Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Climate change! Biggest problem for all of us!

Climate change! Biggest problem for all of us!

Climate change is something we have been hearing about a lot in the last 20 years or so. The drastic warming of the surface of the planet Earth entails catastrophic consequences that await us, both in the near and distant future.
Whenever climate change is mentioned, it is always emphasised that man is solely responsible for it.

That is simply not true. Let me explain.

Certainly, man, with his destructive way of life, has greatly accelerated climate change and exacerbated the devastating consequences that await us, but not enough for humanity to be the cause of it. Our planet has been going through climate change for millions of years and the ice ages and global warming we are facing now are changing.

The question is, can climate change be stopped? The answer is no, but we can mitigate the consequences, but only if we act now.

The 2015 Paris Agreement was a huge step towards achieving collective awareness of the importance of keeping temperatures rising below 2° C since the 19th century industrial era, but that agreement is not enough because concrete problems are being postponed.

For example, the Republic of China, the economic giant of the 21st century, is responsible for more than 20.9% of emissions of harmful CO2 emissions. The United States emits 18% of harmful CO2 emissions, and the European Union 13%. On the other hand, the percentage of CO2 gases produced by poor African and Asian countries is less than 1%.

The answer is very simple and imposes itself. Rich countries produce more, so they automatically pollute more, and this can be prevented by switching to renewable energy sources. We have tamed the power of strong winds, mighty waters and our star, the Sun. Why don’t we take advantage of that anymore? Why do we continue to use oil that is dwindling and destroying ecosystems, and why do our cars run on diesel and gasoline if we have FREE and UNLIMITED energy sources? I cannot give the answer to that question, I will give you the imagination to try to answer it yourself.

The good news is that there is hope for salvation, and it is called renewable energy.

And no, that’s not a euphemism for something else. The earth will be there with or without us, our planet has survived worse things than humanity, it will survive us somehow. This is about saving ourselves, this is our only home, we have no other, but we do not treat it that way.

We students, the future of this planet and the generation yet to take the helm of this planet – if we continue to make the same mistakes that our ancestors made, tell me, will you be able to stand in front of your children, grandchildren and look them in the eye in 50 years, having ruthlessly destroyed this beautiful blue stone floating the paths of the universe?

What we cannot avoid are catastrophic floods, tornadoes, devastating monsoon rains, rising water levels of a few metres, or Category 6 hurricanes that will wipe out the cities ahead. Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans in 2005 and killed more than 1,800 people will, in the future, look like a small storm compared with what awaits us.

Climate change is a reality that is happening and whose consequences we are already feeling, and we will feel even more in the future. How strong these consequences will be depends solely on us.

In Croatia we say:
Štiti Zemlju, štiti svijet, sve je ovo tvoj planet.
Or translated into English: Protect the Earth, protect the world, this is all your planet.
Yes, I know, it doesn’t sound good – it rhymes in Croatian, a lot is lost during translation.

Thank you and be kind to your home we call Earth, it is the only one we have, remember that.

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