Climate change
Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment Image Credit: Gulf News

We humans have inflicted unprecedented and irreversible change on our planet and its climate, beginning a process of forever altering how our environment will act. In a critical report released on Monday, top climate scientists say that the world has very little room and time to change course to avert further disaster and calamity.

The International Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading authority on climate science, has issued its latest report on the crisis facing us all on this planet — and it would indeed be both dangerous and foolhardy to dismiss it. No, this is far more serious, far more detailed and far more critical in the need for immediate and widespread urgent action on climate change.

Right now, firefighters in southern Europe are struggling to come to terms with huge forest fires in Greece and Turkey. Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are reeling after devastating and deadly floods. The northwest quadrant of the US and Canada is baking under unprecedented temperatures and the monsoon season is expected to be more severe than normal.

No freak events

These are not freak events. They are climate emergencies brought about by our heating of this planet through carbon emissions. What’s more, they serve as a timely and potent reminder that no matter where we live, we are all affected by climate change and the catastrophic effects of a nature artificially heated and altered by our collective actions and carbon inaction. And time is running out.

Scientists can point to the lack of ice in the Arctic, super-warm Siberia, the altered Gulf Stream flows, changes in global tidal patterns, more frequent storms, more regular extreme weather events, more powerful flooding, more devastating wildfires — any and all caused by our warming of the planet and its inability to process our carbon emissions.

For climate change deniers, this report should provide a reminder that brings them to the reality faced by each and every one of us. They are connected by our actions. And they are at a critical juncture where we have little room left to alter the outcome of pending catastrophe — both for ourselves and future generations for whom we maintain this planet in stewardship.

World leaders will gather in Glasgow in November 2021 to set new carbon limits. This report should be dissected by each of them. We need action. We humans did this. And we must fix it.