For decades, we have been warned that one day our actions toward the environment will catch up with us. The earth is not disposable. As humans, we have become greedy. The people in power, aka those in charge of large corporations, have become so selfish and money hungry that they don’t see the damage they have caused to the environment. The earth doesn’t belong to us, but we have treated it like it does, and we are now forced to pay the price.
Peter Kalmas, along with 1000 other scientists from 25 different countries, participated in a climate protest against the use of greenhouse gasses, during the week of March 2022. The protest sparked from a UN report that was released last month, stating that humanity only has three years left to suppress greenhouse gas emissions before we reach a catastrophic state. The Paris Climate Agreement, which was adopted in 2015, had intentions of limiting global temperature levels. The goal was to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but we are on a path that doubles that limit. Based on the United Nations report, Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, claims “It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F); without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors”.
These environmental strikes became highly emotional, with scientists taking extreme measures to only receive minimal news coverage. Scientists are gluing themselves to bridges in Germany and chaining themselves to the White House. In Madrid, protesters threw red paint and blood onto the steps of the Spanish Parliament building to symbolize those who have died and those who will die in the future due to the climate crisis. Kalamus and three others were arrested after chaining themselves to the Chase Bank, where they were protesting the company’s funding in fossil fuels. Scientists should not have to go to these drastic lengths just to gain the media’s attention. This is more than a protest — it’s a cry for help. The scientists are going to such intense measures because they don’t know what else to do. We are running out of options, time, and resources. They just want people to listen. These scientists are warning us of a climate crisis that is soon to be a reality if we don’t significantly curb our use of greenhouse gasses. We cannot continue in our current state.
We see the power and ability humans have without taking into account the effect it has on the species around us. This mess goes beyond humans— we will be destroying countless plant and animal life, as we are not the only species planet earth is home to. We, as humans, made this mess. It’s our job to clean it up.
What can we do? Although the unfortunate truth is that most action necessary is up to large corporations and the people in power, there are still ways we can help. The most effective thing we can do is simply listen. According to Insider, Kalamus states, “We’ve been trying to warn you guys for so many decades that we’re heading towards a fucking catastrophe, and we’ve been being ignored. The scientists of the world are being ignored, and it’s got to stop. We’re not joking. We’re not lying. We’re not exaggerating.” It is our job to help spread awareness about the urgency of this issue. You can engage with your community to spread awareness by participating in protests, seeing if there is access to recycling and compost centers, and writing to officials. It is imperative that we believe in science. We need to treat our mother earth with kindness, because there is no planet B.
The clock is ticking, and we are on the verge of crisis if we don’t take immediate action. In the report of Guardian, Klaus argues “It’s now the eleventh hour and I feel terrified for my kids, and terrified for humanity, I feel deep grief over the loss of forests and corals and diminishing biodiversity. But I’ll keep fighting as hard as I can for this Earth, no matter how bad it gets, because it can always get worse. And it will continue to get worse until we end the fossil fuel industry and the exponential quest for ever more profit at the expense of everything else.” The environmental crisis has alarming consequences, that we are currently facing, and this is no longer an issue we can push off to the future.