I don’t mean the one you set to fall back because of DST, although there seems to be as much fuss in the media over DST as over protecting our climate future. I mean the clock that is worrying COP27 attendees and Earth’s youth modeled by Greta Thunberg. Countries made reasonable pledges at COP26 to stop Earth from warming more than 1.5 degrees as a goal with 2 degrees as a maximum to keep this planet livable. Unfortunately, very few countries have achieved their goals. Our own US has been heating 68% faster than the average world-wide increase.
Unfortunately, nighttime temperature has been rising faster than that of daytime. This means less respite for those who do not have AC. In general, the heating of the climate does not affect everyone equitably. In particular, increasing energy costs for heating and cooling impact lower income families most. Further, corporations tend to plant their most polluting factories in low-income areas. Worldwide, the wealthier countries contribute most of the pollution, while poorer nations take the brunt of the consequences.
To the credit of our government is the plan to help native American tribes whose habitats are threatened by paying some of the cost to relocate to higher ground. This doesn’t cool the climate furnace, but is a bone to help those most affected. To the credit of some super wealthy a few are using their fortunes to try to make a difference. Michael Bloomberg is launching an effort to phase out coal in 25 countries.
Regarding individual human contributions to Earth’s fever, transportation tops the list with flying the worst. Fortunately, some airlines are working to offset the pollution. Commuting to work is second. The number of electric cars is increasing, and California is requiring Lyft, Uber, and taxi vehicles to be electric by 2035, more than a decade away.
The temperature of the top mile of our oceans has increased to a point that it’s expected to continue increasing through 2100 on its own. Since our oceans have been absorbing the excess heat for decades, it’s not surprising.
Climatologists have been saying—now screaming— that we’re running out of time. The public has finally recognized how desperate is the need to contain climate change, but it won’t happen by wishful thinking. Individuals must take steps to reduce carbon footprints and urge their government representatives to get on board.