FIVE SIGNS INDICATING THE WORLD IS ALREADY IN A CRISIS
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
“I don’t want you to hope. I want you to panic…..
I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” Greta Thunberg
This is the voice from a 17-years-old who is begging us to take care of global warming crisis. Her life has just begun but there is not much fresh air for her to breath. Meanwhile, most people’s eyes and ears have been covered, living their normal lives and enjoying all entertainments without realizing that their lives are on the edge of an abyss. If the world temperature increases just only by 1.5 degree Celsius, our lives can never return back to normal. No, never again.
Below are the five signs to help you wake up from your pleasures and join forces to seriously deal with problems from the global warming crisis.
1. COVID-19 pandemic crisis does not solve the global warming crisis, instead, it is creating new problems. As we started seeing positive impacts on the environment, it doesn’t mean our climate crisis has been solved. On the other hand, it comes with accumulated plastic waste crisis, medical waste, and trash including during the economic recovery period after COVID-19. Each country is heavily stimulating the consumption and investment, it may be good if the investment is substantially well invested and at the same time being environmental- friendly. But methods that most countries will choose, rely on old technology in increasing productivity that is not friendly to our environment. Tourism promotional campaigns that don’t pay attention to the environmental preservation will be increased, so this will not help reduce the carbon footprint instead it will be higher than before the pandemic of COVID-19. The graph below is reflecting different crisis in the past – World War II, economic crisis, or any outbreaks, the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) climb up slowly within a short period. Moreover, even though everybody on earth helps reduce GHG, but CO2 that already exists in atmosphere will still affect the incremental of the world temperature for more than 10 years until our ecosystem is back to normal. (Picture from BBC)
2. Trend on greenhouse gas emission in 21th century will continue to increase. If we can’t change our normal behaviors, the world temperature will, on average, jump to 4.1-4.8 degrees Celsius in 2100. Though we may not be living to know how hot it will be, little Gretha and our great grandchildren will surely experience it. Even if the world is acting in accordance with the Paris Agreement, the temperature will still climb up at least 2.8-3.6 degrees Celsius, it is still far away from the target of 1.5 degree Celsius. Besides, we knew that the powerful country like the USA already have withdrawn from the Paris Agreement on Jun 1st, 2017. It had darkened our hope to reach temperature of 1.5 degree Celsius. (Picture from BBC)
3. Number of deaths rising from the climate disaster. From the study in 2018, it is estimated that in 2100, population near the equator will have the death toll raises due to hot temperature especially in the Middle East and Africa where it is already hot (though in the cold countries, its death toll will decrease because the temperature there would not be cold anymore). The change still affects the economic and inequality in the society. As the rich flees to find somewhere cold to live, the poor struggles for survival under the heat. (information from Brookings)
4. The jumping ratio in using digital power leads to enormous usage of electrical power. We all know that technology has been developed at a jumping rate. From modem speed of 56K to 5G nowadays, the penetration of internet is in everything we used or Internet of Things, IoT. As a result, the digital servers, servers, and bandwidth need to be expanded to support the services especially the Data Center. Due to the increased ratio of power usage from digital activity from 2.5% in 2013 to 4% in 2020 and is estimated to 8% in 2025. (Information from The Shift Project 2019)
5. Failure in reducing the carbon footprint in production line. There is not a single IT gadgets producer who can well manage the carbon footprint, not even major producers like Apple, Samsung, or Microsoft. This production resulted in an environmental effect of up to 80% per one piece of an IT gadget. Especially Chinese producers focusing on producing cheap prices and neglecting the use of clean energy. Moreover, these gadgets are so tiny that they can’t be recycled. But it seems, all management pays more attention in demonstrating new yearly innovation instead of the improvement of the production line to be more sustainable and environmental-friendly. (information from Greenpeace).
Though, there are many environmental organizations including KBO Earth that are trying to send warning signals to people on earth to be aware and awakened to global warming crisis. But human is often reckless.
An easy example could be seen from the government of each country which has paid least interest to spend the country’s budget on unprecedented preventive disasters especially global warming, an issue prioritized at the bottom. In the USA, it is estimated that it would take more than 15 years to arrange budget of 5.7 billion dollar in revolutionizing the country to use clean energy, comparing with the last 3 months that the US has set aside budget of more than 6 billion dollar in fighting COVID-19 to temporarily sustain the US economy (it does not include huge amount of money for later economic recovery). If a natural disaster caused from global warming crisis does really come, which may be even more disastrous than COVID-19 pandemic how much more will the government lose their budget? Wouldn’t it be better to be preventive?
For us at an individual level, COVID-19 crisis has proven how difficult it is to live under a circumstance where our fresh air is not safe to breathe. We always have to be equipped. If the world temperature is spiking so high that we can’t do any outdoor activities, how much more difficult than in COVID-19 crisis life would be? How can we live?
Are we waiting for more of the calamities? Or are we fighting back to change something like little Gretha has done before everything is too late. It is yours to decide.
Article By Rachot Wongkarnwanich
Translation By Chortip Oveerawong