After I had joined my first fridaysforfuture-demonstration, saving the environment has started to play a major role in my life. At this point I´d prefer to name the recent political developments when it comes to saving the environment, but the truth is that politicians have managed to ignore the requests of fridaysforfuture since April 2019 as though the protests were non-existent.
In my opinion saving the environment is the number one thing to do in today’s world and that´s why I´m particularly passionate about it. I also think that it shouldn´t be only me and my fridaysforfuture colleagues who protest for changes in environmental politics, it should be everyone: you reading this opinion piece and everyone else interested in preserving life on this planet.
In the 1800s, experiments suggesting that human-produced carbon dioxide and other gases could collect in the atmosphere and insulate Earth were met with more curiosity than concern. Now we know that, according to the IPCC, the earth has warmed up by one degree Celsius since the industrial revolution. Uninhibited global warming is a vast danger for peace and wealth worldwide. Regardless of this being a fact it seems to be forgotten quite often, which makes me wonder: Does anybody want to live in a world that has been heated up by four degrees Celsius? It would be a completely different world we could not even imagine.
Firstly, we would experience unprecedented weather disasters. High temperatures result in a heightened water evaporation from the grounds, plants or water surfaces, which affects the intensity and rate of droughts. Another example are tropical storms especially in the Somaliland which destroy the harvest and flood the parched land. This then affects the faster outbreak of illnesses such as cholera which spread via contaminated water. In addition, those weather disasters will cause hunger crises. The “Global report on food crises” says that in year 2017 around 39 million humans in 23 countries couldn´t eat enough food because of climate incidents.
Secondly, we would also have to leave our homes on the coasts because the sea level would rise. If the entire ice at the poles melted, the sea would rise about 56 metres. That´s what climate-scientist Stefan Rahmstorf explains in a video of “Zeit Online”.
Regarding climate change I could name lots of other arguments why it´s important that we save the environment but all in all, we should know that the climate change is not a long way off. We are right in the middle. Many people already feel its consequences. Joe Biden, a recent presidential candidate of the USA says: “The effects of climate change are real and must be acted on.”
Therefore, stopping the climate crisis should be the number one thing to do in today’s world and that should not be overshadowed by issues like a profitable economy. An election slogan of the US-Americans and the West German environmental movement in the 1980s says: “Only after the last tree has been cut down / Only after the last river has been poisoned / Only after the last fish has been caught / Then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”
Instead of the sea, we should rise and stand up for ambitious approaches and work hard for aggressive measures to prevent climate change but also to manage its consequences. We are the last generation to prevent the horrible effects of climate change and that´s why I think everyone should be passionate about saving the environment!
Julia Sophie Hack