Here is why climate awareness matters
99% of scientists agree that humans mostly cause climate change. A Yale study with over 75,000 citizens from 30 countries found, however, that over 50% of people in 7 out of the top 10 most greenhouse emitter countries think that climate change is due to natural changes, an equal combination of natural changes and human causes or that is not even happening. This calls for raising more awareness of climate change and its consequences for everyone.
Raising awareness matters because it means public support to driving change. Nonetheless, 3 out of 10 US citizens (the second largest greenhouse emitter in the world) rarely speak about climate change, and they only hear about it once a month or less. Without further information and bringing a mindset shift to people to understand that humans mostly cause climate change, it will be hard to meet the 2015 Paris agreement to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius and avoid catastrophic consequences.
The climate change consequences are real and are happening now. They are becoming more and more evidence which is creating a decline in climate denial but also highlighting the sense of urgency of the problem. Take the 2019–2020 Australian bushfires. They were the largest fires of the 21st century. Over 46 million acres were burned, and over a billion animals perished.
Another extreme weather consequence was Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 hurricane on the Texas coast that caused $125 billion in damage in August 2017. It brought one-third of Houston underwater and was the 2nd costliest US Atlantic Hurricane on record. Another coastline issue we are facing is the sea level rise. In Puerto Rico's shoreline, for instance, the coastline has risen by about four inches since 1960. 85% of the population lives within 5 miles of a coast, which means severe longer-term population migration issues may happen if scientists' sea level predictions follow their expected 22 inches rise by 2060.
Climate change is likely the most important challenge we have ever faced. It affects us all, so we need to raise more awareness to solve this problem together. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Shaping Horizons is a youth community for impact. We support early-stage individuals or teams who wish to build climate change awareness. We will soon launch our climate lab so if you are passionate about it, follow us and stay tuned as we uncover more!
Dan Li is an online UNV and Shaping Horizons volunteer. As a virtual volunteer, Dan realized how important it is to prevent the ominous advance of climate change. Dan would like to do her part to raise awareness of climate change. Dan spends most of her free time with her family and cat.
Disclaimer: All content published on the Shaping Horizons blog does not in any way represent the view of Shaping Horizons or partners. Publication by Shaping Horizons does not constitute an endorsement of the author's view.