In advance of the 52nd Celebration of Earth Day, a United Nations panel released the reports on global warming. It said that humanity was running out of time to avert some of the worst effects of a warming planet. YIKES!
So is our sense of doom about climate change warranted?
Among the headline-grabbing wildfires, droughts and floods, global warming sure feels like a hopeless challenge at times – but experts say it shouldn't. The world, they argued, has made real progress on climate change and still has time to act.
Reasons for Hope
The world has made real progress in slowing climate change in recent years. Solar and wind power are now cheaper than coal and gas in much of the world. The cost of batteries has plummeted over the past few decades, which has made electric vehicles much more accessible. Governments and businesses are pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into clean energy. Plant-based meat alternatives are getting tastier and more popular faster than anyone expected. Innovative zero-waste products are becoming more accessible and transforming the world's standards for product development.
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting limitations on travel and other economic sectors by countries around the globe drastically decreased air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions within just a few weeks. These recent improvements prove we have made progress in battling the permanent and destructive threat of climate change.
But this is not enough to declare victory.
Rather than seeing the climate challenge and our legitimate concerns as overwhelming or hopeless, experts and advocates say, we should treat it as a call to action. The world’s governments and biggest businesses have set goals to reduce greenhouse emissions in the coming decades, but they will need the public’s help and support.
As individuals, we can make a difference, by playing into a collective approach. You can become involved in politics (including at the local level, where many climate policies are carried out). You can convince friends and family to take the issue seriously, changing what politicians and policies they support. You can actively post about global warming on social media. You can donate money to climate causes.
And while there is still time to solve the climate crisis, time to choose BOTH a thriving and sustainable future, and time to restore nature and build a healthy planet for our children and their children, is short. So this is moment for bold action and relentless courage to change it all. It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.
The Bottom Line
Don’t give up on the future. Look for productive ways to prevent impending doom. The Earth Day 2022 theme is Invest In Our Planet. What will you do?
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