Once upon a time, there was a planet called Earth. Every single day it absorbed and released energy from the Sun. One day, humans arrived on Earth. As a result, there was the industrial revolution, and the Earth began to heat up from all the fossil fumes. Finally, the temperature of the planet rose by almost 2°C. A catastrophe is declared by the very humans who caused it in the first place.
I live in the UK. The build up to Summer is the best part of the year. Stocking up on ice creams, buying shorts and T-shirts, digging through the back of your drawers to find your favourite swimsuit, and making outdoor arrangements. Summer, however, always seems to be a disappointment. You sit on the edge of a freezing, unheated pool while wishing you bought a wetsuit instead, and it always seems to be a little bit too grey and cold on the day you meet up. You force yourself to ‘enjoy’ an ice cream outside when the weather gets to about fifteen degrees, and you hurriedly iron your new top when the sun comes out, only for the sun to disappear again the minute you have it on. It plays a cruel joke on us year after year, and every time we act so shocked, you would think something actually crazy happened. Well, in 2019, it did.
Three years ago, the UK’s highest temperature skyrocketed to 38.7°C. The cause of this? Fossil fuels, deforestation and ignorance all contribute to causing climate change. Fossil fuels are the equivocal saviour to man. They power our homes, our communities and our lives. However, a hidden devil behind every new phone and the heated room. Fossil fuels are 60.6% of our power, and we depend on them in every task, menial or life-changing. Deforestation pairs with the carbon dioxide fumes in fossil fuels to cause the greenhouse effect. As more trees are cut down, more carbon dioxide floods the atmosphere. This traps heat on earth, which is a massive contributor to global warming. Our leaders have been ignoring this problem for decades. Only recently have they started to take action and fight back. Many people refuse to believe in climate change spreading harmful mindsets and reducing action.
There are many effects of climate change. Our planet’s temperature has risen by 1°C and is rapidly heading towards 2°C. This extreme increase is estimated to wipe out 2000 species across the world. Humans have been exploiting and manipulating our environment for millenniums, and it’s finally time for nature to fight back with a vengeance. Countries such as the Fiji Islands, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands could disappear with rising sea levels. Sea levels have risen 8-9 inches since 1880 and are still rapidly increasing. Many habitats and homes are being destroyed because of our inability to adapt. We are in a race against time, and the hardest part is we built the racetrack.
Can we catch up to ourselves? That is the question politicians across the world have asked at COP26, a meeting with a mission- to save our planet. Humans have speeded past nature for centuries, but it’s finally time to ask, can we catch up to ourselves? The planet we see is a product of years of development and technology, inventions and ideas, but now it’s time to hit the breaks. We need to start holding each other accountable for the damage we have collectively caused. Companies such as Amazon and Apple are climbing economies by stepping on environments. Amazon has disclosed a 15% increase in its carbon footprint in 2020. Politicians such as Donald Trump have pushed harmful and ignorant ideologies to many people. The ancient adage, ‘with great power comes great responsibility, has never been more true than now. In the age of worldwide issues and social media, influential figures have more power than they ever have, but how are they using it? As humans, we innately pass our difficult problems onto others, but it is also up to us to change. 22% of our world is currently vegetarian, and 81% of British adults are concerned about climate change. Each one of us has the power to change. But how many of us actually do?
Sasha Goodman is a curious teenager who is from West Yorkshire, England. She is very close to her family, and on the weekends, they enjoy going on walks together or visiting new places. She also enjoys meeting up with her friends frequently. She and her family enjoy travelling, and they are lucky enough to go on many holidays, mostly around Europe. She is interested in playing hockey and learning Spanish. She learns Spanish at school and practices in her free time by watching YouTube videos, practising Duolingo, and talking to a Spanish tutor. She also enjoys sewing in her free time, and she is currently working on making a dress.
Cite this article as:
Sasha Goodman, The Catastrophe of Climate Change, theCircle Composition, Volume 2, (2022). https://theCircleComposition.org/climate-change/