automakers including Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, recently committed to phasing out the production of vehicles that use fossil fuel by 2040. However, the biggest car manufacturers like the Nissan-Renault alliance, Toyota and Volkswagen did not join the pledge.

An outcome of the COP 26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which was held in Scotland last month, is that central bankers will need to force the world’s banks to set short-term targets to cut carbon emissions from their loan books. Otherwise, the sector’s net-zero pledges will simply be “greenwashing,” billionaire hedge fund investor Chris Hohn told Reuters.

Climate change has been going on for as long as I can remember, but the actions humans have been taking have increasingly made the situation worse.

Carbon emissions are the greenhouse gas with the highest levels of emissions in the atmosphere, and they have serious effects on the weather. When carbon dioxide, the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas, is trapped in the atmosphere, it causes global warming, which leads to climate change and extreme weather changes like polar ice caps melting and tropical storms

President Joe Biden, who spoke about climate change at COP26, discussed his Build Back Better framework to make historic investments in clean energy, the most significant investment to deal with the climate crisis that any advanced nation has ever made. His goal is for the United States to cut its greenhouse emissions by well over a gigaton by 2030.

The countries most impacted by climate change are Germany, Japan and the Philippines. Even though they are the most affected, Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate variability and change due to the multiple existing stresses and low adaptive capacity. 

Climate change has also affected migrants. Migrants forced from their homes because of climate-related events are likely to seek refuge in the nearest stable, democratic nations that follow international asylum conventions and where jobs are plentiful. This could send waves of migrants to destinations like the United States and the European Union as well as to bordering countries like Mexico and Turkey that are already struggling to respond to an increase in migrant populations.

To help the climate and prevent it from deteriorating, people can use energy wisely, urge the government and others around them to take action, power their homes with renewable energy, reduce water waste, prevent food waste and drive a fuel-efficient vehicle. Even if these actions seem small, they could help tremendously. Climate change is a huge problem, but with effort and motivation, everyone has the power to help the planet heal. We need to act now because there is no time to waste.

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