#EarthToParis : Will I Die?

Climate change is severe. The “whole world” is seemingly talking about it. Or rather planning their own agenda, cutting their own deals and making space for their own growth. I’ve spent a lot of time reading books, reports and articles on climate change, taking online courses about them, and discussing with specialists.

As the tale of two seas dictate, I wanted to give the knowledge I gathered and flourish with life, unlike the dead sea that holds everything in. Unfortunately there were no takers. I wondered why.

Globalization has opened the windows for people to aspire to lead comfortable, wealthy, sophisticated lives. There’s nothing wrong in that.

Albeit there is a race. One that’s waged to close the gap between the developed and the developing; emerging markets, elevated investments, urbanization, industry to service transformation, technology and so on and so forth. For the fear of over simplifying what is a very complex issue, I leave it at that.

Alas, the energy that’s needed to close the gap is humongous. Exploding populations is one problem, and trying to keep that population fed along with basic amenities is another problem in its entirety. Solutions to these problems so far have pumped tonnes of Carbon into our atmosphere.

Owing to the continuous addition of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, the global temperature is in the rise and brings problems of its own: intensifying climate, land arision, ocean acidification, and along with it heightened danger due to natural calamities and climate refugees.

A middle class person wishes to carry an iPhone and drive a semi-luxury (notice the marketing term; it’s luxury that you wish to pay for) car. He or she indeed has the capacity to do that. Their dreams of high living standards are coming true. The rise of the middle class — they are coming with force.

Climate change is severe, but why should the rising middle class bother, as long as they get to live the lives they dream of? Or their policy makers? They have wealth to create and resources to exploit. The fruits of economic prosperity are hanging within reach; the life that they aspire for. The gap is almost closed.

Forget the middle class. The world’s poor live in less developed countries. Entirely. Their problem isn’t a global affair, but the affairs of the stomach, for the current day. And yet, when there is a catastrophe, it’s them who get affected first. They do not choose to live that way.

There is a necessity to limit the temperature under 2 degree Celsius by 2050. If we do not do that, we will face severe consequences.

That is why governments are meeting at COP21 in Paris. There will be a lot of negotiations. Three major expected outcomes are:

  1. Come up with an official regulatory framework for GHG emission control
  2. Ask the countries for their National Climate Plan or INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions)
  3. Device a financing plan for all efforts to curb GHG emission

More information at: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cop21/

“The decisions taken at this conference will shape the future of the planet and the generations to come” — UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon

Climate change is severe. Is there hope? Maybe, if we manage to mobilize an immediate global effort.

Is it difficult? Yes.

We have to break the myopic perspectives; give up human incapacities. There is a compulsion to look beyond, beyond hundreds of years from now, into a day when the earth is in perfect balance, and an era where every human being cares about the earth.

It is a personal choice after all — of a government, of a multinational corporation, of an agency, of a local movement, of a not-for-profit, of every single individual.

And just for once, if we try to put the earth before us, maybe we will have a chance.