Will we continue to be children of Earth as time progresses?

Humanity has dug itself in a ditch and should recognize Climate Change and support as well as adopt sustainable methods to achieve salvation whilst continuing to be Earth’s Children and supporting one another.

Can we emerge victorious in our battle against climate change?

Climate change has been a long-time coming issue for us intelligent yet ironically irresponsible mortals, and for some time now this has been happening discreetly with many having little to no knowledge of what the topic of ‘climate change’ even meant, let alone what was causing it and the solutions that are out there. This low-profile event has been ‘gradually’ leading to the demise of our world through the connection it has with other subversive problems caused by what is currently called the ‘Anthropocene’ era.

The Anthropocene epoch is a substantial term that is considered to be a geological unit of time describing the current era we are in. Despite the official label for the timeline being known as the Holocene era, many have adopted the title of Anthropocene as an appropriate term for the current epoch primarily due to the clarity of expression the term itself possesses, the ‘Anthro’ aspect basically means Human. This, however, isn’t a title we should be proud of as the reason it was named after humanity was, well, due to the progression Humans have made throughout the recent decades. According to the National Geographic’s Encyclopaedic Entry, there are two prominent theories of which state the period of time when the Anthropocene era actually began. The first of the two indicate that the era began when many of the root problems of current society were still in the early stage of manufacturing, this period of time was named the Industrial Revolution, which occurred as recently as the 1800s, when humans adopted a new source of power — found electricity and created steam automobiles and transportation, all of which led to the current problem of, yes, you guessed it, climate change as well as a few other issues that we will go into later. And the second theory which sought to mark the beginning of the Anthropocene era as early as 1945, this was due the economical boost of which weapons received during the worlds’ governments need for technological advancements in the weaponry field in order to participate and win in World War 2. Many believe that this is the true period of which the ‘human’ era began, a strong piece of evidence that is considered is the atomic bomb which caused a nuclear reaction so ‘grand’ that it generated a massive explosion expelling much carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Both of these theories show the strength of the human race, and its ingenuity in respect to them propelling their livelihoods into the current era of power. However, despite many scientists along with other notable figures predicting the complications from climate change as well as climate change itself, their claims were as a whole ignored for the majority of the time, kind of like how we say ‘I’m have a few more days till my examination’, then on the night of the actual examination, we completely pushed studying for it back that we, simply put, run out of time. Imagine this scenario on a larger scale, and you have the global issue of climate change.

The knowledge of the change an atmosphere can do to our planet’s climate was proposed as early as the 1820s by French Mathematician Joseph Fourier, he stated that Earth would have to be considerably cooler, leading him to mention the real reason the Earth is not considerably cooler is because the planet’s atmosphere is containing the sunlight released by our star. This light which emits heat is then contained by our planet’s atmospheres greenhouse gases, the prominent of which is carbon dioxide and methane.

Although these gases in our atmosphere were initially helping humanity and life in general thrive and survive by trapping heat from the sun creating a perfect climate for sophisticated beings, it has led to a dangerous increase in our atmosphere thanks to human activity. However, this would have been less threatening had we taken care of our planet as people wield the power to instantly change an epoch into one of the Earth’s most deadliest time periods ever, you would think coming up with sustainable options earlier on would be a breeze, right? Nope, humans are creatures living in the moment, we aim to progress so speedily, we forget or shun aside all other options, like a freeway, except this time the goal is being a type omega-minus (the most sophisticated civilization type possible in the universe, as far as we know, according to the Kardashev scale — this type means that a civilization would be able to manipulate the fundamental structure of time and space).

So, scientist knew this was coming and warned many political figures, and proposed much evidence to support their claims, this stretched from Louis Agassiz’s discovery of Continental Glaciation, which illustrates the changes in the Earth’s glacier formation, structure and location, this in turn also affects our oceans as well as our climate, to Guy Stewart Callendar, who illustrated comparable data compiled across the late 19th century in 1938, the data showed that over the preceding 50 years there was a definite increase in global land temperature. These scientists weren’t the only people warning the majority on the issue, there were activists, a notable one was Eunice Foote, an overlooked amateur scientist who protested for women’s rights, the issue is clear her findings on climate change date back to the 1850s, yet her gender was seemingly a factor of which many clearly could not tolerate.

Despite all these valiant attempts, change did not occur, at all until the 1980s according to Google’s Ngram Viewer, an application which illustrates the amount of time’s words like ‘climate change’ or ‘greenhouse gases’ are being used on google platforms. Don’t get me wrong, this did not mean that the 1980s was when physical change began, this data just meant people were becoming aware of the issue, albeit a little late.

However, this increase in ‘climate’ related searches were not in vain, this led way for governments and businesses to acknowledge the problem and even allowed great minds like Elon Musk to adopt this manner of thought. In Mid-2003, Musk’s Tesla begun its rise in the car manufacturing industry, at first it wasn’t very popular but fast-forward to this year and had almost tripled Toyota’s market cap in the automobile company, placing Tesla at first and Toyota at second according to The Drives’ graphs. That’s right, Tesla vehicles are considered to be more valuable than any car brand out there meaning it has become a smart investment for those looking to sell their cars later on as second-hand products. Due to Tesla’s and Elon Musk’s’ efforts in the car industry other people top-name industry’s like Toyota and Mercedes Benz has begun pumping out EV’s and hybrids.

