In the wake of the United Nations Climate Summit 2019 I decided to write this humble article and point out some angles which are unfortunately foreseen. Although the Summit was little more than 2 weeks ago, the momentum is still present and therefore we should take advantage of it to force the change we aim for.
First of all, the UN is that non-governmental organization that helps the world fight against human discrimination by enforcing human rights, terrorism by bringing peace, climate change by bringing a clear plan of action to fight against it. UN is founded after World War II and it has its headquarters in New York. The UN is often in mass media communication because it is an important international organ that supposedly contribute to a healthier progression of humanity on this planet.
The definition of Climate Change as we use it today is referred to the anthropogenic activities that releases CO2 or aerosols in the atmosphere which consequently is either increasing or decreasing the temperatures worldwide. Should you want to use Global Warming, that is not inclusive as using Climate Change because it refers only to the increase of the average yearly temperature worldwide – also through the emissions of CO2 from fossil fuels into the atmosphere creating the greenhouse effect. This greenhouse effect is damaging the glaciers, it increases the sea level and mutilates the climate system to the point of notching record temperatures or aggressive weather events.
This famous Climate Change is not something new. Scientists have demonstrated that Climate Change is inevitable and it has always happened on Earth. However, the human activities which release gases such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide are terribly effecting the atmosphere. In turn, the atmospheric change is creating those extreme weather conditions that are affecting the hydrosphere by increasing the sea level and the crytosphere by decreasing the ice levels, this alongside deforestation and exploitation of fossils and minerals are affecting the lithosphere. Finally all these activities together with food production to feed the overpopulated globe is damaging the biosphere, for example, the biodiversity and ecosystems. These 5 integrated and interacting parts of Earth are facilitating the Climate System which human activities are heavily vandalizing.
Climate Change is already part of our daily vocabulary, mass media have reached billions of people on this matter, yet opinions are spread from believing and not believing this is happening due to anthropogenic activities. We are asked to do something about it, for example: Recycling, reusable energy, moderating the quantity and quality of food you are eating, consume and waste less, etc. But this is only what an individual can do, which in a wider scale would never reach the amount of damage caused by corporations, or even better – by economical greediness.
I would like to share with you the map with the countries with most CO2 emissions:
Top 20 countries with most CO2 Emissions are:
- United States
- South Koreea
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- Italy, San Marino and Vatican – actually due to Italy because San Marino and Vatican are both enclaved microstates in Italy.
This data is from http://www.ucsusa.org (Union of Concerned Scientists) which also shows how big the slice of the pie was in 2016 for each one of the countries above and how much left it is for the rest of the world:
Okey, now, you might have heard before about G7 and G20 or whatever international coalition between the strongest economic powers in the world. There is no secret that countries, hence governments and financial institutions are racing for the medal of the strongest world economy. See the map below with data from IMF (International Monetary Fund):
Doesn’t it remind you of the map above containg the CO2 emissions distribution per country? Well, a slide difference, the ranking is below:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
- The Netherlands
- Saudi Arabia
The pie is shared in the following way:
The point is that, of course, we as mere humans responsible for consumption of goods can make a small change. However, the big change has to be made by the big guys, the businesses and governments!!! But they won’t make the change yet because they do not want to make a move that might affect their economic position since most countries are really battling for economical superiority and until this battle comes to a resolution, we won’t be able to really tackle the Climate Change.
I admire and appreciate the initiative by the younger generation, especially the newly established institute, Greta Thunberg. The voice of the younger generation might have touched some sensitive/emotional cords, yet Putin and Trump have only swayed her efforts minimalizing her impact due to the fragile age and lack of knowledge of this “complex and different world” (Putin’s words). I am not surprised that these two leaders had something to comment on Greta’s actions since the two countries in discussion are competing in everything for at least a century.
To sum up, when we refer to Climate Change we refer to the anthropogenic activities that affect the Earth and therefore the weather paths and average temperatures whilst destroying biodiversity and ecosystems. Economy, businesses, industries, governments, corporations, mass production – all these activities generated by humans in order to facilitate mass consumption and prosperity in national financial performance are the activities with most influence on the Climate Change. We, the individuals, can help ameliorate the situation by becoming more socially and environmentally responsible and most of all, pushing the big guys to make the change that will have the greater turnaround.