It is Time to Reflect on 2020
As we approach the end of 2020, a year full of difficulties for many, it is critical for us to reflect on this past year and how we got here, to learn for the future. The Environmental Health News recently put out an article by climate journalist Peter Dykstra calling us all to reflect on our society’s inability to take action to prevent and prepare for a pandemic that many scientists predicted and warned us about. He gave the example of the 1994 book The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett that warned of the potential economic and social consequences of an imminent pandemic. Garrett was not the only one who warned us of a pandemic. Many other journalists and health officials warned society and government officials to prepare for a pandemic, yet our inability to listen to these professionals and take the necessary preparatory steps is visible in the number of people negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Consequences of Climate Change will be Unrecoverable
The impacts of the pandemic have been widespread and deadly, affecting everyone. When we examine the potential effects of climate change, the consequences are unrecoverable for our planet. Dykstra compares the consequences of the pandemic and climate change: “the wrath of climate change could span decades, or even centuries. It won’t have the immediacy of shutting down the school year, or postponing the Masters, but it will hurt much more, and for much, much longer” (Dykstra). The effects of climate change might not have dramatic impacts on all of our lives every day today, but the effects of climate change, in the long run, will be severe. That being said, our planet is giving us urgent warnings of the need to address climate change, and now we need to listen to these warnings and implement change that will help us thrive in the future.
The Planet is Warning us through Changing Temperatures
As we near the end of 2020, nature’s changing climate is a clear warning signal that we need to take dramatic action to protect the future of our planet. As laid out in the Scientific American Article 2020 Will Rival 2016 for Hottest Year on Record 2020 could potentially be the hottest year on record. It is important to take into consideration that 2016 had a major storm, El Niño, which was a primary factor in the high average temperatures. 2020 didn’t have a major storm catalyst such as El Niño to point to as an explanation for the increasing temperatures. This is because the cause of the changing global temperatures is climate change.
Siberia is Breaking New Climate Records – How different Locations are impacted by Climate Change in Different Ways
Different climates across the globe have been impacted in different ways due to climate change. The article specifically gave the example of Siberia, which has been a hotspot for changing temperatures in 2020, “at one point the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk reported 100.4 degrees F. If this figure is verified by the World Meteorological Organization, it would be the first time recorded temperatures above the Arctic Circle have surpassed 100 degrees F” (Thompson). The planet is giving us warning cries in the form of changing temperatures. We are being alerted of the harms of climate change, and the potential destruction that will be done if we are not careful and do not change ways.
How can we listen to The Planet’s Warnings and Enact Change
It is likely that if you are taking the time to read this blog post, you have listened to the planet’s warning signs, and you are aware of the dangers of climate change. Earth’s changing climate, dying species, and burning forests can be very scary, and although fear can enact change, it is important to hold on to hope and focus ourselves towards creative solutions. There are ways we can improve our planet through the use of renewable energy sources and the decarbonization of the atmosphere. The Center for Community Energy advocates for the acceleration of sustainable local energy to help San Diego and California towards our mission of using sustainable energy and decarbonizing our atmosphere.
Please consider joining us on our journey to help San Diego towards a greener future.