By Kimani Wiseman

Climate change is real, and it is accelerated when there is an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which causes the climate to change over a period of time. For example, some countries may experience heavy rainfall, while some countries may have a shortage of rainfall. Climate change began in the mid-1700s, when the industrial revolution kicked off, which saw an increase in greenhouse gases and it was compounded later on as the human population began to grow rapidly.

In 1950, the human population was 2.5 billion and in November 2018 it was 7.7 billion. With this rapid growth in the human population, there are more cars on the road, electrical appliances increased in homes, more garbage sent to landfills, deforestation, animals reared to feed more people. All these activities have caused greenhouse gases to increase in the atmosphere.

As greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases, it is causing the earth to warm up quickly, which is causing the ice in Antarctica to melt, sea level to rise, the ocean to become warmer, an increase in coral bleaching, stronger storms and hurricanes, more droughts, heat waves, and diseases being spread from insects. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with 2015- 2018 making up the top four.

The Great Barrier Reef suffered an unprecedented coral bleaching event in the summer of 2016, followed by another bleaching event in 2017. In the summer of 2018, record high temperatures were recorded in many places across the world which caused heat waves in Europe, Asia, North America, Canada, and Northern Africa. In Montreal, 28 people died after temperatures reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit and higher for days, while in Japan, 96 people died after temperatures reached an all-time high of 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The Met Office in England also reported that 2018 was the “hottest summer ever recorded”. These high temperatures also caused an outbreak of wildfires in Europe, which claimed 91 lives in Greece.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most destructive on record. Hurricane Harvey killed 25 people in Texas, Irma caused 38 deaths in the Caribbean and 34 in Florida, Maria killed 31 persons in Dominica and 2,975 in Puerto Rico. Rising temperatures and heavy rainfall can cause the mosquito population to increase, which can cause an outbreak of diseases, over one million people die from malaria annually.

According to the latest climate change report from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), “our planet has already warmed by 1 degree Celsius and it must not get past 1.5 degrees Celsius, but currently, we are on a path to sail past 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 if nothing is done urgently”. Are countries going to allow planet earth to get above 1.5 degrees Celsius which would cause all the effects of climate change to get worse and do nothing to reduce their carbon footprint?

Here are some tips for the mitigation of climate change:

  • More recycling can be done or countries can implement a waste to energy programme which involves the burning of waste to generate electricity. This would mean less waste going to the landfill which would emit less methane.
  • More fuel-efficient vehicles should be used.
  • Use more renewable energy such as solar, wind, etc and less fossil fuels.
  • Plant more trees: Trees acts as carbon sinks which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Purchase energy saving bulbs and electrical appliances.
  • Eat less beef and adopt a plant-rich diet, this would help to reduce methane that is released from cattle.
  • Waste less food: food that is disposed of and spoiled creates methane.

Countries are staring down the barrel of a gun with climate change. To remove this gun from our face, it is going to require, “all hands on deck”. Politicians globally would have to put policies in place to alleviate their carbon footprint and the citizens of each country would have to execute these policies, if this does not happen soon, it is going to be “doomsday” for the entire world.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.

3 replies on “Climate change — a ticking time bomb”

  1. Despite our super bantamweight status as a global polluter we are still fighting well below our weight:

    1. rampant deforestation by ganja growers with no tree replanting by the government.

    2. unrestricted crop growing well above the legally mandated limit.

    3. unregulated commercial and personal sand mining.

    4. No recylcing.

    5. No prohibition on the use of wasteful incadescant lighting as in other countries.

    4. no legal limits on car emissions as in other countries.

    5. Legal importation of old less fuel-efficient vehicles.

    6. No residential and hardly any commercial sewage disposal — ten of thousands of pounds of refuse simply washes into the sea.

    7. No aversion to throwing personal refuse like drinking bottles, cups, and fast food boxes into any nearby drain.

    8. Mindless and toxic tire burning all across the land as well as the unregulated burning of all other material.

    When I call SVG “the Third World’s Third World,” I am not using this as a gratuitous insult, as some claim, but as an actual description of our way of life.

    If we don’t like this label, we can lose it by changiing our worthless environmental behaviour.

  2. Too many people believe that all we have to do is pay more taxes and the bad weather will go away. The weather is 99% driven by solar activity, not by anything humans have done thus far. Anyone with humanistic feelings will support most of the things that the author proposes but I will bet the farm that Mother Nature is far more powerful than governments and any amount of taxes will never be enough, so be prepared to write a blank-check to the politicians and thier banker friends. All we can do is try to protect ourselves as much as possible. Build or make improvements to your dwelling to make it as weather resistant as possible. If we pay more taxes to the politicians so that they can save us, that will be more difficult. The people of Saint Vincent have to learn to take care of themselves more and not think they can rely on any government to save us. No matter what they promise to get reelected, there is only so much they can do.

    Humans pollute too much, waste too much and so very many other harmful characteristics. We all have to be careful what we wish for because we may just get it. Ask the French about that, with the tax increases to combat Climate Change, that are resulting in a revolution starting with violent protest. It is impossible to tax enough to combat Climate Change and nor will the politicians use the funds for what they propose. Instead they will use the funds for such things as Military, more benefits for themselves, or anything they wish, some will use it to pay for goodies to pass out at election years, enrich themselves or even to pay for past over-spending fiascos. The leader of France was a former banker for the wealthiest family on earth that is the main funder of the Climate Change Agenda. Those same bankers have the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, which owns 61% of Exxon/Mobile. Ask yourself: Why would those that own that oil company fund a campaign that is supposed to weaken thier Financial Position? The answer is: They wouldn’t!

  3. The author proposes some good behavior but his facts are incorrect. Climate Change did not begin at any specific date. It has been going on since the beginning of time. The author tries to tie Climate Change to the industrial Revolution. None of his facts are accurate in this regard. Recently the earth went through a warming phase based on Solar Activity, but that ended in 2013. That was the year that the Global Warming supporters say there would be no more snow and ice on the planet. Instead the earth has recorded the coldest Winters since records have begun to be kept. REAL scientists fear that we may be at the beginning of a mini- ice age.
    The author should refrain from giving FAKE information in order for us all to go-along with higher taxation for the bankers and politicians. CO2 is NOT a pollutant and based on ice samples from the Arctic it is known that CO2 levels were much higher BEFORE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. Some of these people try to get people to mistake Carbon Dioxide with Carbon Monoxide which is a poison.
    I wonder if Kenton Chance will publish this. It seems he may be one of the people trying to direct our money into the control of the politicians and bankers. I may be wrong; See if my comment of true facts will see the light of day.

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