We are living in the 21st century, the world’s population is about 7.6 billion today, and it is expected to be 10 billion by 2050. Such a growing size is putting pressure on our ecology. Biodiversity and ecosystems are under stress. Our daily life and actions are not eco-friendly. Humans are destroying their future to fulfil their current unsustainable needs and ambitions. We are in the period of ‘Climate Crisis’.
It is said that we are moving towards the ‘Century Of Renewable Energy’ but our expanding urbanisation, industrialisation, agriculture and developmental activities are mostly dependent upon fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) for their energy needs. This, in turn, is causing the melting of polar ice, ocean acidification, coastal erosion, increasing global temperatures, floods, droughts, increasing sea level and depleting biodiversity.
Fossil fuels based energy, a fundamental driver of the Industrial Revolution, has played a dominant role in global energy systems. Fossil fuel production and consumption began with coal and its first reported use dates back to 4000BC, in China. In the nineteenth century, coal surpassed biomass in providing the largest share of the global energy supply and in the twentieth-century petroleum and natural gas overtook coal. Currently, crude oil is the largest fossil energy source, accounting for around 39 percent of fossil energy, followed by coal and natural gas at 33 and 28 percent, respectively.
The use of fossil energy sources has continued to grow, despite rapid growth in renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources are not replacing fossil fuels but are rather expanding the overall amount of energy that is produced. This is the reason for increasing GHG emissions and ‘climate havoc’. We are under the grip of global ‘Climate Emergency’ and moving towards an irreversible phase of ‘Climate Crisis’.
This year alone, Greenland has lost enough ice to raise the average global sea level by more than a millimetre. The UN Climate Action Summit 2019 revealed that, as ice sheets and glaciers melt, the rapid sea-level rise could affect one billion people by 2050.
We cannot change our past but can change our future. We have two primary choices at present: either to accept the conditions as they exist and wait for the end of the future or accept the responsibility to ‘Change Climate Change’ for the sake of a livable, better and more sustainable future. It is upon us i.e. current generation, to choose a future, for better or worse. If we want to cherish every precious moment on earth, then we must take urgent ‘climate action’ for a ‘sustainable future’. If we want to keep global average temperature increase below our 2°C target, then we will have to leave the majority (up to 80 percent) of our fossil fuels in the ground and increase global forest cover equal to the land area of Canada (10 million km2), by the year 2050.
So, all humans should do their best and surrender the worst for their future’s best.