Here are three things we should collectively know to be true: the earth is round, the leaves change colour in the autumn, and climate change is destined to imminently ravage our planet.
Oh, look, another piece about taking heed of environmental warnings, about how we can all do more for the planet, recycle and compost and ditch plastic straws. It’s becoming redundant, all the vociferating to no real avail, all the talk of impending environmental destruction, of rising sea levels and dangerously high temperatures. And it feels like nothing I can do will actually affect any real change when confronted with these world-scale, catastrophic ordeals.
For the longest time I could not wrap my mind around the immediacy of such a large, overarching issue, nor could I place myself within the fold of the activism it so desperately requires. All efforts felt futile – what difference does one cigarette butt ground into the pavement make, or one meat-heavy meal or one can thrown absentmindedly in the bin? It seemed as though there was no point in trying at all.
I know I’m not alone in absolving myself of responsibility. We all do it in small ways every day, not out of malintent, but rather out of a sense of meaninglessness amid the sheer size of the crisis at hand.
So naturally, it takes certain hard-hitting realities to bring back to mind the severity of global warming, and a recent article in the New York Times highlighting the implications of an up-to-date report from the United Nations’s scientific panel on climate change did just that for me.
By 2040, a year during which the majority of this paper’s readership will be living conventional, early middle-aged lives, increased coastal flooding will affect over 50 million individuals worldwide, meaning there will be massive evacuations of tropic areas, rendering national borders insignificant. We are predicted to be the last living generation to be able to visit the city of Venice in Italy. The coral reefs are projected to die, which means you and/or your kids will never scuba dive to see the long-enduring, vivacious ecosystem of our oceans, and an overwhelming number of sea creatures will go extinct.
In other words, if there is a single movement that requires militant and persistent activism, it’s the movement to save our planet, and by whatever means necessary. Every other movement becomes obsolete if we are left with nowhere to live.
Ireland appears to be making an effort in more ways than one. In the last year, both Aldi and Lidl have pledged to make all their own packaging recyclable and compostable by 2022 and 2025 respectively. And as the first nation to divest public funds from fossil fuels, which are the leading cause of climate change, Ireland is drawing attention to an effective means of improving the situation. The hope is that other nations will take notice of such an action and strive to emulate it, ultimately making a much larger impact on a global scale.
By 2040, a year during which the majority of this paper’s readership will be living conventional, early middle-aged lives, increased coastal flooding will affect over 50 million individuals worldwide
And yet, considering the expenses and sense of urgency necessary to completely restore the planet to an invulnerable state, it’ll be unlikely that such efforts will succeed. Taxes on gas and electricity would skyrocket, not to mention the fact that numerous nations, primarily the US, are refusing to even react to the issue in any progressive manner, going so far as to refute factual evidence of global warming entirely.
But politicians who deny climate change are hardly looking out for the greater good in their attempt to assure people that our environment, and thus our economy and national governments, are not in immediate danger of capsizing. They’re trying to avoid paying the large expenditure needed to quell the issue, much like they’re trying to avoid contending with so many other pertinent issues that will open the floodgates for their power to be toppled over.
If there is a single movement that requires militant and persistent activism, it’s the movement to save our planet, and by whatever means necessary. Every other movement becomes obsolete if we are left with nowhere to live
Acknowledging climate change is the rational choice, though it should hardly be a choice at all at this point. It is the reality that we all need to take into account, to make adjustments in order to fix, and the stepping stone on which to fight against such a bogus form of governmental corruption. We have to do it one by one if those in charge aren’t willing to recognise the path on which we are steadily moving, ever towards an irrevocable undoing.
Seriously, this is the final article on environmentalism that you should ever read. No more faffing around, no more dismissing the issue for the hippies and tree huggers to contend with, and certainly no more slagging vegans and vegetarians for their dietary habits. They’ve done something bite-sized and in their power to effect change for the world we all share, and if you consider yourself at least aware enough to believe in climate change, which I sincerely hope we all are, then such a sacrifice in the name of reducing its horrifying impact should be applauded. We must continue to make these sorts of sacrifices, such as cutting back on meat and dairy, reducing our usage of plastic packaging, biking or walking more, throwing trash and cigarette butts away instead of littering, and utilising the good old recycle bin. If not, then we’re going to suffer the consequences very squarely within the span of our lives.