It has been rightly said that change brings ignorance. The recent environmental issues, such as the Amazon rainforest fires, the Dakota pipeline oil spill, and even the extinction of the Spix macaw, which you might recognize as the blue parrot from the movie ‘Rio’, are blaring alarms that our Earth needs saving. In spite of this, there are people who say that the climate crisis is all a hoax.

What, you may wonder, fuels these individuals? Well, one group claims that global warming has no scientific basis (!!). Apparently, fancy words like “greenhouse gases”, “rise in global average temperatures”, “melting of icebergs”, “the end of the world”, are baseless fears. They assert that it is all a part of the natural cycle. According to them, the Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years, and has surely seen a diversity of drastic climates. Nature must be accustomed to dealing with the changes that come and go. But I can assure you, Earth has definitely not seen such scary increases in temperature. According to one study, the warming trend over the last 50 years (about 0.13° C or 0.23° F per decade) is nearly twice that for the last 100 years. Global mean sea level has risen 4 to 10 inches over the last century.

Then there are the economic deniers, who claim that this is all a ruse to make fossil fuel companies and other manufacturers pay more to “compensate”. They are in tow with the political deniers, who claim that this is just another scheme by the government, and that such “publicity stunts” should be cut down. What these people don’t see are the steep rates of CO and CO2 emissions. Last year, CO2 concentrations reached 450 ppm, more than 4 times of that reported last century!

Some economists now suggest that climate change could be fixed by spending just 1% of the world GDP. But if we don’t act now, by 2050 it could cost over 20 percent of world GDP. Developing a green economy provides economic benefits and creates jobs. Improving the environment and reforestation provides protection from extreme weather events and can in turn improve food and water security. Switching to renewable energy and electric vehicles, for example, reduces air pollution, which also improves people’s overall health.

The Earth might just have found its Achilles heel- climate change deniers, and those spreading this propaganda. Raising awareness, either as protests or through social media, are vital in not only increasing consciousness to this, but also in bringing humans closer together to take action to save Mother Earth.

Raidha Anwar