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Climate change: A major global threat

Climate change, that is to say the change in the global climate and in particular the changes in weather conditions which extend over a large time scale, is a major existential global threat.

The greenhouse effect causes the temperature of the planet to rise mainly due to the huge increase in carbon dioxide, which has increased by 35% since the start of the industrial revolution. And of course, the lion’s share in air pollution with 50% of all carbon dioxide has Europe and North America. All the other countries together are responsible for the other half, while the poorest countries are the least responsible. However, the people who live in these countries are the ones who will suffer most from the consequences.

The causes of climate change are mainly identified in the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil, petrol, natural gas, etc.) which represent 50% of total emissions, in the production and use of synthetic chemicals, in the disaster forest areas which contribute to the production of additional gases in the atmosphere and of course the greenhouse effect by 15% and in conventional agriculture and animal husbandry, which account for 15% of emissions.

Scientific experts strike the bell of danger and warn that if there is no urgent global coordinated action on the part of political leaders, governments, industries and citizens around the world, the temperature of the planet is likely to exceed 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels by 2060 and the increase could even reach 5 ° C by the end of our century, which will make the lives of future generations problematic.

Such an increase in the temperature of our planet will have a devastating impact on nature, causing irreversible changes in many ecosystems and a resulting loss of biodiversity, that is to say all living organisms and all species that make up life on the planet, that is to say animals, birds, fish and plants (fauna and flora). Many species are expected to disappear from areas that will be directly and severely affected by climate change.
Today, compared to 1850 – from the start of data recording – a temperature increase of 1.1 ° C is observed. Thus, it is of vital importance, the increase not to exceed 1.5 ° C, because as scientists estimate, beyond this crucial point, there will be no return.

Climate change, however, which is due to human activities, is a disturbing tangible reality and is already negatively affecting our planet. The sectors responsible for the production of greenhouse gases are mainly the energy products sector (electrical energy production units, refineries) but also industrial activities, modern means of transport (cars, planes, etc.) and activities in the primary production sector.

Thus, extreme weather events, uncontrolled fires in forests such as the Amazon which have been characterized as the “lung” of the planet, heat waves, heavy precipitation, prolonged droughts which create serious food problems in the affected areas of the planet, very powerful hurricanes, are becoming more and more frequent and intensive, costing tens of thousands of lives each year and causing huge disasters.
The ice at the same time and the snow on the poles are melting, with the Arctic being the biggest victim to date, and the average sea level in the world is rising, causing floods and erosion on the coasts and coastal areas of the plains and to be created environmental refugees. If this unfavorable development continues, regions such as the Netherlands and Venice risk being permanently lost under the sea as the new Atlantis.

Climate change is also increasing existing diseases around the world, but also creating new ones and can also lead to premature death. Too many diseases are particularly sensitive to temperature changes. In them included, communicable diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, encephalitis and dengue, but also eating disorders, mental illnesses, cardiovascular diseases as well as respiratory diseases.

Climate change will also have negative impacts on countries’ economies as high temperatures compromise the productivity of most sectors of the economy, from the agricultural sector to processing. Valid scientists predict that by the end of the century, global GDP will have fallen by 7.22% compared to what it would have been without climate change.

Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg has been most vigorous and noisy in getting the debate on this huge issue through the heads of state and government and public dialogue in society and in friendly discussions, mobilizing millions of people around the world, especially young people, who have started to protest demanding that governments take immediate action to address climate change.

Thus, the Swedish deputies rightly suggested it for the Nobel Peace Prize. And of course, Greta Thunberg is absolutely right when she says that steps are being taken to reduce greenhouse gases and, most importantly, carbon dioxide is not enough.
So what are the appropriate measures to take without delay to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and keep the temperature at + 1.5 ° C?

The basic policies for resolutely mitigating the problem consist in promoting and using renewable energy sources (wind, solar, biomass, etc.), improving energy efficiency, drastically reducing the exploitation of oil deposits and gas and to impose carbon taxes in order to limit the use of fossil fuels and thus significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and eliminate them by 2050 at the latest, the rapid reduction of emissions of methane, carbon black and other short-term pollutants that affect the climate, the restoration and protection of ecosystems and especially forests.

The Paris Agreement, the first universal and legally binding climate agreement, entered into force in 2016 with great optimism and obvious ambitions, despite the official departure declaration of the United States, which is one of the biggest polluters. Four years have passed since then and there have been no substantial results, which raises serious questions about the real political will to tackle this particularly threatening global problem.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the effects of climate change will be so dramatic that human civilization will be threatened with collapsing like a paper tower. Thus, faced with this extremely dangerous climate crisis, the citizens of the whole world should still increase their mobilization and the political leaders to finally get up at the height of the circumstances and immediately take the drastic measures necessary, before it is too late, to reverse this unsustainable path and save the planet.

Curriculum vitae

Isidoros Karderinis was born in Athens in 1967. He is a novelist, poet and editorial writer. He studied economics and completed postgraduate studies in tourism economics. His articles have been published around the world in newspapers, magazines and websites around the world. His poems have been translated into English, French and Spanish and published in poetic anthologies, literary journals and literary sections of newspapers. He has published seven books of poetry and three novels. His books have been published in the United States, Great Britain, Spain and Italy.

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