Probably the greatest challenge facing our society in the 21st century. Perhaps even the central problem in the history of mankind. Living with the consequences of climate change will be a balancing act: floods, tidal waves, desertification and other weather extremes will lead to changes in entire ecosystems. These extremes have a strong impact on the living conditions of millions of people and, according to World Bank statistics, could cause 143 million climate refugees.
CO2 emissions lead to a drastic increase in global temperatures. Since 2010, the world's five warmest years have occurred since the beginning of temperature recording. The effects of global warming are particularly visible in our oceans. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Switzerland has scientifically proven the causal link between climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions and rising sea levels: In the coming decades, sea levels will rise 3-6 times faster than in the last century. Although the increase is not evenly distributed, the values are lower in some ocean regions and higher in others. Nevertheless, in many places it is already changing the basis of human life.
The consequences of climate change can be felt worldwide: climate-induced natural disasters already drove 42 million people to flee in 2010. Whole regions and archipelagos are threatened by the predicted rise in sea levels. Our natural resources - water, food, pastures - are severely threatened by the effects of climate change. The consequences are intensifying conflicts over arable land and water resources.
Today, the world is faced with the decision either to continue actively contributing to climate change through our lifestyle or to become part of the transformation process towards a sustainable and emission-free society. But what have we achieved so far?
As already mentioned, in 2013 the IPCC scientifically demonstrated for the first time the relationship between anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and global warming. Reason enough for politicians, business and civil society to take the initiative. Since then, at numerous UN climate summits and other conferences, the problem has been brought into the focus of public attention and high government representatives have expressed the will to improve. At the World Climate Summit in Paris, it was agreed to take measures to ensure that the global climate does not rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius. 1.5 degrees Celsius will already bring about major changes, but at the moment we are realistically heading for 3 degrees Celsius global warming, which will have unmanageable consequences.
In spite of these climatic threats, politics is failing to implement the necessary reforms for a sustainable and environmentally friendly society. For this reason, it is time for civil society to become aware of its responsibility and for each individual to play an active part in contributing to a sustainable way of life.
What has to change?
Climate protection is not negotiable! That is why we must make the right decisions now and take measures to bring effective change towards a sustainable society.
In this respect, it is also a matter of justice towards those people who are least responsible for global warming but suffer the most. And also about justice to future generations. We must ensure that our greenhouse gas emissions are not only drastically reduced, but completely stopped. What sounds like an utopia may be the only chance to keep the consequences of the global climate at a tolerable level. That is why it is important to initiate a holistic change in society by motivating each individual to make his or her lifestyle more sustainable and to make an active contribution to existing solutions.
What can I do?
It is up to each individual to decide how low he wants to keep his emissions, how often he takes the plane, what he eats or how committed he is to social democratic change. We will have to justify this to our future generations.
Be the Change as an individual!
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Join the collective movement
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