Business as usual as climate change takes us towards apocalypse
Throughout human history, religions have long predicted the end of the world. Global warming and the impacts of climate change also predict scenarios of a doomsday with catastrophic results on all life forms. Disease, hunger, strife, intense heat and ecological collapse are seen as contributing factors leading to an existential threat that may result in an apocalyptic end of planet Earth.
With death and destruction staring humanity in the face, it becomes harder to fathom why, while living in the “age of climate change”, we are not doing enough to save the planet that sustains life. It is almost as if we have a death wish or seem destined to go through the cycle of destruction and rebirth until we learn how to live in harmony with nature.
There is knowledge and evidence available now to be fully cognisant of the connection between man and nature and the devastating impact of the modern human footprint on the environment. It is also equally clear that, when the damage inflicted reaches a tipping point, nature will annihilate the intruder and gives itself time to heal and restore its functions.
The irony is that it is not lack of knowledge and awareness that prevent governments from taking urgent steps to drastically reduce emissions with immediate effect, but the false sense of achieving development goals for improving life quality indicators. These goals will become irrelevant when hit by heat, drought, food shortages and water scarcity.
The irony is further compounded by the fact that countries that are responsible for global warming are not doing enough and countries with low carbon footprints are now joining the race to accelerate their development agendas.
Based on existing scientific research and projections of a global temperature increase by three degrees Celsius by 2050, 55 per cent of the world’s population across 35 per cent of the land area will experience more than 20 days of intense lethal heat beyond the threshold of survivability. This will result in collapsed ecosystems and the displacement of one billion people, according to the Melbourne-based Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration.
The intriguing question, then, is why — despite the dire warnings and catastrophic consequences — are world leaders refusing to declare a climate emergency and take action on a war footing to reduce our risk of extinction? The goalpost has never been clearer or the threat more imminent — and yet a business-as-usual scenario continues, even as our survival is basically running on life support at this point.
The evidence continues to mount — with dire statistics on fresh water pollutants, antimicrobial resistant infections, air quality hazards and losses to businesses — but the much-needed transformative change is not visible on the horizon. The pace of change is slow and the speed of global warming is gaining exponential momentum.
So is it nature reclaiming its place, or an ordained event in the cycle of cosmic life? Or is it quite simply the folly of man and his pursuit of a development agenda that is short-lived in its success and doomed by its endless quest for more. The enemy is approaching fast and will show no mercy.
By arrangement with Dawn