At least eight European countries, namely Latvia, Netherlands, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Germany, and Denmark, have experienced extreme temperatures in January alone. While scientists are still unable to point out a definitive cause-and-effect relationship behind such a sweltering month, the key presumption is that there was a mass of warm air that generated on the West Coast of Africa and gradually traveled to Europe.
A Need for Reformation
In a report published by Transport Environment, it was disclosed that around 1% of the people are responsible for up to 50% of global aviation emissions. This is because the rich consider it feasible to utilize their private jets whenever they deem fit to travel over shorter distances.
In such a case, where the wealthy refuse to take responsibility for their actions and fail to realize the consequence their decisions pose on the rest of the people, in the form of an external and therefore a social cost such as increased pollution, the higher spread of health-related diseases, and degraded air quality, I would like to share a few recommendations.
Jet companies should be encouraged to develop new technologies that reduce the consumption of kerosene and instead use hydrogen (it emits no greenhouse gas) or electricity as an alternative. Businesses and corporate tycoons should be fined hefty penalties if they seek to travel in a jet over a distance of at least less than 500 kilometers. The revenue collected from such activities can be redirected toward the development fund of new aviation technologies.
An Urgency to Encourage Inclusivity
The poignant reality is that while capitalism continues to be scot-free and is too unaccounted for, many developing and developed countries face the price. A recent example is the floods in Pakistan in June 2022, which wreaked immense havoc, displacing millions of people and causing infrastructural loss worth USD 30 billion.
One possible action to be taken in such a situation is to form an organization dedicated to tackling climate change. It can include one representative from every country and allocate a budget by seeking help from institutions such as the World Bank or the United Nations.
Such an organization will benefit from representing all global countries; concerns and recommendations will be given attention, and if necessary, all development expenditures incurred due to climate change disasters will be borne by it. In this way, a country that has already undergone the brunt of destruction won’t have to further push itself off a cliff by taking loans from perhaps the International Monetary Fund, which calls for hefty interest rates and other strings attached to it.
To Promote a Circular Lifestyle
The concept of traceability, which means locating the product’s origins, is an essential factor here. During the manufacturing process, all raw materials should be scrutinized, and their carbon footprint should be accounted for. Additionally, the durability of the materials should also be taken into account, and it must be seen whether the product will be able to last a few years or not.
Cloth production is one of the major pollutants in the world. While staying updated with the latest trends and fashion pieces may seem appealing, what takes precedence is identifying how large the impact is. If a garment can be worn for a few years and is still able to remain in good shape owing to its innovative production strategies, then less waste can be encouraged, and people may be willing to alter their lifestyles a little.
The Future is Dependent on Our Actions
There is no concrete way to combat climate change, but actions and recommendations do have a large-scale effect. Depending on our actions, the effect can be either a positive or a negative causal relationship. The Earth is witnessing what some may call the 7th greatest mass extinction; biodiversity loss is at its peak, glaciers are melting, and wildlife habitats are being destroyed to make way for plantations and factories.
Nature has served us for generations, but anthropogenic (man-made) actions are reducing its capability. If nothing is done, and the world doesn’t collaborate and cooperate by keeping differences aside, then we could all be setting up a recipe for disaster, which will showcase itself in the form of tremendous casualties, catastrophes, and loss of lives.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article/paper are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Paradigm Shift.