“People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction” (1:05 – 1:14 PBS Newshour). These are the words of 16 year old climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who has motivated over a million young people worldwide. Her first big public appearance was sailing across the Atlantic from Plymouth, Britain, to New York City to attend the UN climate summit. Her zero-carbon voyage showed that she could stick to her principles while reducing the amount of CO2 emissions she is responsible for, by sailing on a solar powered high speed boat. She also made a previous video with environmental and political activist, George Monbiot. Greta states that in order “to survive we need to stop burning fossil fuels, but this alone will not be enough […] there is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself… It’s called … a tree” (0:58-0:85 GuardianNews). These two educated scientists share that nature is a full proof, simple, and effective solution to our crippled climate. Not only trees, but corals, kelp, forests and gardens… the list goes on
and on, will change our lives for the better. However, to allow nature to thrive we must eliminate deforestation and prohibit infrastructure building on critical habitats, and we must curtail the production of fossil fuels entirely.
Another underestimated and not-commonly spoke of solution would be nuclear fusion. This would be obtained from plain and simple water, an unlimited source of energy, which would produce no harmful byproduct to affect our ecosystems. One gallon of
water is the energy producing equivalent to 300 gallons of petroleum. This is the scientific solution (the opposite of fission) where two light atoms are combined into one. A recent discovery has been made that the fusion process can be done through a physical force through the use of magnetism (World Economic Forum). Aside from the solutions and stories of the currently popular climate activists, to end this article, here are some statistics on global and economic impact to the environment.
We, as the human population, spend 1,000 times more on global fossil fuel subsidies than on natural based solutions in our taxes. The natural climate solutions only get 2% of all subsidies for reducing the impact we’ve made and continue to make on the climate. Over 200 species are going extinct every single day. Over the past three decades, global warming has caused 95% of the Arctic’s oldest and thickest ice to melt (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association). Tropical forests are being cut down at the rate of 30 soccer fields per minute. Some things that will be jeopardized by 2029 include, The Great Barrier reef, The Amazon Rainforest, Arctic Ice, Orangutans, Rhinos, Sea Turtles, and dare I say it – Human existence as we know it. Often heard slogans are “You will die of old age, but I will die of climate change” or “The Climate is getting hotter than Shawn Mendes… that’s a problem’.’ Our student generation will be the most impacted by the rising problems of climate change, and what scares people the most is that the petroleum industry has known ever since the 50’s that combustion would be the end of our world, yet they have not stepped up in order to do anything about their mess because they care more about their stock than the extinction of the Earth.
Greta Thunberg boards her solar powered sailboat to travel to the UN climate change summit.
Photo Credit: New York Times
By Maddie Elliot