by Xavier Kataquapit
When we read the latest headlines in the world today we are constantly bombarded by news events we feel that we have no control over. There is the ever present talk of war and the threat of nuclear weapons being used which could turn our world into a wasteland of radiation. The economy seems to be forever on the edge of failing. There is the worry that aliens may be landing on our doorstep to start an invasion. Now we worry Artificial Intelligence is on the verge of overtaking our world and making us obsolete. It seems like corporate greed is eroding any sense of safety, sharing and community which has led to a widening wealth gap.
Most of these problems are man made and human controlled. We can choose not to fight war and instead negotiate peace. We can choose not to push the button that will launch those nuclear weapons. The economy, wealth gap and cost of living can be dealt with by getting everyone to work together to share our global economy more equitably. If we work cooperatively Artificial Intelligence and new technologies could be used to help us deal with our global problems. Alien invasion won’t be happening any time soon as so far it seems we are alone in the universe. Our focus should be on the fact that global climate crisis is real, happening now and we should be making this our number one priority.
The signs, the science and the research is all there for everyone to see and understand. According to straight forward facts provided by NASA scientists and researchers there are several signs that human activity is changing our global climate. On average global temperatures have risen over the past hundred years. Ocean temperatures are increasing while sea levels are rising. Ice sheets and glaciers all over the globe are shrinking and snow cover is decreasing with every passing year. Fossil fuel burning is the number one culprit in climate change. Over half of the the reason for the climate crisis is due to the toxic gas release by industry and transportation.
Famous researchers and environmentalists such as David Attenborough have presented many documentaries that show how much of a negative impact we have created. We have made such a mark on our world to the point that if archaeologists dig up our section of history in the rocks hundreds or thousands of years from now, they’ll notice how our weather suddenly changed in a matter of a hundred years, how we spread so much foreign and sometimes toxic material all over the world and how the number and variety of animals everywhere suddenly disappeared.
The climate crisis took a little over a hundred years for us to create and according to the research presented by leading scientists, it will take hundreds of years to restore our world to a more healthy reality. We are no longer capable of stopping the crisis. If we act now we are only able to lessen the blow while understanding that it will take several lifetimes to bring things back under control.
My big life lesson of respecting the land and Mother Earth was instilled to my generation by my parents, grandparents and Elders who were born and raised in the wilderness of the James Bay coast. They taught us from an early age that life is a very short experience and that everything we do here and now is only temporary and that we should act humbly and carefully on our life journey. They showed us not to take any more than what we needed and never to waste what we had. They encouraged us to take care of everything in order to leave behind a healthy vibrant and life giving world for the benefit and survival of future generations. Right now my people in the north see the direct results of global warming. My family has been involved in winter ice road construction for years and I have seen the window for producing and maintaining this road shorten by months over the past few decades.
So let’s not be distracted by the daily panic news as the biggest danger to our long term survival is the climate crisis. We need to keep up the pressure on our political and corporate leaders to follow up on the commitments made in climate change agreements and to move more quickly to put in place real solutions to keep us from the brink of disaster. Some of the things we can do include keeping fossil fuels in the ground and reduce their use, invest in renewable energy, restore nature to absorb more carbon, protect the oceans and forests and reduce the use of plastic and our consumption in general. So get politically active if you can and do your best to vote in parties and leaders that take climate change seriously. Our world is hanging in the balance.