Have you seen clips of the speech by the 16-year-old Swede, Greta Thunberg on issues relating to climate change? I almost shed tears listening to the girl speak to the powers that be at the just concluded UN Summit on Climate Change.
In an emotional speech that has since been compared to the ‘I have a dream speech’ by the great Martin Luthar King Jr., Greta repeatedly used the words ‘how dare you,’ as she challenged the world leaders for their blatant inaction concerning climate change despite decades of warnings and yearnings by scientists around the world.
She would go further, accusing the world leaders in attendance of stealing her childhood with their empty promises in a soul-touching speech that saw her fought back tears throughout her time on the podium.
As I watched on, I couldn’t help but imagine a few questions which informed this write-up.
But before I proceed with my question, I would like to educate us on Climate Change. I would do this in a layman language to help us understand easily.
Also, I would be as concise as possible.
Now, what is Climate change?
Climate simply means weather. So when you hear people say climate, they are simply referring to the weather condition of a region (for a long period).
So when you hear climate change, it means the usual weather condition of a place is gradually changing.
Now we are talking about global (world) climate change – this simply means that the weather condition of our planet earth is changing and this could be extremely harmful in the future.
Hope you are following? (good). Now let’s see the cause of the change in weather condition which is gradually killing our earth.
So that we don’t get confused with scientific terms (greenhouse gas and its effect) I would like us to settle with the term ‘Smoke.’
The major cause of climate change is smoke. Smoke is a mixture of gases such as Carbon dioxide and Carbon monoxide. These gases are the major cause of climate change and how does this occur? We shall learn shortly the mechanism upon which climate change occurs.
Now you probably of heard of the term ozone layer. For those who don’t know what the ozone layer is, I would give a brief explanation. The ozone layer is not what you can touch or feel. It is a layer of gas far up in the sky. What the layer does is to prevent the excess of heatwave the sun sends to the earth.
It is thanks to the ozone layer that the earth is habitable. The layer ensures that earth gets just as much heat it needs to support life of plant and animal. But the activities of mankind over the years have landed a damaging effect on the ozone layer leading to climate change and the cumulative effect of this damage on a long run puts the earth on the danger of death.
Scientists all over the world have consistently passed the message to the political leaders to sensitize the people about their activities threatening to obliterate the earth but these political leaders have since turned deaf hears for economic gains and here is the reason.
The world economy currently runs on fossil fuel which is the greatest means by which smoke is produced. When automobiles and other internal combustion engine use petrol, they emit smoke which goes up the sky, to damage the ozone layer.
The smoke goes up the sky and create what is known as the ozone hole. Excess heatwave gets to the earth through the ozone holes making the temperature of earth t increase. There is an outcry from scientists that the number of ozone holes is on a geometric increase and this poses a great risk to earth in many ways.
The temperature of the earth is on the increase and there are facts to prove this. With the increase in temperature, the iceberg on the sea is melting on an unprecedented rate and this is why during winter or rainy season, there is much flooding around the world.
During the last winter and raining season, different countries reported flooding in a manner that has never been seen. There was flooding across different states in the US, Beijing reported an unprecedented level of flooding, and various countries across Africa were not left out. The reason for this flooding is the ever-increasing climate change and scientists have cried for far too long about this menace with very little or no political leaders paying attention in the past. But thankfully, some political leaders are starting heed to the public outcry.
Secondly, another damaging effect and sign of climate change is the increasing case of forest (bush) burning during summer or dry seasons. There are increasing cases of bush burning. Just recently, the world witnessed the Amazon forest inferno in Brazil. The Amazon forest is one of the largest forests in the world and it is responsible for curbing the effect of excess carbon gas in the air.
Normally when we use fossil fuel or burn materials such as wood that emit carbon gas to the air, plants are there to help reduce the amount of gas in the air. They so by using up carbon gas for their food and releasing oxygen in return which is good for human existence.
Unfortunately, the world is experiencing massive deforestation, which along with the ever-increasing use of fossil fuel makes our air filled with carbon gas, damaging the ozone layer and causing an increase in the temperature of the earth.
The earth is dying and very little is being done to rectify the situation. There are a handful of foundations in different countries campaigning and sensitizing the world about climate change and the damaging effect.
Some weeks ago, a United Nation summit on climate change was held in New York where the 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a heart-piercing speech to the world leaders, berating them about their negligence on a serious issue like climate change.
France is to be commended it role to avert climate change. It has since initiated and launched a campaign termed ‘the Paris agreement’ with the view to find a lasting solution to climate change.
Some world-leading countries have since joined the campaign with the obvious absentee being the US which is coincidentally the greatest polluters of earth. We hope the US president has a change of heart and join the agreement so that the world nip the damaging effect of climate change in its bud to avert irreversible damage.