Yan: Climate change, an irreversible disaster caused by our careless actions

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Mandy Sun

Scientists’ reports now say that the climate crisis is irreversible.

Jessica Yan, Managing Editor

Devastating wildfires destroying biodiversity, melting glaciers contributing to rising sea levels and abnormal storms damaging infrastructures — decades’ worth of human activity are now snowballing into a plethora of environmental disasters.

Climate change has been a concern for the future of the world ever since June 23, 1988, when it was recognized as a national issue. Recently, a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared climate change is becoming irreversible for many regions of the world.

However, even after the problem was acknowledged, governmental and human actions have not been enough to hinder or slow the effects of climate change, which is largely influenced by greenhouse gas emissions.

Because people have relied on non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels for centuries, Earth is expected to increase in temperature by at least 1.5 degrees Celsius. This may seem like a small increase, but in reality, it’s a dangerous sign of what the future holds for us. We are now in a situation where our future will only face the most extreme scenarios, all as a result of the build-up of human activity over the years. We can already see the damaging effects of climate change: water shortages in the West and rising sea levels in the East.

As United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres describes it, the circumstance is “a code red for humanity.” We can already see the consequences of climate change: water shortages in the West and rising sea levels in the East.

There is no longer any question about what caused us to reach this breaking point: It is because of humans that we’ve reached the tip of the iceberg. Coincidentally, the IPCC reports that the melting ice crisis is no longer reversible; by 2050, the Arctic is predicted to be clear of ice during the summer at least once. 

We used to have time to enforce regulations for combating climate change. That’s now come to an end. We no longer have time to think, only act. Everyone is now facing a serious issue that we need to be aware of because this is our planet. We live on it, and we should repay the Earth by taking care of it instead of treating it like a large dumpster for our waste.

I’m worried about how our careless actions will affect marginalized communities in Mississippi and across the country who don’t know when they will regain access to clean, sanitary water. I’m worried about the communities who face another day in fear of being displaced and seeing their homes torn apart by fires, storms and other natural disasters. I’m worried about the planet’s biodiversity as species lose their habitats and food sources. 

Climate change is not something people can dismiss anymore. Right now, we are only given two choices: face the disasters presented before us or remain resilient so that we can reverse the crises. It may take a miracle for this to happen, but I believe in it.

We need to be more conscious about our carbon footprint as it can further damage the environment. Greenhouse emissions need to be cut down immediately, and cleaner technologies need to be implemented. More regulations need to be enforced on companies that utilize non-renewable sources. We need to reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions — we have to. This is our problem, and we are the only ones who can fix it.