What to do if we go towards mass extinction

“Nature does nothing for man”

Antropocene and climate change

The history of the term Anthropocene it’s old as the story of the Second Industrial Revolution. It (it was called anthropozoic) was coined in 1873 by geologist Antonio Stoppani, to indicate the new fact that the increasing human activity on the planet represented – and still represents – an insidious telluric force, of which we obviously lost control.

After several revisions, the term was spread in the early 2000s by the Nobel Prize for Chemistry Paul Crutzen.

This new period of Earth’s existence would follow the Holocene, which is an epoch lasting 11,700 years since the end of the last ice age. Although the category is not yet universally accepted by the scientific community, it is no longer possible to deny that the changes imposed on the environment by human activities are so rapid and intense that they speed up all the timescales at which natural geological phenomena normally occur.

Before the global catastrophe of the Covid-19 pandemic, while Greta Thunberg was giving her speech at the United Nations during the Climate Action Summit 2019, a letter titled No Climate Emergency reached the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The report does not mention any scientific studies on climate, it merely states that current analytical models are imperfect, that C02 is not a pollutant but allows plants to grow, and that the scientific community must also consider economic and not just scientific issues.

Environmental disasters

It seems impossible to imagine that after being swept away by a global pandemic and the many extreme weather events that have repeatedly hit every part of the globe for years, there are still many climate change deniers.

The earth has been on fire since 2017: the headlines of newspapers and online newspapers – especially during the summer –  are alarmed and tell about fires around the world, bouncing from Canada to Australia, from Scandinavia to South Africa.
July 2021 opened with 719 deaths from the atrocious heat and more than 130 fires in the province of Western Canada and closed with more than 1,500 displaced in Sardinia due to the fires in the area of Montiferru.

From the WWF they document this way: “Frequency, extent and intensity of fires have increased enormously in the last century. The fire season is becoming more extreme and longer, by 15% in the last 50 years, fuelled by long periods of extreme heat and little rain.”

While Germany was worried about the possible summer drought in 2020, it had to deal with an unprecedented flood in 2021: more than 150 dead and more than 600 injured.

A tragedy that sees part of its drama in the anthropic cause: the river India, which has flooded all over the surrounding housing area, was diverted in 2005 to facilitate coal mining.

Moreover, more and more often, especially but not only in the Po plain, we see large quantities of rainwater falling in a very short time; large hail grains and wind gusts affect large expanses of crops, beaches and pre-Alpine areas.
To record the schizophrenia of the system, in contrast to this phenomenon, we see peaks of desert temperatures throughout Italy, such as those recorded during the current summer: only for media echo we remember the 48. 8 °C in Syracuse on August 11.In the last twenty years, the probability of extreme climatic events in Italy has increased by 9% and at the same time in the not-too-distant future there will be a decrease in the amount of renewable surface and underground water resources.

Why we can’t wait

Some structural changes on the planet such as rising sea levels are no longer reversible: This is the sixth report of the IPCC, the ONU’s intergovernmental group on climate change. The last document dated back to 2014 and had led to the 2015 COP, forcing global players to sanction 1. 5°-2° as the last possible degree of increase for the atmosphere from pre-industrial levels.

Since then, as mentioned above, things have gotten worse. Scientist say that for Earth not all is lost because life could still recover by evolving new species and creating/adapting new ecosystems. For the human species the damage is irreversible. To put it with Leopardi, Nature does nothing in sight and for man, but it is always intended by something else.

According to this report, however, over the next 20 years the temperature will rise by 1. 5 degrees, and then we will only be able to keep it that way. While Venice will surely end up underwater, very few countries have presented new plans against climate change in view of the COP 26 in Glasgow next November.

It’s time to give the voice to young people: from the 28 to the 30 September 2021, the United Nations organised a Youth Camp to prepare for the Scottish Days.

During the event, almost 400 young people (2 per country) from 197 member countries of the UNFCCC (United Nations Convention on Climate Change) will meet to develop concrete proposals on the most pressing issues related to the climate agenda and the COP26 negotiations.

The first two days will be dedicated to working groups, while on the last day there will be a debate and direct dialogue between young delegates and ministers attending the Pre-COP26.

In addition to the ONU’s event, there are other campsites coordinated on the same days for and by youth movements from Italy and all over the world, such as Fridays For Future Milano and Extintion Rebellion Italia, gathered under the great call of the Climate Justice platform.

If we can no longer reverse course, at least we can or rather we must slow it down and divert it, modify it, transform it and make it lighter: for us, for the environment and for the animals.

2021 it is and will be a crucial year: The Glasgow agreements must mark a point of no return in the management of the planet’s resources in order to keep the rise in temperatures between 1. 5 and 2 degrees Celsius. If we continue like this, at best by the end of the century they will have increased by 5. 7%. It is time to act. There’s no more time.

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