Why should we be concerned about climate change?
It is the biggest and most significant issue we are ALL facing now. It directly affects every one of us, making us more vulnerable to their inevitable impacts. It will make us more vulnerable to natural catastrophes and diseases. And those that are at the HIGHEST risk are people who are already poor. People in the poorest communities will be hit hardest by the negative impacts of climate change, while they contribute the least to the problem. The more gases in the atmosphere, the more problems we will face. If greenhouse gases (GHG) are lowered globally and international initiatives to do this are done by more and more people, then the worst long term effects CAN still be avoided. However, we have committed ourselves to another 30-40 years of global warming because the GHG already emitted will stay around for a long time. Therefore, we all need to prepare ourselves for the impacts! And these effects have already begun, and are getting worse as each year passes, and so we need to be united and expedite our efforts soon.
Promoting energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprints are already being done by developed countries. However, the main task is clear: with climate change we must address the humanitarian consequences. Here are several examples of what we must do:
1. Respond to increasing disaster risks and changes to when and where diseases are found.
2. Prepare for disasters by learning first aid and volunteer for local organizations such as NGOs, youth and people’s organizations focused on climate change and disaster risk preparedness.
3. Identify actions that could be taken to reduce the impact of disasters before they happen.
a. Clear trash from drainages in flood prone localities. Make sure that movable objects are cleared before the cyclone season.
b. Educate people about understanding early warnings, making sure children know how to swim as a precaution against flooding. Promote wise water use in drought prone areas.
We can do so many things to contribute to the solution. And we should start in each of our own homes. Self-education and preparedness for catastrophes will be of great help when disaster time has come. We should keep on reading and be updated with the latest news. It is our personal responsibility to learn and be aware of all that has been and will be happening around us, for ourselves, our families, and our fellow human beings.