Time to talk about saving humanity, not just the planet!
The recent IPCC report 2018 has confirmed that the human activities have already caused 1°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. We are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels, and diminishing Arctic sea ice. According to the IPCC report, global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 and if it continues to increase at the current rate, alarming enough, we are on track for a 3 – 4°C temperature rise. These findings surely cannot be ignored.
Almost at every United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) meetings, protests and rallies with the main theme such as “Save the Planet” or “Save the Earth” is very common. To be honest, these campaigns are not effective in engaging the public on a more permanent basis. While we all know that our planet can take care of itself and also the fact that we human beings with an average life span of 72 years are a tiny invisible speck of dust in comparison to the mammoth 4.54 billion old Earth. We must establish symbiotic relationships and start acting in our own backyard. We must acknowledge the fact that humans are entirely dependent on the planet earth and not the other way around. The planet earth would probably flourish and may become more inhabitable after the human extinction, but it will survive. The bigger question is, will the human race survive if we continue to live in the 4°C world? Probably not – not for long!
To assimilate this, let’s briefly go back to the age of Dinosaurs; probably the Dinosaurs might have been illusioned as humans about their invincibility on this planet 247 million years ago. Although the dinosaurs ruled the earth for about 175 million years, until an extinction event that happened approximately 65.5 million years ago, wiped out all of them. Scientists today don’t completely agree on the reason of their extension, but the extinction was likely due to some destructible natural forces – an asteroid impact, choking chemicals from erupting volcanoes, climate change and possibly other unknown factors. Even after the extension of Dinosaurs, the planet earth never missed a day spinning on its own axis, it continued to flourish with a variety of species and life.
At the upcoming COP 24 in Poland, perhaps, it is time to have serious conversation on how to save “humanity” from the negative impact of climate change rather than sticking with the old rhetoric – “Save the Planet”. Having said that, the definition of “humanity” needs to be much broader and inclusive than a particular political party (Labor/Liberal or Democrat/Republican) or a nation (developed or developing). As human beings, we go beyond and do things that we don’t otherwise, only when we are inspired. The world needs an inspiration to act together; aiming to save humanity by fighting climate change can be the necessary motivation for all in today’s gradually warming world. It is up to us to get inspired and implement solutions to burgeoning climate change problems or to fall into the trap of nationalism, vested interest groups and invite climate disasters that have a potential to extinct human race from this planet.
We all should understand that life is a limited amount of time for all living beings on this planet. We all are walking with an invisible sand backpack with a hole at the bottom. As soon as the backpack runs out of sand, our time on this planet is over; there is no second chance to come back. We have a very limited time to act and there is no magic wand that will change things within a day’s effort, instead, it is everyday effort, a lifelong one.
Let’s hope COP 24 in Poland will inspire all nations (developed and developing), all generations (old, current and future) to come together and implement right climate solutions and actions for the sake of humanity. As wise men have rightly said, each one of us in this world has come to give something; we have nothing to take from this world.
About the Author:
Anil is the Managing Director of a Melbourne based company – Carbon & Clean Energy Solutions (CCES) that provides services in the field on clean energy and carbon markets. Anil has attended several UNFCCC COP meetings and has written international papers on climate policy, carbon markets and clean technology.
Disclaimer: All the content in this article is completely original; it has not been inspired by, nor is it based on any other article, nor any book, and therefore the Author regrets any resemblance with any of the aforementioned and would like to assure that it was unintentional. Moreover, the author does not intend to be offensive towards anyone who reads this article, if anything written can be perceived as hurtful to any community or person, the author apologizes, however, that was not the purpose of the writing.