climate change

ΑΠΟ: mmichalar - Μαρ• 14•16

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By Panagiotis Kalozoumis

The word “climate“ comes from the Greek word ‘κλίμα’. Ancient Greeks used this term to describe the stable and predictable weather conditions at a place over a long  period of time. The distinctive feature of climate is its stability. This has allowed people to plan ahead and develop their activities in the different places they live in. However, there are scientists who think that we might be forced to reconsider all of this very soon.

The Earth’s climate has been changing rapidly and unpredictably over the last decades because of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 has always been a constituent of the atmosphere. In normal levels, it helps in the creation and the maintenance of the necessary conditions for the existence of life on the Earth’s surface. So, who or what has changed it from a blessing to a curse?

The answer is the constant and increasing necessity of modern lifestyle for electricity. To produce energy, factories burn hydrocarbon. Its combustion releases huge amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere which is being transformed into a giant greenhouse. Global temperature is increasing, the ice in the poles is melting, the sea level is rising and some islands in the Pacific Ocean are already sinking. Many animal species lose their habitat and, because they cannot adapt to the new conditions, they become extinct. Around the planet, the weather phenomena become more intense: rain leads to floods, droughts last longer, heat waves burn entire forests and the seasons change, since the climate changes as well.

Poorer societies cannot deal with these phenomena and their everyday life worsens, instead of  improving. Children become malnourished and cut off from basic goods ,they abandon school and work hard to obtain food in a natural environment that constantly becomes more unpredictable and hostile because of climate change.

Last December, another United Nations Climate Change Conference was organised in Paris. Governments are called upon to act quickly in order to stop the causes that trigger off the changes of global climate and at the same time to help the communities that have already suffered from these changes. Scientists must find ways to produce energy that doesn’t increase the “greenhouse gases“ and politicians simply must apply them. Until then, all of us must learn to use only the energy we need,   cut down on unnecessary waste of natural resources and… basically we must look- in Balu’s words- for the bare necessities of life.