The musician Meatloaf tweeted recently that he didn’t believe in climate change and that Greta Thunberg was brainwashed. The truth is that it’s not about Meatloaf, it’s not about Greta, it’s not about you or me. The proverbial “It” is the bigger picture, which is the truth that many people such as Meatloaf close their eyes to — and then they choose to condemn those who see and share the truth.
It’s not about Meatloaf.
It’s not about me.
It’s not about what some people call me.
It’s not about left or right.
It’s all about scientific facts.
And that we’re not aware of the situation.
Unless we start to focus everything on this, our targets will soon be out of reach. https://t.co/UwyoSnLiK2
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) January 6, 2020
The truth is that Australia is burning. There are massive amounts of pollution in the air. Our planet isn’t dying as some would think, but it’s actually fighting back, and unless we don’t stop the damage that we are causing to this planet, one out of two things could happen: The planet could eventually die, or we could.
You see, this is what happens when someone is fighting cancer. Cancer lives off its host until the host dies or until the cancer dies. We are acting in the manner of mindless cancer cells on this planet, but unlike cancer, we have the intelligence to see our actions and stop. Many just choose not to.
We are killing this planet. Maybe not intentionally, but our actions are. Let me break it down for those who may get offended at the previous statement by creating a scenario, but the point is that our actions have a reaction. We are doing destructive things on this planet and this planet is reacting. It’s reacting as if we are cancer.
We can not underestimate the devastating ecological impact of the #AustraliaFires. 6 million hectares have burned, an area inhabited by 500 millions animals, many endangered. The climate crisis is transforming Australia forever. #AustraliaBurns https://t.co/c4cVlKNktq
— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) January 4, 2020
Let’s look at the fires in Australia
Record-shattering heat and strong winds are escalating these fires. I was stunned when I looked at the map I shared the other day of the fires and saw that islands were on fire. The smoke from these fires is creating pyroCb clouds and can create what is known as a fire tornado. It’s like Sharknado but with flames instead of sharks.
2019 was the hottest and driest year on record for Australia, and December was one of the top two hottest months that have ever been recorded. These extreme heat conditions coupled with high winds create a situation that is just waiting to ignite — well, not anymore since it’s now engulfed.
What causes these fires? We don’t know what exactly kicked off the fires, but hotter and drier conditions that are a result of climate change are making them longer and more devastating. When it comes to climate, it’s easy to see that Australia’s is definitely changing. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has shown that temperatures have risen by more than one degree Celsius in the last 100 years — since 1920. Much of this increase has taken place since 1950.
India’s air pollution
Fires aren’t the only thing this planet is fighting back. One of the main causes of air pollution in India is the distributed burning of fuels and biomass. It has created an almost permanent haze around rural and urban India, and even satellite photos show it. Many families use a type of stove called a challah — over 100 million Indian households to be precise — and they are often used daily. One report by the World Health Organization claimed that 300,000 to 400,000 people die of indoor air pollution thanks to the use of these challahs.
Another cause of air pollution in India is traffic congestion. Air pollution’s effect on the overall health of people breathing in these toxic fumes is deadly. Asthma, which I have had since I was 14 (it almost killed me), bronchitis, lung cancer, and even heart attacks are caused by air pollution. If humans are falling ill due to the poisoning of our air, what about the animals breathing it?
And remember, India isn’t the only one with air pollution. Here in the US, air pollution contributes to approximately 10,000 additional deaths a year.
Over the past few decades, human activities on the planet have made their way to the oceans and marine life. Marine pollution, or ocean pollution, caused by oil, plastic, industrial, agricultural, and chemical waste is making its way into our oceans. That straw you may have tossed onto the ground will eventually find its way into a river. Rivers carry debris to the ocean. Several causes of ocean pollution include:
- toxic chemicals from industries
- land runoff
- large scale oil spills
- ocean mining
Some of the most common items found in the ocean during pollution cleanups are cigarettes and filters, food wrappers and containers, caps and lids, tableware, plastic bottles, and plastic bags.
It’s not about Meatloaf.
Meatloaf and those who refuse to even open their eyes are a huge part of this problem. It’s like dealing with that loved one who has an open wound on their arm but refuses to go to the doctor because “they are fine.” This type of pride will be our undoing. They say pride comes before the fall, and it does. People like Meatloaf turn away, choosing blindness over accepting the truth in full detail — because, I believe, they are afraid.
They are afraid to take ownership of this problem and afraid to have the finger pointed at them, including their own finger. We all should take ownership of this problem, because in some way or another, we all have contributed to this, whether we meant to or not.
When people are afraid to take responsibility for their actions, it’s usually because they don’t want to stop doing what they are doing. They want to think, “it’s not my fault, so I can do this without feeling guilty.”
We need to take responsibility and know that we can continue to live on this planet, but need to do so in a different manner than doesn’t harm it or the rest of the beings on the planet with us. We can switch to solar. We can switch to EVs. People can recycle plastic instead of littering, and buy less plastic. People like Meatloaf and politicians who put their ego first simply do not want to.
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