This year we will surpass 418 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – that’s more CO2 blanketing the earth than any time in the last 3 million years!
The economic shutdown has done next to nothing to address the climate crisis. There has been a slight drop (less than 8 percent) in emissions, but this is temporary and minuscule. It does nothing about the green house gasses that are already in the atmosphere and are continuing to have a heating effect on the planet.
The actions governments have taken to address COVID-19 are the same kind of policies they have taken towards climate disruption and climate refugees.
Six months ago, Australia was burning with record-breaking wildfires across the continent. At the time of the fires, billions were allocated from the government and donated to help survivors, but many haven’t seen a dime of that money. Today, there are still thousands of Australians who are submitting tedious applications for aid and waiting for the long-promised help from the government in order to start rebuilding their lives.
Now, we’re at the beginning of the hurricane season in the U.S., which is projected to be the worst yet in history. The dead-zone in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to be one of the largest ever seen, with increased rains in the Midwest (washing nitrogen-rich fertilizer from the Mississippi watershed into the Gulf, which depletes oxygen levels needed for sea-life). Siberia is in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave, with temperatures 20 degrees higher than average, and will melt more permafrost and dump tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The ruling class of the world has no intention of investing the $54 trillion it will take to transform society within a few years to stop additional greenhouse gas emissions and start to deal with the gasses already in the atmosphere. They have refused to do the bare minimum to help survivors rebuild in rich countries like Australia, let alone colonies of the rich countries, like Puerto Rico!
We know that they won’t take care of us. It’s up to us to save our futures – and we only have a few years left. The social movements springing up around the world give us a glimpse of what’s possible. The self-activity of millions is necessary to address climate disruption, and humanity is just getting started!
featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons