There is a trend of talking about climate change to instil anxiety in people. I get it, it’s a serious problem. We should worry.
But why don’t we talk about it climate change in a different way? We know fear doesn’t work. Saying ‘we are all doomed’ will do nothing. Saying ‘we’re far too late’ will only make people give up. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a serious problem and we need to act now in order to have a planet to live on. But if we just change the tone, would more people be willing to hop on this adventure and literally save the world?
First of all, what is happening? We all hear about CO2 emissions, the greenhouse effect and melting ice caps, but do these words mean? Why are they bad?
The greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect is a phenomenon we all studied at school: our planet is surrounded by our atmosphere, which is formed of different gases. These gases help to trap some sun-rays allowing Earth to be warm, while other rays are reflected into space allowing Earth to cool down. Nature has a perfect system not letting our planet get too hot or too cold. One of the gases that allows this phenomenon is CO2. This is the one gas we, as humans, have been emitting into our atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution. But what does it cause? Well, the heat that was supposed to be sent back out to space is kept inside our atmosphere, making our planet heat up and not in a nice way.
But how do we know all this change is caused by us? It could just be happening as a natural cycle. It has happened in the past with temperatures dramatically rising and falling in a repetitive cycle. That’s true…but also not so much. Studies conducted in Antarctica show that through the ages, the temperature on Earth has been going up and down in cycles and that it was always linked to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. How is this one our fault? The current temperature rise started at the same moment as our industrial revolution, when we started pushing more CO2 in the air. This time, the change is occurring at a much higher speed than ever before.
How can we change?
This is the part where people would usually tell you that the world is going to end, humans will not be able to live on this planet anymore if you don’t start doing something right now. They would tell you about deserted cities taken over by nature, a devastated planet with no sign of life at all, or anarchy and dictatorships all around the world. And actually, if you think about it, everything is connected.
See, if we try to mitigate the effects of climate change – beware, climate change is unavoidable – we could be a part of a different world. In my opinion, the biggest issue is how we produce energy. The current fossil fuel methods produce and enormous amount of CO2 that make climate change even worse. Imagine this: we switch as fast as possible to renewable energies worldwide. We stop being dependant on the few territories that hold the majority of fossil fuel reserves and use renewable energy everywhere. This could lead to fewer wars for control over said territories and resources. Wouldn’t that be nice? From a selfish perspective, think how much cheaper energy would be for everyone.
But there is more. Remember how I said climate change is unavoidable? Well, I didn’t, scientists did. We’ll need also to adjust to what we call ‘natural disasters’. Adapting our infrastructures so that we are prepared so we lose less from events like hurricanes, flooding or fire. We mitigate any effects climate change has, we change how society works.
It seems like a big job, and it is. But if we unite our forces and ask governments all over the world for a change, they are far more likely to hear us.
So let’s start talking positively about it. Let’s talk about the benefits the whole world would have if we act now. Let’s see all the great things we humans can do and achieve together.
What do you think needs to happen to after the narrative around climate change?
What do you think will get people to make changes now?
Comment below, we would love to hear your thoughts!