Climate change: A major global threat

The climate change, that is, the change of the global climate and in particular the
changes in meteorological conditions that extend on a large time scale, is a major
global existential threat, much larger than the coronavirus.
The greenhouse effect causes the increase of temperature of the planet primarily due
to the tremendous increase in carbon dioxide, which has increased by 35% since the
beginning of the industrial revolution. And of course the lion’s share in pollution
of the atmosphere with 50% of all carbon dioxide have Europe and North America. All
other countries together are responsible for the other half, while the poorest
countries are the least responsible. However, the people who live in these countries
it is they who will suffer more strongly of the consequences.

The causes of climate change are mainly identified in combustion of fossil fuels
(coal, oil, gasoline, natural gas, etc.) which account for 50% of total emissions,
in the production and use of synthetic chemicals, in disaster of forest areas which
contributes to the production of additional gases in the atmosphere and of course to
the greenhouse effect by 15% and in conventional agriculture and livestock farming,
which account for 15% of emissions.

The expert scientists knock the danger bell and warn that if there is no urgent
global coordinated action by political leaders, governments, industries and citizens
around the world, the temperature of the planet is likely to rise above 2°C relative
to pre-industrial levels by 2060 and the increase could even reach 5°C by the end of
the twenty-first century, fact that will make the lives of future generations

Such an increase in the temperature of our planet will have a devastating impact on
nature, bringing about irreversible changes in many ecosystems and consequent loss
of biodiversity, that is, all living organisms and species that make up life on the
planet, that is, animals, birds, fish and plants (fauna and flora). Many species are
expected to disappear from areas that will be directly and severely affected by
climate change.

Today, compared to 1850 -from when recording data began- a temperature increase of
1.1°C is observed. So, it is vital importance, the increase not to exceed 1.5°C,
because as scientists estimate, beyond this crucial point there will be no way back.
The climate change, however, which is due to human activities, is a tangible ominous
reality and is already adversely affecting our planet. The sectors responsible for
the production of greenhouse gases are primarily the sector of energy produce (units
of production of electrical power, refineries) but also industrial activities, the
modern means of transport (cars, airplanes, etc.) and the activities of the primary
production sector.

So, the extreme weather events, uncontrolled fires in forests such as the Amazon
that have been characterized as the “lung” of the planet, the heat waves, the heavy
rainfall, the prolonged droughts that create serious eating problems in the affected
areas of the planet, the very powerful hurricanes, are becoming constantly more
often and more intensively, costing tens of thousands of lives every year and
causing huge disasters.

The ice at the same time and snow on the poles are melting, with the Arctic being
the biggest victim to date, and the world average sea level goes up, as a result to
be caused floods and erosion on coasts and lowland coastal areas and to be created
environmental refugees. If this unfavorable development continues, areas such as the
Netherlands and Venice will be at risk of being permanently lost under the sea
waters as new Atlantis.

The climate change also increases existing diseases worldwide but also creates new
ones, and can also lead to premature death. Too many diseases are particularly
sensitive to temperature change. To them included communicable diseases such as
yellow fever, malaria, encephalitis and dengue fever, but also eating disorders,
mental illnesses, cardiovascular diseases as well as respiratory diseases.
The climate change will also have negative impacts on the economies of the countries
given the fact that the high temperatures undermine the productivity of most sectors
of the economy, from the agricultural sector to processing. Valid scientists predict
that by the end of the century, global GDP will have fallen by 7.22% from what it
would have been without climate change.

The teenager Swedish activist against climate change, Greta Thunberg, has managed in
the most vigorous and loud way to pass the debate over this huge problem, by the
heads of state and government and public dialogue, in society and in the companies
of friends, mobilizing millions of people around the world, especially young people,
who began to demonstrate demanding by governments the immediate taking of measures
for the confrontation of climate change.

So, Swedish MPs rightly suggested her for the Nobel Peace Prize. And of course Greta
Thunberg has big right when she says that the measures are being taken to reduce
greenhouse gases and, above all, carbon dioxide are not sufficient.
So, what are the appropriate measures to be taken without delay to effectively
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and keep the temperature at + 1.5°C?
The basic policies for resolutely mitigating of the problem consist in promoting and
utilizing renewable energy sources (wind, solar, biomass, etc.), the enhancing
energy efficiency, the drastic reduction of the exploitation of oil and gas deposits
and the imposition of carbon taxes in order that to limit the use of fossil fuels
and thereby to reduce significantly carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and eliminate
them by 2050 at the latest, the rapid reduction of emissions of methane, carbon
black and other short-lived pollutants that burden the climate, the restoration and
protection of ecosystems and, above all, forests.

The Paris Agreement, the first universal, legally binding agreement for the climate,
entered into force in 2016 with great optimism and manifest ambitions, despite the
official US departure statement, which are one of the biggest polluters. Four years
have passed since then and there are no substantial results, fact which raises
serious questions as to whether there is really the political will to tackle this
particularly threatening global problem.

In closing, I would like to emphasize that the effects of climate change will be so
dramatic that human civilization will be in danger to collapse as a paper tower.
So, in the face of this extremely dangerous climate crisis, the citizens around the
world should increase their mobilization even further and the political leaders to
finally stand up at the height of the circumstances and take immediately the
necessary drastic measures, before it is too late, to reverse this unsustainable
course and save the planet.

Curriculum vitae

Isidoros Karderinis was born in Athens in 1967. He is a novelist, poet and
columnist. He has studied economics and has completed postgraduate studies in the
tourism economy. His articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and sites
worldwide. His poems have been translated into English, French and Spanish and
published in poetry anthologies, in literary magazines and literary sections of
newspapers. He has published seven poetry books and three novels. His books have
been published in USA, Great Britain, Spain and Italy.

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