Our time is running out
Our time is running out
Many explorers, travel writers, photographers, and artists have been inspired by the glacial beauty of the Arctic over the years. Whether it is the vast ice sheets that cover much of the region’s landscape, the amazing array of wildlife to be found there or the stunning Northern Lights that illuminate its skies, the mysterious sights of this area have never failed to enthrall all those who witness them. Sadly, however, many parts of the region are under serious threat of disappearing forever, thanks to the human-created phenomenon of climate change.
Most of the people on Earth, at least those who have not been convinced by corrupt politicians at the hands of large powerful corporations who deny the existence of climate change, agree that climate change is a serious problem that we need to face as rapidly as possible. Even so, we all assume that one day future generations will solve the problem, so that we can continue with our lifestyles and ignore this environmental emergency. Well, there's not enough time to wait for future generations to come and prevent the problem from reaching a non-returning point.
The consequences of climate change are well known. The thaw of ice layers with the release of huge amounts of methane trapped in the arctic permafrost and the change of soil to a darker color (which causes a feedback effect), the destruction of whole ecosystems, ocean acidification, extreme weather, sea level rise, changes in ocean's natural currents, coral bleaching and massive species extinction, between other things. In fact, the current rate of extinction of species is 1000 times higher than the natural rate. There is now more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been for the past 800,000 years and all of this extra heat is melting the glaciers at the astounding rate of 8.8 million acres per year. Not to mention that climate change is also a social problem that affects the most vulnerable groups under this neoliberal system of opression.
When I started this petition, six years ago, The Great Barrier Reef was struggling for its life and all the life that carries. In 2018, the World's largest living structure which is the Reef, was almost totally bleached. In a study published by the journal Nature scientists report that nearly one-third of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s largest living structures, was killed when ocean temperatures spiked in 2016. The underwater heat wave that damaged large areas of the Great Barrier Reef in 2018 has scientists wondering if it will ever be the same again. “The reef is changing faster than anyone thought it would,” Terry P. Hughes, the lead author of the study and the director of a government-funded center for coral reef studies at James Cook University in Queensland, told the New York Times.
Rising ocean temperatures result in coral reefs bleaching, which is a process where the coral’s colorful, symbiotic algae that help keep it nourished dies off. The coral’s white skeleton is left behind and because it doesn’t have a source of nourishment, it becomes more susceptible to disease that can prohibit future growth. Without new growth, the coral dies.
Austraila’s Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of species, including sharks, turtles, and whales. The scientists noted that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, the reef will be unrecognizable.
This is just one exemple of the cost of our lifestyles and it clearly shows how fast this cost is being paid
The fact that our unsustainable consumption patterns are causing climate change is now well established. It is clear that our unbridled exploitation of the planet’s resources for meat consumption and the benefit of all types of industry is causing irreversible damage. It was recently reported that human-generated greenhouse gas emissions have even managed to cancel the next ice age, scheduled to take place in 50,000 years’ time.
On behalf of the more than 200.000 supporters of this petition,
Climate change is already underway, the time to act and to limit its human causes is now, many studies have shown.
If the world had stopped global carbon emissions at the beginning of the year, there would be a 64% chance that the maximum temperature of the planet would remain below the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial levels. The planet would continue heating for a few decades, but the temperatures would end up balancing.
Above these levels, scientists predict that the planet will see more extreme weather phenomena, apart from a massive extinction of millions of species (an extinction whose rate is currently 1000 times higher than the natural rate of extinction) and a high shortage of food for millions of people. The planet is already two thirds of the way, with global temperatures reaching 1 degree Celsius.
Limiting the increase in temperature reduces the risks of irreversible damage. The sooner we act, the less expensive the transition will be and the lower the temperature increase, the less climate-related damage will cost us.
To maintain the global average temperature within this optimum limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius, the change would have to occur in all sectors, not only in the energy sector. The power plants would have to be replaced, but so would the automobile and transport sector and the fossil fuel sector, which along with the energy sector, takes over the entire industrial sector of the massified consumer society.
The entire agricultural and livestock sector, especially the vacuum, should change if we intend to feed a population that is reaching 8,000 million people.
That is to say, the whole system must change, as well as our way of thinking and main pillars that sustain today’s society and the current economic system.
Despite the fact that living in an exploited and uninhabitable planet (our home) is the biggest issue that we face nowadays, it is predicted that the pressure on the planet and resources will continue to increase in the coming years.
It is known that the goals of the Paris agreement of 2015, although they are insufficient, they are far from being achieved. Under this scenario of immobilization I urge, along with the other signatories, a series of rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. All of us recognize this environmental emergency and as inhabitants of the planet we have united to demand an urgent change.
We are not apart from nature, we are a part of nature.
En nombre de los más de 200.000 firmantes de esta petición,
El cambio climático ya está en marcha, el tiempo para actuar y limitar sus causas humanas es ahora, muchos estudios han demostrado.
Si el mundo hubiera parado a principios de año las emisiones de carbono mundiales, existiría un 64% de probabilidades de que la temperatura máxima del planeta se mantuviera por debajo de la meta de 1.5 grados centígrados, (2,7 grados Fahrenheit) por encima de los niveles preindustriales. El planeta se seguiría calentando unas décadas, pero las temperaturas se acabarían equilibrando.
Por encima de estos niveles, los científicos predicen que el planeta verá fenómenos meteorológicos más extremos, a parte de la extinción masiva de millones de especies (una extinción cuya tasa es actualmente 1000 veces superior a la tasa de extinción natural) y una alta escasez de alimentos para millones de personas. El planeta ya está a dos tercios del camino, con las temperaturas globales llegando a 1 grado Celsius.
Limitar el aumento de la temperatura reduce los riesgos de daños irreversibles. Cuanto antes actuemos, menos costosa será la transición y cuanto menor sea el aumento de la temperatura, menos nos costarán los daños relacionados con el clima.
Para mantener la temperatura media global dentro de este límite óptimo de 1.5 grados Celsius, el cambio tendría que ocurrir en todos los sectores, no solo en el sector energético. Las centrales eléctricas tendrían que ser reemplazadas, pero también lo serían el sector automovilístico y de transportes y el sector de los combustibles fósiles, que arrastra junto con el energético, todo el sector industrial de la sociedad de consumo masificado.
Todo el sector agricultor y ganadero, especialmente el vacuno, debería cambiar de raíz si pretendemos alimentar a una población que está tocando los 8.000 millones.
Es decir, el sistema entero debe cambiar, así como nuestra forma de pensar y grandes pilares que fundamentan la sociedad y el sistema económico actual.
A pesar del hecho de que vivir en un planeta explotado e inhabitable (nuestro hogar) es el mayor problema al que nos enfrentamos hoy en día, está previsto que la presión sobre el planeta y los recursos siga aumentando en los próximos años.
Se está viendo que los objetivos del acuerdo de París de 2015, a pesar de ser insuficientes, están muy lejos de ser alcanzados. Bajo este escenario de inmovilización pido, junto con los demás firmantes, una serie de cambios rápidos, de gran alcance y sin precedentes en todos los aspectos de la sociedad. Todos nosotros reconocemos esta emergencia climática y como habitantes del planeta nos hemos unido para exigir un cambio urgente.
Portrait video from National Geographic channel.