A week after a 16-year-old Swedish girl assailed the world’s leaders for not doing enough to hold back climate change, the world is probably back to its usual ways, especially the nations said to be responsible for most of the climate changing that is endangering the earth.
The girl, Greta Thunberg, spoke at the Climate Change Action Summit organized by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres held at the UN headquarters in New York City. She said the world’s leaders are failing the young people of the earth because of their inaction.
In his own speech to the assembly, Secretary General Guterres said, “Nature is angry. And we fool ourselves if we think we can fool nature, because nature always strikes back, and around the world nature is striking back with fury.” He was referring to the increasing violence of hurricanes and typhoons, the fast-melting glaciers in the polar regions, and the resulting rise in ocean levels.
Scientists have blamed climate change on the rising world temperature, caused in turn by increasing emissions of carbon dioxide and other polluting gasses into the atmosphere by the world’s industries. The United States, as the world’s leading industrial nation, is said to be the top source of this pollution, but it has been the only country to reject the Paris Climate Change agreement to limit the rise in world temperature to 1.5 degrees below pre-industrial levels.
US President Donald Trump mocked Thunberg on Tweeter, saying “She seems like a very happy girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future,” when actually she had told the world’s leaders – and that included Trump – in her speech at the UN: ‘You are failing us.”
A special report was released last week by the UN-backed Inter-government Panel on Climate Change on the unabated warming of the earth’s oceans and the rapid thawing of the frozen areas of the earth. Agricultural areas near the coastlines wlll become less productive as sea water intrudes into them, the report said. There will be more severe tropical cyclones. Many places will be much drier, others will be much wetter. Fish catches will be less as sea waters become warmer.
Another report by the Global Peace Index 2019 said the Philippines is the most susceptible country to hazards brought about by climate change, followed by Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and Pakistan.
The Philippines has its own national program of support for the Paris Agreement, including a pledge to become less dependent on coal and other fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy. Our contribution to the world’s industrial emissions, however, is so much less than those of the US, China, India, and other industrial giants.
But we must persevere in our efforts and hope that the rest of the world, particularly the worst polluters – perhaps as they begin to be hit more frequently by more and more violent hurricanes, heat waves, and floods – will come around do their part to avert a future hostile to the entire human race.
Tags: Roni Santiago