You might’ve heard this a few hundred times, but climate change is real, it is threatening, and it requires our immediate and dedicated attention. We have seen an alarming spike in natural disasters as a result of the state of our environment. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll notice that Mother Nature’s annual weather pattern has changed drastically too.
So what does the early arrival of winter mean? Why are we frequently hearing that winter is getting colder if the world is supposedly getting warmer?
Let’s start at the beginning (where is that you ask, well let me tell you). Global warming is the gradual increase of the planet’s temperature. Because our atmosphere works similar to the glass panes of a greenhouse, the heat of the sun coupled with great levels of carbon dioxide that becomes trapped under the atmosphere, begin to slow cook our beautiful blue marble.
Now, how does global warming affect our seasonal calendar?
Scientists studying the troposphere have found that in the past four decades, our seasons have been changing drastically. Not only are we watching Earth’s sea levels rise due to polar ice caps the size of cities melting, and country-wide droughts bringing nations to their knees, but tropical storms, flash floods and earthquakes are on the rise too.
And we are the leading cause of our own demise, because we have destroyed entire forests to erect industrial farms that cough noxious gasses into the air. We have polluted our oceans with megatonnes of plastic and trash that is contaminating our marine life into extinction. War has made certain areas volatile and inhospitable while other areas are so overpopulated, the natural infrastructure is crumbling under the pressure. Essentially, we have prinked Earth and now she is bleeding.
I am of the opinion that we are addicted to destroying this planet, so following the 12 step programme, I believe we need to begin by admitting we have a problem. Stop listening to the info-tainers who are trying to convince you that climate change is a myth, we are seeing alarming acts of nature that prove otherwise. Once we have acknowledged the problem, we can begin to educate and prepare ourselves to start dealing with the issues the entire globe faces.
If you’re ready to start today, take a look at home. Start in your kitchen; are your cleaning products full of chemicals toxifying our air and water sources or are they organic and biodegradable? Are you buying locally sourced food that drastically minimises the carbon footprint it takes to airfreight then truck to your grocery store otherwise? Are you still a single-use plastic consumer?! How is your recycling routine, if you have one at all?
Then head to your living room, work through your wardrobe; take stock of how you and your family are living your lives because there’s a great chance you can do your bit in trying to right our collective wrongs.
Some of you have been living green and eco-friendly for years. It’s time to level up. Here are a few trailblazers to get inspired by:
- Captain Paul Wilson co-founded GreenPeace in the 70s and has been lobbying for the criminalisation of seal clubbing, whale hunting and illegal fishing. This controversial eco-warrior once spent a month intercepting more than 19,000 shark fins, 90,000 sea cucumbers, and confiscated more than 35 miles of illegal longline.
- Laurie David has chatted global warming on Oprah’s couch, written a children’s book to get kids into thinking and living green from and early age, and produced Al Gore’s sobering film An Inconvenient Truth. There are very few Hollywood regulars being as vocal about climate change as this powerhouse is.
- I can’t talk about climate change without mentioning Boyan Slat. The 24-year-old CEO of Ocean Cleanup. Eight years ago, he committed to using technology to rid the ocean of all its trash. Though he has not succeeded yet, he is an example of the innovations possible in earth conservation.
- Hailing from one of the largest oil-producing countries in the world (United Arab Emirates), Dr Nawal Al-Hosany bravely advocates for clean technology and sustainable living. In 2018, her company, Zayed Future Energy Prize, won a Guinness World Record for the Largest Environmental Sustainability Lesson. Close to 300 local students attended the 30-minute lecture about how young people can help reduce energy poverty around the globe.