OPINION: The Climate Crisis and What Can Be Done to Make a Difference


Emporess Whitfield

A climate change petition that took place in Washington DC on Earth Day.

Climate change is the crisis of our lifetime, and its impact has already caused immeasurable damage to our environment. From increasing temperatures to rising sea levels, the Earth as we know it may never be the same, and the effects could become irreversible if action is not taken now.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, “2021 is a make-or-break year for climate action, with the window to prevent the worst impacts of climate change—which include ever more frequent more intense droughts, floods and storms—closing rapidly.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released an assessment on August 9, which consisted of the world’s full knowledge to date of climate science. This report estimates that unless immediate measures are taken to reduce emissions, the threshold for global warming will be crossed between now and 2052.

“Bottom line is that we have zero years left to avoid dangerous climate change because it’s here,” lead author of the IPCC’s report Michael E.Mann said.

Other research shows that our time window to take action and attempt to reduce the effects of climate change is even narrower, with a study created by researchers at McGill University estimating the threshold for dangerous warming being overpassed between 2027 and 2042.

According to ScienceDaily.com, “In a study for Climate Dynamics, the researchers introduced the new Scaling Climate Response Function (SCRF) model to project the Earth’s temperature to 2100. In analyzing the results, the researchers found that the threshold for dangerous warming (+1.5C) will likely be crossed between 2027 and 2042.”

It’s time for everyone to make an effort to create positive change for our environment. While we may not be able to directly limit carbon emissions, we can speak up and voice our concerns by signing petitions, posting on social media or even contacting elected officials.

A few examples of petitions are through Change.org and Preserve.nature.org, “Saving water reduces carbon pollution, too,” The NRDC says. “That’s because it takes a lot of energy to pump, heat, and treat your water. So take shorter showers and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Along with saving water, you can reduce food waste, conserve energy and more. Every single effort to help the environment is important, whether big or small. We must take action. We must do what we can to make a difference. We must make a change, not only for us, but for the future generations to come. The time is now.

“I want you to act as you would in a crisis,” climate change activist Greta Thunberg said. “I want you to act as if our house is on fire, because it is.”