“By polluting the oceans, not mitigating CO2 emissions and destroying our biodiversity, we are killing our planet. Let us face it, there is no planet B.”
Emmanuel Macron, President of France
Climate vs Capitalism is an ongoing debate. Over the years we have failed to balance between the two and the result is in front of us. It is not our need but our greed for growth has made many billionaires but the problem of hunger still persists.
Greta Thunberg, Sunita Narain, Vandana Shiva, Jane Fonda, Naomi Klein, Al Gore, Dean Spears, and eight years old Licypriya Kangujam from Manipur are shouting for years. but we are not heeding their concerns. The fact is it is not their concern it is our own concern.
On September 7, the first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, 12-year-old climate activist Ridhima Pandey, a schoolchild from Haridwar in Uttarakhand wrote in her open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Here is an excerpt.
“Every year, in many parts of India, the air becomes much polluted and it becomes very difficult to breathe after October. I worry that if a 12-year-old like me finds it hard to breathe, what it must be like for children younger to me living in cities like Delhi and others,”
A youth ambassador and intern at United Nations Development Programme Aditya Mukarji from Gurgaon said, “Each of us must try to leave the world a little better than we found it. A responsible citizen makes a responsible country.” (1)
All of us are pursuing capitalism by way of our economic activities. That is destroying natural resources directly or indirectly. What are we doing to balance it by restoring the climate impact of our economic activities?
The problem is we are neither aware, not we are concerned about it. To become aware lets, know the impact of this gigantic imbalance we are unleashing on the Earth.
According to the Environmental Defence Fund, the global warming that’s changing our climate is already having dire consequences.
In just the past few decades:
- Rising temperatures have worsened extreme weather events.
- Chunks of ice in the Antarctic have broken apart.
- Wildfire seasons are months longer.
- Mosquitoes are expanding their territory, able to spread disease.
We humans are the ones who burn fossil fuels and chopping down forests, causing average temperatures to rise worldwide. That global warming trend is increasingly disrupting our climate — the average weather over many years.
Earth has already warmed by about 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, since the 19th century, before the industry started to boom. While we experience the effects, we’re on our way toward 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) by as early as 2030.
A warmer world — even by a half-degree Celsius — has more evaporation, leading to more water in the atmosphere. Such changing conditions put our agriculture, health, water supply, and more at risk. It’s how you go from half-degree of warming to economic hardship. (2)
It is not just developed countries, everyone and every country will be affected if we do not wake from slumber.
In his book, Air: Pollution, Climate Change, and India’s Choice Between Policy and Pretence, Dean Spears suggests that a newborn exposed to a week of the hot and humid environment is much less likely to survive compared to one faced with a less hostile condition. In cities, which are epicenters of economic activity, rising temperatures can increase the spread of diseases and hurt productivity. And, in coastal cities, climate change-induced rising sea levels also pose an additional threat through more frequent flooding. (3)
The question always remains what I alone can do? Here is a list of what every one of us can and should do.
- Powering your home with solar or wind is one of the best ways to fight climate change.
- You can significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions by eating less meat, choosing local foods when possible, and buying food with less packaging.
- Saving water at home is another way to fight climate change because the clean water that’s pumped to most homes has been treated, which uses lots of energy.
- Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle when purchasing, take public transportation if it’s available, carpool to work, ride a bicycle, or walk when possible.
- That’s because re-using materials usually use less energy, and thus creates less pollution, than extracting raw materials.
- If every household switched just ONE regular bulb to a CFL or LED bulb it would be equivalent to removing 1 million cars from the road!
- Look for the Energy Star label, which helps consumers identify appliances that are 10-to-50% more efficient.
Plant trees, to help suck carbon out of the air and stabilize the climate.
Spread the word about it. Tell your friends, family, and co-workers to watch too. This is a mega problem but also a mega opportunity. The author Naomi Klein writes in her book, This Change Everything,” I am convinced that climate change represents a historic opportunity on an even greater scale. As part of the project of getting our emissions down to the levels many scientists recommend, we once again have the chance to advance policies that dramatically improve lives, close the gap between rich and poor, create huge numbers of good jobs, and reinvigorate democracy from the ground up.” (4)
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
Dr Jane Goodall, Scientist & Activist
All of us have a role, all of us have to wake up to this dire need. All of us have to listen to Greta Thunberg, 17-year-old Swedish Activist, “Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire because it is.”
As the climate and capitalism imbalance, there are several such imbalances that are ruling and some are ruining our life. To make the readers aware of 100 such balancing needs to live a serene life, here is my next book Titled Balancing is the Work.
The book is expected to be published on Amazon Kindle by the end of the month. It can be pre-ordered by clicking here.
Originally published at https://wethecouple.com on October 15, 2020.