Both climate and glaciers play an important role in our ecosystems, the more ice we have on our poles, the more the sunlight from the sun bounces back of the white snow, essentially cooling our Earth’s atmosphere, and that’s not it, glaciers also cool our ocean, which acts like a box to contain all of the extra heat produced, this is due to water having a much higher specific heat capacity than air according to the Environmental Protection Authority. Fundamentally speaking, if 71% of Earth’s surface wasn’t water than we’d all probably be like that scrumptious porterhouse steak on the ‘Barbe’ we all like to have, no offence if you’re a vegetarian or vegan.

The best thing we can do for now, is work towards a common goal together, this super-ordinate goal being ‘net zero carbon emissions by 2050’, this has been outlined as an aim by the Paris Agreement, a ‘pact’ made by a gathering of many countries which will place limits and restrictions onto industries in terms of carbon emissions. When the governments say ‘net zero’ they don’t mean they’re going to eliminate all sources of carbon emissions, that’s literally impossible, I mean we breathe out CO2 through our respiratory system and it’s not like they’re going to kill us off (at least I hope not). Fundamentally-speaking, ‘net-zero’ is defined as being able to combat our carbon emissions through using means such as trees, which would convert any extra carbon dioxide into oxygen.

Finally, many Australian companies participating in this movement, include, Telstra, AGL and Wesfarmers, this means we’re getting somewhere, however, there are flaws in this objective, we are ignoring developing nations whose citizens are unable to afford the luxury that high-tech electric vehicles. Not to worry, there a simple yet obvious solution to that, the car industry just needs to downgrade their electric vehicles’ features so that it becomes an affordable investment for those in underdeveloped countries. If we were to take a new Tesla Model 3 (standard range plus — rear wheel drive), one of Tesla’s cheapest cars with a drive-away cost of $64,985 (Australia), and to strip away its luxury features such as self-driving capabilities (which Tesla already does) and expensive designs which include a very high-tech console, the cost will be significantly lowered. Thus, if these companies also kept that in mind, they could design cars more or less more affordable than gas or petrol cars. From these, we know that it’s not hard to change to sustainable modes of transportation as well as other means, but we must gain a realistic outlook and abandon the unrealistic solutions, but to do this we must support each other, nations hand in hand.

Anyways, it’s clear to say that we brought climate change upon ourselves, but that’s not what’s important right now, what’s important is climbing out of the hole we dug ourselves into, and through adopting a positive mindset, following sustainable methods, being a leader and recognizing the importance of sustainable materials and empathizing with the fact that we aren’t alone on this planet, that this planet requires a steady balance of flora and fauna and terrain is key to humanity’s longevity in our ever-growing desire for progression as an intelligent being. So, lets keep Mother Earth as the home to humanity and protect it instead of abandoning it out of fear of our own shortcomings, whilst also making sure that the unrealistic goal becomes a realistic one.

Harvard Referencing

Kukreja R (n.d.). What are Environmental Concerns?. Conserve Energy Future (n.d.) [online] Available at https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/top-25-environmental-concerns.php. [Accessed 16th September 2021]

No Author (2021). ‘Net Zero by 2050’. IEA. May 2021. [online] Available at https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050. [Accessed 18th September 2021]

National Geographic Society (2019). ‘Anthropocene’. National Geographic. 7th June 2019. [online] Available at https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/anthropocene/. [Accessed 22nd September 2021]

No Author (n.d.). How we discovered the climate problem. Australian National University (ANU). (n.d.). [online] Available at https://science.anu.edu.au/news-events/news/how-we-discovered-climate-problem. [Accessed 26th September 2021]

No Author (n.d.). Louis Agassiz. Michigan Tech University (MTU) — Keweenaw Geoheritage. (n.d.). [online] Available at http://www.geo.mtu.edu/KeweenawGeoheritage/Glaciers/Louis_Agassiz.html [Accessed 30th September 2021]

No Author (2016). Ocean Heat. EPA (Environment Protection Agency). August 2016. [online] Available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-08/documents/print_ocean-heat-2016.pdf. [Accessed 4th October 2021]

Sparrow J (2021). ‘Ending over mending: planned end-life is killing the planet’. The Guardian. 9th July 2021. [online] Available at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/17/ending-over-mending-planned-obsolescence-is-killing-the-plane [Accessed 5th October 2021]

No Author (2016). Achieving Net-zero emissions by 2050 (Fact Sheet). NSW (New South Wales) Environment. November 2016. [online] Available at https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Climate-change/achieving-net-zero-emissions-by-2050-fact-sheet-160604.pdf. [Accessed 5th October 2021]

Tesla (2021). Tesla Model 3. Tesla. (n.d.) [online] Available at https://www.tesla.com/en_au/model3/design#overview. [Accessed 5th October 2021]

Schwartz J (2020). Overlooked No More: Eunice Foote, Climate Scientist Lost to History. The New York Times. 21st August 2020. [online] Available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/21/obituaries/eunice-foote-overlooked.html [Accessed 5th October 2021]

Stumpf R (2020). At $631B, Tesla Is Now Worth More Than the Next Top 6 Car Companies Combined. The Drive. 30th December 2020. [online] Available at https://www.thedrive.com/news/38485/at-631b-tesla-is-now-worth-more-than-the-next-top-6-car-companies-combined [Accessed 5th October 2021]

Dee S (2021). Scientists understood physics of climate change in the 1800s — thanks to a woman named Eunice Foote. The Conversation. 22nd July 2021. [online] Available at https://theconversation.com/scientists-understood-physics-of-climate-change-in-the-1800s-thanks-to-a-woman-named-eunice-foote-164687 [Accessed 5th October 2021]

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Heshan Dewapakshage

Heshan Dewapakshage

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