Aadi Shiv Malhotra (‘21)
If there is one thing people can do, it is change. Change is necessary to keep up with the world, change is also necessary for the world to keep up with us. We have been steadily polluting the world since the Industrial Revolution, but have not ever to think, why are we polluting the world? In 2018, with rapid forms of communication, people are aware and want change soon. Government are talking about their long-term plans to stop climate change. However, a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that now is the time for countries to take ‘unprecedented’ actions to cut carbon emissions.
The report by the IPCC is just another sign to the world that we must speed up the actions our governments pledged to take in Paris Agreement.. The historic Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, has a strict goal of limiting global warming to 2℃ (3.7℉℃) and ambitions of having a stricter limit of 1.4℃ (2.7℃). This report contains information from more than 6000 scientific publications, had 133 scientific contributors, and had more than 1,000 scientists review it.
The report asks for significant change. Staying at or below 1.5°C requires slashing global greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. This requires immense steps taken by the governments of the world. Doing this will require immense steps taken in transportation; in land, energy and building infrastructure; and in industrial systems. Furthermore, to achieve this goal, we must cut our carbon emissions by a third and increase the availability of modern technologies which help clean the air. Keep in mind that all of this needs to happen in 12 years.
These actions are needed to be taken by world leaders, not only to ensure the safety and well-being of our generation, but also future generations to come. However, what can an individual do? A person can advocate for what they believe. Write letters, email your representatives, attend important events regarding climate change, and most importantly make your voice heard. Activism, campaigning to bring about political or social change, has been leveraged as a successful tool by the public in the past and will be continued to. A person can also be conscious about their everyday tasks, being conscious about the carbon footprint they are leaving behind. Going to a local shop or library, don’t drive a car just bike or walk. Small actions like these may not seem like a lot, but if enough people do these small actions they can have a big change on the world. As Mahatma Gandhi once said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.