by Mohamed Adil Ahmed-Said
What is Climate Change and why is it not spoken about enough?
Climate Change. There was a time where these two words were just merely a threat to the globe, or simply just a warning. Now, we endure the damage Climate Change has brought. Ice caps melting at an alarming rate and sea levels rising. How much longer can we keep calling Climate Change a threat when it is already here? Britain has recently issued their first ever red “extreme heat” warning, France has seen wildfires spread over “27,000 acres” which has led to more than 1400 people being evacuated and Spain has seen fires in Castille and Leon . This begs the question of why is this not at the forefront of mainstream news? Are we trying to ignore the fact Climate Change’s effects are already taking place? According to ‘NASA “Antarctica is losing ice mass (melting) at an average rate of about 150 billion tons per year, and Greenland is losing about 280 billion tons per year, adding to sea level rise”’ . This damage is taking place now and we must take action to prevent further damage!
Is Climate Change being represented enough?
As we can see, Climate Change is having a devastating impact on the planet ranging from record high temperatures all the way to rising sea levels. Are the general public educated on this? Data shows that ‘Three-quarters of adults in Great Britain worry about climate change’ . At first glance, one may take the viewpoint of this being good but the truth is this is not enough. Climate Change is a fight we all have to face as a team. What good does three-quarters of the population being worried about Climate Change do while the remaining population are indifferent or simply unworried regarding the topic of Climate Change. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have stated that ‘unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach’ showing that this is not the fight of a few or a majority but the fight of every single individual .
What is being done about this?
The United Nations state that ‘Education is key to addressing climate change’ . This shows that education is of major importance when it comes to uniting to prevent further Climate Change. A survey of ‘4,680 teachers in England found that two-thirds of secondary school teachers felt climate change was not taught in a meaningful way within their subject’ showing that not enough is being done in the U.K when it comes to educating the youth in regards to Climate Change . Keep in mind these are teachers saying this. To back this up, Sustainability Exchange have also found out that ‘70% of UK teachers have not received adequate training to educate students on climate change, its implications for the environment and societies around the world, and how these implications can be addressed’ . It is then stated that ‘41% say climate change is rarely or never mentioned in their schools’ . This is worrying and it is a major obstacle in the fight against climate change. As we can see from these sets of data, more has to be done in educating the youth and equipping the public with the right knowledge in the fight against Climate Change.
What can YOU do to help in this?
As we can see there is a major obstacle in the lack of education within schools and also a relevant portion of society being indifferent or unworried when it comes to Climate Change. While this can be seen as not much of an issue, the fact that preventing further damage requires ‘immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions’ shows that we must all come together and the fact that it may be ‘beyond reach’ shows how urgent this is . The effects of Climate Change are everywhere now and if not, it is just a matter of time.
- Speak about Climate Change and its effects to peers.
This can be done by simply educating those close to you about Climate Change. Some examples are encouraging them not to waste food, to recycle and to take initiative by doing their own research.
- Get politically active and vote.
This means to actually educate yourself about what those who are running for power are going to do. Also, to take part and vote which could result in a defining success against Climate Change, This ensures your voice is heard and you are not standing by.
- Support Eco-Friendly companies.
This can be done in various ways such as shopping locally or simply promoting up and coming businesses who have put sustainability at the forefront of their brand.
References: Guillermo Martinez, 2022. ‘Climate change affects everyone’: Europe battles wildfires in intense heat. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/spain-portugal-battle-wildfires-heatwaves-scorch-southern-europe-2022-07-17/. Viewed on 26 July 2022.
 NASA, 2022. Ice Sheets. NASA. https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/ice-sheets. Viewed on 26 July 2022.
 Office for National Statistics, 2021. Census 2021. Office for National Statistics. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/threequartersofadultsingreatbritainworryaboutclimatechange/2021-11-05. Viewed on 26 July 2022.
 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2021. Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying. IPCC. https://www.ipcc.ch/2021/08/09/ar6-wg1-20210809-pr/. Viewed on 26 July 2022
 The United Nations, 2022. Climate Action. U.N. https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/climate-solutions/education-key-addressing-climate-change. Viewed on 27 July 2022
 Fiona Harvey, 2022. UK pupils failed by schools’ teaching of climate crisis, experts say. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/jan/28/uk-pupils-failed-by-schools-teaching-of-climate-crisis-experts-say. Viewed on 27 July 2022
 Sustainability Exchange, 2021. Nearly three quarters of teachers lack training on climate change. Sustainability Exchange. https://www.sustainabilityexchange.ac.uk/news/nearly_three_quarters_of_teachers_lack_training. Viewed on 27 July 2022