We are now in a global crisis. The crisis is just beginning, although the causes of the crisis have been building up for decades. At first, the changes were almost imperceptible. Recently, more dramatic changes have been noted. Melting of galciers, ice caps, land ice. Rapidly rising ocean temperatures. Rising sea levels. Extreme weather events. Drought.
These phenomenon are not just signs of climate change. They are the signs of a crisis. Because climate change has led us to a global crisis, that goes well beyond climate change, into every aspect of human life on Earth.
Our global crisis is not just environmental. It is economic, because the world economy is going to be affected by it. lt is social, because billions of people will be affected by it. It is political, because to solve the crisis, nations are going to have to compromise on an agreement to limit emissions at a time when the global geopolitical situation seems to be getting worse every day, driving nations apart when they should be coming together to work to solve climate change.
Most crises are made worse because enough people deny there is a crisis, early on. And then, when the crisis comes, not enough action had been taken early, to try to stop the crisis before it could become deadly serious. This is how it was with the crises of the first two world wars, and that is how it is now, with climate change. The world recently commemorated the 100th year anniversary of the start of the First World War. That crisis erupted, out of the blue, many thought, because the situation in Europe was more precarious than people thought. They went into denial. And then, when war came, they could not believe such a horrible thing could happen to them. Because Europe had been in such a relatively peaceful and stable state until 100 years ago, and the events that were occurring before the outbreak of war did not on the surface seem to be so terrible. But there had been signs of an imminent crisis. And then, when the crisis finally came, sparked by one event, World War I began and one of the greatest horrors humanity has ever known unfolded in that war. Climate change, if not address soon, may also become a horror, a catastrophe, over time, and it has the potential to become a far greater catastrophe than both of the two world wars combined.