What is the international day of climate action about?
Today is the International day for climate action, this day was celebrated the first time in 2009. It was organized by the NGO 350.org in order to influence delegates that were going to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change. In fact, the International Day of Climate Action was one of the first actions that they organized, linking activists and organizations around the world. The NGO was founded in 2008 by a group of university friends in the US and “quickly became a planet-wide collaboration of organizers, community groups and regular people fighting for a fossil free future.”(350.org history).
Previous years, on this day, environmental activists and organizations organize events, demonstrations and activities to create awareness on the climate change issue. Climate change is defined by the National Geographic Encyclopedia as “a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. Often climate change refers specifically to the rise in global temperatures from the mid-20th century to present”
On a day like today, it is fundamental to refresh what the causes of global warming are, and what we can do as individuals to fight climate change. It has been proven that climate change is largely caused by human activity. Deniers argue that historically the Planet has naturally transitioned from colder to warmer climate cyclically but, what they forget to mention, is that the transition should take hundreds of thousands of years, we shouldn’t be able to perceive it. Instead, burning fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and coal releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, these gases trap the heat from the sun’s rays inside the atmosphere, causing the global temperature to rise at a very fast rate.
Too often, climate change is used by politicians for their agendas, recently it has been one of the hot topics discussed in the US presidential debate, but most politicians to this date have not taken any real or effective measures to stop global warming. They seem oblivious to the fact that climate change is real and it is a global threat. It is so undeniable that experts also refer to the issue as the climate crisis. But the matter of fact is that the fossil fuel industry is economically powerful, and has historically used lobbies to push regulations in their favor.
Climate change can not be seen as an isolated fight, it is a social justice issue that not only affects the environment but also people all around the world, specially in less developed countries. The rise of temperatures will desertify areas of the planet that used to be fertile, the melting of the poles will raise the levels of the oceans and flood populated zones, causing new migration movements in search of inhabitable land. But not only that, scientists have also linked natural disasters, that are weather related, like hurricanes and storms to the shift of climate patterns, affecting most areas of our planet.
Are we still on time to mitigate climate change? The time is now!