Will Trump destroy this planet

How could it possibly come this far? Explain climate change without despair

As a climate activist, you have certainly met people with whom it is difficult to discuss. In this article, we'll show you the simple arguments you can use to counter the claims of climate deniers.
 

By Carmen Huidrobro and Belén Hinojar

We are facing a climate catastrophe. Even so, there are still people who do not realize this, and if you have ever met one of them, they must have questioned every one of your statements. This has happened to us far too often and that's why we wrote this blog post: To give you arguments with which you are prepared for any conversation about the climate - even with the most difficult conversation partners.

Climate change is actually man-made

“I am not denying that climate change exists. But I am sure that the climate will recover on its own. "
 
Former US President Donald Trump himself said this sentence. And yes, our planet has of course experienced climatic fluctuations throughout history that "came on their own", but that doesn't mean the ones we are experiencing now (global temperature has risen 1.1ºC since 1880), too is.

Global temperature change | Source: Ed Hawkins, climate scientist (University of Reading) | CC BY 4.0 During the Industrial Revolution, people started burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas ...) to generate energy, increasing exponentially the amount of gases emitted into the atmosphere. These gases, such as CO2, are known as greenhouse gases and there is a direct correlation between their emission and the rise in temperature, as can be easily seen by comparing the two following graphs:

Annual CO₂ Emissions | Source: Our World in Data, an organization that publishes online that presents data and empirical research that shows changing living conditions around the world. It was developed by the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University. All information and publications are freely accessible and Creative Commons licensed.

We know very well where these emissions come from

So there is no doubt about what is happening and how we got there. Despite the switch to renewable energy sources (which is slow but steady), the energy base of our economic model has not fundamentally changed, which is why greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. At the same time, natural spaces that have kept the planet in balance because they absorb part of the emitted CO2 are being destroyed.

global emission of greenhouse gases divided into sectors | Source: Our World in Data As the graphic above shows, almost three quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the consumption of energy. Energy consumption in industry, in the transport of people and goods, especially in road traffic, as well as the energy that we use in the form of heating, air conditioning and electricity for our buildings make up the largest share of this. On the other hand, the food industry (based on intensive agriculture and animal husbandry) not only pollutes the environment with emissions, as shown in the graphic, but is also largely responsible for the destruction of nature due to its large land use (Our World In Data, 2021). In order to be able to reverse the current development, it is essential to reform these sectors and to put our economic model on a more sustainable basis overall. If you feel like it, you can read more about these industries here.

It's time to act!

Many people, seeing how complicated this situation is, get discouraged by it and think that there is no point in getting involved with the climate. But they are wrong! Environmental activism is very important when it comes to raising awareness and getting governments to act. For example, when the law on climate change was passed in Spain: Various environmental organizations jointly demanded more resolute climate protection measures from the government. In the words of the NGO Ecologistas en Acción: “This law is an important step forward”, but “the commitments agreed are clearly insufficient” (Javier Andaluz, Head of Climate and Energy, Ecologistas en Acción, for EFE Verde).
 
We hope that reading this article will prepare you for future discussions. If you want to know whether the governments are doing enough against the climate crisis, then read the article by Matilde and Diogo, our colleagues from Portugal!

WHAT'S “BLOG, ENGAGE, ACT!” ABOUT?

Almost six years have passed since the Paris Agreement, more than two since Greta Thunberg first went on strike for the climate. Where are we today What have governments done? Are the strategies the right ones or do much more fundamental changes have to be made? The first season of is dedicated to science and the idea of ​​green capitalism, to the justice system and other social strugglesBlog, Engage, Act! the state of play in the climate crisis and asks whether the climate justice movements are getting closer to their goals.

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