This is a piece written by Yasmin specially for our blog. You can find her on Instagram at @carpe.ipsum
Everyone already knows about the 2 °C threshold and how fast we’re hurtling towards it. Our planet, as Bill Nye put it, is on fire. This is especially highlighted by the fact that Australia was burning on New Year’s, the Amazon burned through 2019, and Indonesia’s rainforests burned years before that in 1997.
There’s already a plethora of information that scientists and think tanks and other agencies have put up about the number of species that will be endangered, the impact on ecosystems, the increased intensity of natural disasters, and so on. It’s daunting. This world, or what’s left of it, seems past saving.
And yet, people carefully make placards. Paint the planet on their cheeks. Dutifully show up to marches, shouting that they won’t lose their home. Greta Thunberg summarised a generation’s worth of rage when she coldly, furiously told the United Nations General Assembly that all they were doing was piling on lies and telling us to hope. Hope is not quite enough.
The human race has never given up hope, though. It’s one of our best-known quirks, our most important asset, that come what may, we don’t just give up. Countless superhero movies are constructed on the premise of giving others hope. And now, when it seems like the equivalent of Vesuvius is happening all over the planet, and we are facing imminent doom, we still don invisible capes and leave the comfort of our personal homes to march for our global one.
But it’s important that we don’t do this for just ourselves. The lucky privileged get to make their placards and speeches and shout and cheer and at the end of the day, go home and sleep on their comfortable beds with the fans running. But for the people in Tuvalu, facing submergence by rising sea levels, or the Bangladeshis, forced further and further inland by fiercer cyclones, it’s not quite as simple.
Climate crisis will ruin so many things. It already has. Warmer waters and temperatures change breeding patterns, migratory patterns, even the sex of offspring, as in the case of Olive Ridley turtles. We see what happens on a global scale, like watching an asteroid in slow motion. Meanwhile the people fighting for their homes and their survival don’t have the luxury of focusing on much more than the now.
Often people play the blame game for climate crisis. Is it the industrialists or the individual? Maybe it’s both, and that’s why both need to work together to mitigate the effects. Reduce our carbon footprints while leaving literal ones on the streets. Follow all those sustainable tips that you see on the internet. Live life better and more sustainably, if nothing else, just to spite all the boomers who said that we just had to live with the messes they made. Do it better. For yourself and everyone else.