For the planet to survive, lifestyles must change

    Sunday, 15 September 2019
    Wearing face masks to prevent disease and counter pollution is common in many Asian countries. Credit: Needpix.

    About ten to fifteen years ago, scientists and environmentalists thought that disbelief in global warming, whether it was denial or ignorance, was a huge threat to the planet. Tragically enough, however, today, such disbelief no longer matters because climate change itself is threatening our very existence.

    Effects of global warming

    Statistics show that it is now widely agreed that the biggest and most immediate issue we face as a planet is climate change. It is no longer a question of, “Hey, do you believe in global warming?” because, hey, we’re suffering the effects of global warming. The deadliest of earthquakes, floods and tsunamis have swept people homes away in recent years, including, for example, the Tokai earthquake and tsunami in Japan. If people still aren’t alarmed and prepared to change their lifestyle to protect the environment, then the collective ignorance of the human race will result in extinction.

    Future generations

    Future generations will face the inevitable decline and collapse of the planet if things do not change. With glaciers melting and global water levels rising, increases in the global temperature should be our biggest concern. Hearing, for example, about Chinese people wearing masks whenever they leave their homes, is frankly, terrifying. What matter more than clean air to breathe in?

    The problem here, however major, could be handled a lot better. With educated minds and the will to change one’s lifestyle for the greater good of the planet, we can delay the extreme dangers we currently face.

    It is understandable that people have a hard time believing science and its predictions, and it is also understandable why it is so easy for people to simply go on living their lives unchanged, while millions of others suffer because of the activities of some corporations.

    Re-evaluating religion

    In some cases, religious ideas seem to justify these catastrophes; they are either accepted as “fate” or simple punishment for “those who deserve it”. This is not to bash anyone’s personal beliefs but if yours get in the way of helping a cause much greater than your own, much greater than any of us, then it probably needs some reevaluation. If children in schools and adults on social media were educated on these matters with the same sense of urgency we educate them on other important issues, the situation would be improved.

    Little steps will make a difference.

    Mahrukh Inayat Mirza