Sea surface pH LevelsPlumbago

It’s hard to live in today’s world without hearing all about climate change. Rising CO2 emissions, rising ocean temperatures, and decreasing sea ice volumes are so often talked about that they have been rendered mundane. Though climate change is more relevant than ever, people are ignoring the increasing alarming data — the repetition of “climate change” has rendered it semantically saturated. Facts can be ignored by the masses but their impact, unfortunately, is being felt somewhere in the world. Though humans can turn a blind eye to the devastating effects of climate change by locking ourselves away, the reality remains that the world is changing.

Take marine animals, for example. Ocean acidification — a side effect of rising atmospheric CO2 levels — has been forecasted to destroy coral reefs and hinder the growth of any shelled organism, with unknown side effects affecting all marine animals. Mussels, clams, shellfish, crabs, corals, anything that requires a calcium shell for protection may lose the ability to grow a shell in the very near future. Not only the pH but the currents are also on the verge of a dramatic overhaul. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) which accounts for around 25% of the Earth’s heat flux could be potentially halted, leading to drastic weather pattern changes such as amplified storms, cooling of the entire Northern Hemisphere, and drying up of Asian monsoons. All these uncertain predictions are on the cards, yet one point is irrefutable: the climate is changing.

“One point is irrefutable, however: the climate is changing.”

Whether the changing climate is caused by human activity is still “debated”, but I’d like to argue that the answer doesn’t matter in the least. With whichever stance we ally ourselves, humans should not be so ungrateful as to turn the Earth into our personal dumping ground. Many of us would thank the cook for a meal, so why do we not thank the Earth for shelter, food, drink — everything? In the concrete garden we’ve built for ourselves it’s easy to ignore the nature that’s outside. So confined to our own existence that we’ve created an imagined world where water comes from a tap, not a lake, broccoli comes from the produce aisle, not the ground, meat comes from the freezer, not animals.

The reality could not be more different. We repay the lakes by drying it up, repay the ground with toxic garbage, and the animals with cruelty. One needs not care about environmentalism, climate change, or saving the Earth but find in us the humanity for respect. Let us respect the Earth like it deserves so that it can continue giving us life