When googling climate change and global warming, I have come across variety of opinions, many presented in a form of belief. But how can it be said that one does not believe in global warming after seeing the news of various unusual disasters, such as floods, droughts, hurricanes and other climate changes, including the long-reported Arctic ice melting. Is it not obvious that things have come to a point where we can no longer predict the future severe weather conditions? Even according to my 83 years old grandfather, the summers have never been as hot and dry in Central Europe as they have become in the past decade or two. The planet’s atmosphere is changing and it is caused by the emissions of harmful CO2. And who is responsible? Humans.
Naomi Klein, the author of the bestseller This Changes Everything, is warning us about the catastrophic events that have already been caused by the climate change, and those that will only become reality if we do nothing. It is very easy to turn the head, just as she admits to have been doing for years herself. But living in denial won’t help us. ‘All we have to do is not react as if this is a full-blown crisis. All we have to do is keep on denying how frightened we actually are.’ (Klein, 2014, p. 4)
The emissions of CO2 that has been polluting the air and atmosphere profoundly and eagerly since the 1980s, precisely the time when governments were advised to reduce them, have caused the global warming. The Earth is getting hotter and by 2017 it may be too late to stop the heat going up by full 2ºC. But perhaps it’s the number that doesn’t seem scary enough for the people to actually rise against the system promoting the catastrophe while cashing up on every crisis. Perhaps people don’t realize what the global 2ºC rise in temperatures unleashes. ‘We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything. And we are right,’ says Klein. (Klein, 2014, p. 4) The rise in global temperature has already caused the ocean surface to move up and if the trend continues, there will be many islands and coastal areas looking out on complete drowning. Certain animal species will not be able to survive the warmth and will become extinct. Crops will die, thus producing shortage in food supply. The climate change is a crisis, as Klein says. And whenever there was a crisis declared, funds were created, money found, and the disaster avoided. Somehow budgets can always be found to support wars and suffering. But are this planet and inevitably our survival not important enough for governments to act?
Klein sees the unique opportunity for a large positive change in the climate threat. The research and personal experience has led her to the realization, that the only ones who ever benefit from mystifying this issue, such as the ones calling it a hoax on online media, are the ones who support capitalism. The current movement in the western world promotes riches for everyone, but the murky reality of global reports is showing us the ever-expanding gap between the rich and the poor: more for those who already have the wealth, and the ideological nonsense for the rest of us. But if we all collectively stand against the governments’ non-commitment decisions on global warming, we can make the difference.
Yet there will always be obstacles that we need to bare in mind. As Klein says: ‘…climate change can be a catalyst for a range of very different and far less desirable forms of social, political, and economic transformation. …over the past four decades corporate interests have systematically exploited these various forms of crisis to ram through policies to enrich a small elite – by lifting regulations, cutting social spending, and forcing large-scale privatisations of the public sphere.’ (Klein, 2014, p.8) And so, as Naomi Klein puts it, there is an ongoing battle between the capitalists and the human survival. ‘…the need for economic growth is used as the excuse for putting off climate action yet again, or for breaking emissions reductions commitments already made.’ (Klein, 2014, p.22)
The future really doesn’t seem very bright. Thinking of the current situation, the young people cannot afford either free higher education nor housing that wouldn’t require incredible mortgage. Everything is privatised without second thoughts, just to add to the corporative wealth and take away from the people who work for it. The solution to all our issues, including the saving of the Earth, involves overthrowing the current ruling system. Klein calls for the radical change and dramatic action in order to preserve civilisation: ‘a shift away from corporations and toward communities.’ (Klein, 2014, p.25) And since we have to transform, there is also a proposal on how to achieve that: ‘think big go deep, and move the ideological pole far away from the stifling market fundamentalism that has become the greatest enemy to planetary health. If we can shift the cultural context even a little, then there will be some breathing room for those sensible reformist policies that will at least get the atmospheric carbon numbers moving in the right direction.’ (Klein, 2014, p.26)