By Thais Lopez Vogel
World Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd. The organizations that work in favor of climate action dedicate this month to reflections on our relationship with the planet that serves as our home.
With regard to climate change, which is our main concern, it is undeniable that human activity is causing the acceleration of this process. And as the temperature of the planet continues to rise, the effects of this situation on our lives become evident.
It is usual to talk about the problem as if it were something that puts only the Earth at risk. This is a mistaken view.
If climate change continues to increase the temperature of the planet, it is the human race that is truly at risk. The Earth can continue its existence perfectly well with climatic conditions that would, in contrast, make human survival extremely difficult, if not impossible.
In fact, the effects of a warming climate are already hitting numerous populations around the world.
Rising sea levels, increasingly frequent and extreme heat waves, floods and droughts are just some of the consequences that are affecting millions of people. And if we don’t act on the causes, it will only get worse.
What is most disturbing is that the effects on people are not being felt evenly. The most vulnerable populations, such as children, older adults, and economically disadvantaged communities, are the hardest hit.
The 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels we have today is already affecting those suffering from circulatory problems, high blood pressure and heart conditions.
Greenhouse gas pollution, a product of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, seriously affects infants, adults and the elderly who suffer from respiratory problems.
This scenario also affects our food security by jeopardizing crops and water for our consumption.
Climate change is also having a negative impact on the global economy and national security, with the enormous losses caused by extreme weather events and the high costs of reconstruction, that’s why it’s important to take concrete measures to combat it.
As uncomfortable as it may be, we must recognize the need to break free from our old, damaging habits and embrace new ways of living that prioritize the health of the planet and our own well-being.
This means reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, promoting clean energy, encouraging the conservation and protection of natural ecosystems, and modifying our way of life to make it more sustainable.
If we want to secure a future for humanity, we must act now. We need to take concrete and effective action to stop climate change before its consequences are irreversible for the Earth… and for us.
We cannot separate our fate from that of the planet we live on; we have to integrate the idea that caring for it is simply caring for ourselves and ensuring the sustainability of the future.