This time it’s different….

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As you may already know, immense portions of Australia are on fire. It’s no coincidence that 2018 happened to be the driest and hottest year on record for Australia. In a recent BBC article, Professor Richard Betts from Met Office Hadley Center stated that we’re “seeing a sign of what would be normal conditions under a future warming world of 3C.”

In fact, to say “change is coming” is a bit of an understatement, because for many, that “change” is already here.

As terrifying as it sounds, massive infernos like this one may become commonplace on other continents in the coming years. Yet most of the world’s most powerful governments continue to deny the problem, let alone address it. Countless conspiracy theories are spreading even faster than the fires themselves, mainly efforts to deny the role of climate change, while too many world leaders continue to party like it’s still 1999.  

Indeed, the initial effects of climate change are knocking on our door. The owners of the house hear the knock, but they refuse to answer, knowing there’s an inconvenient reality on the other side. They’ve been ignoring the knock for years now, even though its getting louder and louder.

For decades, fossil fuel lobby groups have invested millions of dollars spreading misinformation about the role of human activities on the climate. Their efforts have been fruitful, especially in recent times with the election of leaders in bed with industry magnates.

But last year something changed.

Young people rallied in major cities around the world, in record numbers, to protest the complacency of the current leadership. Greta Thunberg may have helped spur the movement, but her voice was just the match in a gas filled room. Those fed up with denial and inaction on the climate crisis filled the streets, garnering enough media attention to turn heads and get people talking throughout the globe.

Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP

Those young enough, and informed enough, to fear for their own futures, are now old enough to take a stand.

Whether or not it’s too late to save the planet, and ourselves, remains to be seen. The warning signs keep getting more ominous. But this time the owners of the house can hide all they want, because the kids will soon be running the show, and they’re not afraid to open the door, and listen to whoever’s been knocking.   

And more things are happening.

Renewable energy prices are dropping, relying less and less on subsidies to compete with traditional energy sources, and more and more people are turning their backs on companies that poison the planet. Diets are also shifting, with increasing awareness of the hidden cost meat has on the environment, with record numbers vowing to reduce or ditch meat entirely in 2020.

Whether or not it’s too late to save the planet, and ourselves, remains to be seen. The warning signs keep getting more ominous. But this time the owners of the house can hide all they want, because the kids will soon be running the show, and they’re not afraid to open the door and confront reality.   

Courtesy: Robert Montalvo
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Roberto Guerra

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