THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING; WHY AREN’T WE?
The world we live in is changing yet it seems humans aren’t really paying much attention to some of these changes. Change they say is constant; this change however can be a positive or a negative one. The world has witnessed a lot of changes just within the last 100 years viz. improved economy, improved healthcare, improved agricultural methods, improved transportation, improved communication, improved infrastructure and a host of other advances that a modern man can confidently boast that his life has a higher standard than that of his ancestors. These improvements notwithstanding, but have they all been positive? Have they really improved the overall standard or quality of the modern man’s life? Did they make us better or only just richer?
There is a price for everything and most times it is non-negotiable, we’ve got to pay for it one way or the other. The big question then is: have we improved our modern life at the cost of our future? Trees are in abundance on the Earth and they have been fell for timber for centuries without really a need to plant new ones, the industrial revolution saw an increase in the demand for wood for commercial purposes and subsequently a need to plant more trees, the latter however wasn’t paid much attention to. The discovery of oil in different parts of the world brought about a lot of never — before — experienced changes not just to these regions wherein they were discovered but to the entire planet, it was just a matter of time before we would notice. The invention of plastic also brought about a lot of changes, most especially as it pertains to how we package things. It was a kind of miracle to produce a transparent solid that wouldn’t break into pieces like glass when it falls to the ground. Then came the big corporations who brought production to another level, they also brought exploration and exploitation to another level too.
These companies had so much resources and power that they could be established anywhere on the planet, mine and drill whatsoever they want to mine and drill and sell at what price they deem fit. At first, they were creating jobs for the growing number of unemployed, they were producing food for the growing population and they were opening up new lands to developments, all these nonetheless were at a cost.
Not all improvements in the last 100 years has been altogether positive, the unveiling of the machine gun meant we could shot rounds quickly in lesser time and kill more people, the unveiling of the atomic bombs meant we could devastate a whole city in a matter of seconds. These and many more, the improvement in the overall standard and quality of the modern life is tentative. We made things easier, better and we made our environment deadlier. The Chernobyl nuclear- energy incident is a good example. The overall improvements in a all areas of our daily life as well as a higher standard of living was supposed to make us better, rather it only made us richer and increased in us the longing to get even more richer at the detriment of the environment and other living things.
Capitalism rules the world and the present situation shows that there is nowhere the line is drawn and there are no rules, this is one reason a person can make more than 10 billion dollars in a single day while millions of people wallow in poverty every day. Money and making money spins the world but we are so consumed about this that we have forgotten that all the money that are made and would be made ought to be for our benefit and not our burial. The global temperature of the planet is increasing at an alarming rate and the major cause we’ve traced is due to our activities — mainly industrial activities. These industries however are run by the government and very powerful people the world over and only a handful have really shown any concern to the pressing issues of global warming, to the rest of them it is business as usual. It is said that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is now. Trees are natural carbon absorbers from the environment, carbon gases in the atmosphere mostly account for an increase in global temperature, the felling of trees ought to subsequently be followed by the planting of new trees, this trend however is a recent one as we didn’t use the opportunity to plant a tree 20 years ago even though a whole lot of them were fell. The discovery of oil ought to be a blessing and not a curse but it seems the experts in the oil business have been missing one or two steps since its discovery; oil pollution, gas flaring is the norm in the modern world and this big corporations are more concerned about making more money. Oil pollution devastates both land and water, rendering them almost useless for anything. It also destroys wildlife in water as well as birds whose place of foraging are water bodies. Cleaning these wastes isn’t an easy task and thankfully better ways to do so are being improved upon, prevention however is better than cure. The wonderful plastics — the miracle of the 18th and 19th century is increasingly becoming a global threat to the environment and the problems are simply two: plastics are non — biodegradable and they are being discarded haphazardly into the environment. As simply as this is, it is a serious problem. Plastics in landfills make the soil unproductive, plastics in water ways can lead to erosion, while plastics in water bodies find their way into aquatic lives stomach and plastics are not edible.
We can conduct our businesses to whatsoever extent we want to without having to destroying the environment in our pursuit for riches. It cannot be business as usual when we destroy the very base of the business — the environment. It is time these big corporations whom the world seems to spin around begin to take responsibility and stand up for the environment. We cannot continue with an economy whereby oil is spilled and what we get is an official apology after lots of lives are lost. Indiscriminate felling of trees is gradually leading to desert encroachment, the release of harmful gases into the environment has intensified global warming, plastics indiscriminately dumped in the oceans and other water bodies are causing havoc and this big enchilada seems to be just fine with it as long as the cash is flowing in. They’ve got to stand up and fix things. They have the resources to do just that.
Sustainability is the future, once there is sustainable production and responsible consumption, then business can continue as usual. Sustainability in every sphere of the economy is very important at this crucial moment, without it we may not be able to bear the cataclysm that is coming due to climate change and global warming. When this happens, it would no longer be business as usual. Let us make hay now while the sun shines. Let the powers that be own up to their responsibilities. Together, we build a better world.
09 November 2020
#ClimateActionNow #PreserveLife #Chevron #Opec #StepUpGreen #Afforestation #ZeroHunger