“Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. And experts see the trend is accelerating: All but one of the 16 hottest years in NASA’s 134-year record have occurred since 2000.”
Scientists have estimated that when the ice age ended, it took five centuries for the Earth’s surface has to rise from four to seven degrees Celsius. But in the past century, the surface has risen by 1°C since , which is roughly eight times faster than the ice-age-recovery warming on average
It surely made sense in warm countries like Bangladesh, it kept on getting hotter by the year. Numbers showed that 17 of the 18 warmest years on record occurred in the 21st century. But most counties argued, if it is indeed getting warmer, then why are extreme cold events being reported all over the world?
So to make them understand, the name was changed to climate change. With this rebranding of the phenomenon, people started noticing changes in weather patterns and started conversations on who did what. Then came in numbers like Bangladesh being the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change. Winters got smaller. Decembers poured with rainfall.
But living in Dhaka, the changes that we read about get pushed aside, the reports about gloom and doom are left to the world leaders to figure out with their protocols, their agreements and their development goals.
Our capacity to care about the urgency of climate change has its limits when our livelihoods are not affected by it catastrophically on a daily basis. We can’t truly quantify the impact of climate change, so we read a headline and scroll down on social media and forget it till the next article.
See, it’s only human nature to have a limited capacity of caring.
For example, a study in 1992 was conducted where different groups of people were asked how much they would spend to save a flock of endangered birds from the effects of an oil spill. The different groups were given three numbers of groups of birds: 2,000, 20,000, and 200,000. All three groups indicated that they would not spend more than a hundred dollars to save those birds.
Our capacity to do more is limited when we do not understand the gravity of the situation. For us to understand an impact, we need to be in the crux of it.
And like you, and most people, I am a climate change denier. But it’s not the kind of denial you’re thinking about. I know the facts, I can see the changes happening, but I don’t believe it endangers me in the immediate future.
But the reality is that the dire effects of climate change is happening right now, causing catastrophic effects and affecting people’s livelihoods in our own country.
In 2018, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sent out an emergency message, telling the world that we need to slow down the warming levels of the atmosphere.
But as an individual, how can we slow down the planet’s temperature?
The good news is that our generation is the best at getting news through if we cared the least bit about it. When we care about something, we spread it like wildfire, we communicate it to the most remote parts of the world. The better news is that the youth in Bangladesh have a strong understanding in ecoliteracy about climate change, and all we have to do now is communicate with each other. On an individual level, we need to come up with ways to tell each other how to reduce our carbon footprint. Figure out ways to make the air cleaner. How to transform to a zero waste community. How to ban single use plastic use. How to make better purchases, or purchases at all. How to use resources that we already have and avoid overuse of resources. We need to figure out how to switch to renewable energy sources and how to walk and cycle when we can. We need to actively put ourselves into this conversation and make sure that the technology we are so obsessed with finally makes history by cooling down the earth’s surface.
We need to understand the most common word that nobody understands and stop being a climate change denier.