Heatwaves, Earth Overshoot Day and 18 months to save the world
by Abi Aldridge
What's Going On Here?
It’s getting difficult for even the strongest sceptics to deny that the planet is in serious trouble. Global temperatures have reached record highs, Earth Overshoot Day is set to fall 3 days earlier than last year and experts have said we have just 18 months to save the planet.
What Does This Mean?
This week, it was announced that Earth Overshoot Day will fall on Monday 29 July - the earliest it’s ever been. This day marks the point at which we’ve used a year’s worth of resources; meaning that in 2019 the world’s population has used a year’s worth of carbon, crops, food, water and forests in just seven months. I wrote a piece on Earth Overshoot Day last year for any of you keen beans who want to know more.
In the same week, experts have warned that we only have 18 months to save the world - what?! This stems from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations which state we must cut global carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. Experts are now warning that the political steps needed to enable those carbon cuts have to happen before the end of 2020. With a new Prime Minister, cabinet and Brexit to deal with; we wonder how much of a priority the climate crisis is to the UK government?
Why Should We Care?
You’re probably reading this whilst drinking your morning coffee and bracing yourself for the heat today. Temperatures have reached record highs this week in Belgium and the Netherlands, and could reach 39C in London today (which will be the hottest on record). It’s no longer a case of ‘the climate crisis will impact future generations’; it’s happening and it’s impacting us now. In 2003, a heatwave like this hit Europe and killed 20,000 people (this week’s temperatures could exceed those in 2003!)
It’s all connected. While Earth Overshoot Day is demonstrating that we’re consuming far too much, these heatwaves are showing us just how real (and terrifying!) the climate crisis is, and how urgently we need to take action.
This news can easily get you down but we don’t want everyone to panic - especially in this weather.
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