Record heat. Devastating floods. Raging wildfires fueled by drought. You don’t need to be a scientist to see that climate change is real and is impacting our daily lives. No where is this made clearer than in the recently released report from the UN on Climate Change, which concluded that “humans are “unequivocally” to blame.” The report chronicled that owing to humans, the world has warmed by more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently reported that July was the hottest month on record… ever.
The report points to a direct link between greenhouse gas emissions and the extreme weather events which have dominated the news… the heat wave in Canada, fires in California, floods in Germany, droughts in central Brazil, floods in China… It is very clear that climate extremes are taking a very heavy toll.
Three decades have passed since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its first report. During that time, annual global emissions have nearly doubled, and the amount of carbon in the atmosphere put there by humans has more than doubled. The IPCC, which considered more than 14,000 scientific studies, paints a foreboding picture if specific action is not taken, quickly.
What is next? That is up to us. We can bury our collective heads and toes in the sand, and what is hot today will only be hotter tomorrow. Children born today will live well into the next century – and what will be left for them? It is time to hold companies and brands accountable for their actions, and support those who make responsible choices. It is up to us to understand and limit our environmental impact as much as possible, and spend time outside in nature to remember what is at risk.