Global Climate Change: We are in Survival Mode!
Climate Change is happening, and natural climate cycles (yearly, millennial, etc.) help us understand climate patterns, yet recently there have been deviations from these expected patterns (11), which is concerning.
Let’s dive deep into this.
Table of Contents
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. According to the United Nations (1), at its core, climate change refers to significant changes in temperature, precipitation, wind patterns, and other conditions that are predominantly caused by human activity. These changes can devastate Earth’s ecosystems and natural systems, ranging from abnormal weather patterns to loss of biodiversity and sea level rise.
Our Impact on the Climate and the Earth
Humans are a disruptive and dominating force on Earth and have caused a significant impact on the climate, the Land, Sea & Air, and its resources in an unsustainable way.
We need change now more than ever before because one day soon, everything could be gone forever!
Here are some examples:
- Lost and Wasted Food
1/3 of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally; that’s 1.3 billion tons per year. In Western Society, 40% of losses happen at retail and consumer levels (17).
- Over Consumption and Poor Food Choices
Most of the world’s population lives in countries where overweight and obesity kill more people than underweight people (28).
An estimated 1/3 of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited or depleted (13). There are 97% fewer Pacific Bluefin Tuna due to overfishing (12).
- Throw Away Society
99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months (18).
- Transport & Logistics
The transport and logistics sector contributes around 24% of global CO2 emissions (30, 31) and could potentially account for 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
- Deforestation and Forest Degradation
Carbon dioxide is released, and biodiversity is impacted in these areas (16). In 2019, the tropics lost close to 30 soccer fields’ worth of trees every single minute (29).
- An Ocean of Plastics
The amount of plastic trash that flows into the oceans yearly is expected to nearly triple by 2040 to 29 million metric tons (22).
Fish and other Sea Creatures ingest plastic, which can cause intestinal injury and death (21).
There is a Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) in the ocean, mainly made up of plastics, that is an estimated 1.6 million square kilometers, about twice the size of texas.
How Climate Change Is Affecting Our World
The impacts of global climate change are already being felt by humans and the natural world around us in several ways. NASA lists the following as the most significant:
- Droughts and Heatwaves
The occurrence and intensity of droughts are changing, and rising temperatures drive these changes. Ongoing trends are increasingly characterized by longer, more intense periods of drought accompanied by abnormally hot weather (26).
- Rising Sea Levels
Global sea level has been rising at an alarming rate over the past century, with levels increasing by about 8 inches since reliable record-keeping began in 1880. Moreover, scientists project that this trend will continue well into the future, with levels expected to rise another foot or even more by the end of the 21st century. This dramatic increase is due primarily to two factors: accelerated melting of land ice, such as glaciers and ice sheets, and the expansion of seawater as temperatures rise (26).
As we’ve seen all too clearly in recent years, warming temperatures are significantly altering the world’s wildfire season. As a result, longer and more severe wildfire seasons have become the new normal across much of the West, as drought conditions have intensified and weather conditions have grown more conducive to fire (26).
- Increased Storms and Hurricanes
As we have seen with the devastating effects of Hurricanes, climate change is not something to be taken lightly. Not only does it cause more rapid changes in weather patterns, but it also leads to more severe storms and hurricanes. These extreme weather events seriously threaten lives, homes, and communities (26).
- Food Supply Issues
We are seeing a significant shift in our growing season. Longer, warmer summers allow plant life to flourish earlier in the year, while later winters allow certain species to linger well into the fall. This change affects ecosystems and agriculture, with consequences ranging from increased weed growth to changes in crop yields (27).
In some areas, the earlier onset of spring is causing problems for migratory animals that rely on a particular type of food being available at specific times of the year.
As droughts become more common, crop yields are dropping, leading to higher prices and even shortages of certain foods. In addition, wildfires and extreme weather events are damaging infrastructure and disrupting transportation, making it difficult to get food to market.
- Spread of Disease
Climate change is having a major impact on human health, altering weather patterns and creating more extreme weather events. These shifts in climate are causing changes in the distribution, prevalence, and severity of infectious diseases around the world. For example, variations in temperature can affect the development and survival of disease-causing pathogens like viruses and bacteria. Warmer temperatures can accelerate the growth and replication of these pathogens, increasing their abundance and potentially leading to a greater risk of infection.
On the other hand, dramatic shifts in weather conditions due to extreme events can alter vector-borne diseases (3) that are transmitted by insects or other organisms. For example, increased rainfall after a period of drought can lead to an increase in the number of mosquitoes carrying dangerous diseases such as malaria or dengue fever. As the climate becomes more favorable for mosquitoes, it will become increasingly challenging to keep their population in check, said Eric Mordecai (4), a Stanford biologist.
Rising global temperatures are wreaking havoc on ecosystems worldwide, putting countless plant and animal species at risk of extinction. As temperatures climb, animals must adapt or move to find more suitable habitats. But in many cases, their need for food or inability to travel quickly enough due to limited mobility puts them at a significant disadvantage.
In addition, increasing temperatures change weather patterns, drying up water sources and disrupting the delicate balance between predator and prey. If these trends continue unchecked, they could lead to large-scale extinctions that threaten entire ecosystems.
International Climate Change Agreements
Climate change is a global problem that requires a global response. International cooperation is crucial to finding solutions that work on a larger scale. Over the past few decades, many countries have made significant progress in combating climate change through international agreements and treaties.
The Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol (5) is an international treaty that was established in 1987 to address the critical issue of stratospheric ozone depletion. At the time, scientists had become increasingly concerned about the harmful effects of certain chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. These chemicals were used in a wide range of products – from refrigerators to spray cans – and rapidly accumulated in the atmosphere. They were eventually discovered to be one of the main drivers behind ozone depletion, causing large-scale increases in harmful ultraviolet radiation levels worldwide.
The Montreal Protocol called for global cooperation to phase out the production and use of these damaging compounds. Over time, this led to significant advances in environmental protection and sustainability, and today we can see clear signs of recovery in the Earth’s ozone layer. The impact of this treaty has been felt globally, and it serves as a powerful example of what we can achieve when we work together for a common goal.
Image from ScienceDirect.com (33)
Shows the reduction of the ozone and later recovery.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The UNFCCC (6), ratified by 197 countries, is a landmark climate accord and was a historic moment for the global community. This groundbreaking treaty was not only the first to explicitly address the climate change issue but also laid the foundation for future international discussions aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
By establishing an annual forum known as the Conference of the Parties, or COP, this groundbreaking agreement laid the groundwork for today’s major climate initiatives, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
COP27, was the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference, held from 6 November until 20 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. More than 92 heads of state and an estimated 35,000 representatives, or delegates, of 190 countries attended.
The Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol (7) was a groundbreaking climate treaty, setting the stage for decades of international climate action. Adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005, it was the first agreement to require developed countries to take concrete steps to reduce their carbon emissions. By targeting these countries specifically, the protocol recognized that they had historically been the primary contributors to climate change and thus had a special responsibility to act. The protocol also established a system for monitoring emissions among participating nations and incentivized developing countries, such as China and India, to take action through direct partnerships with developed countries.
The Paris Agreement
On December 12, 2015, representatives from 196 countries came together in Paris to sign the Paris Agreement (8), a legally binding document that sets out a global plan to combat climate change.
In short, the Paris Agreement requires all signatory nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
The Significance of the Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement is one of the most significant historical events. First and foremost, the agreement was a landmark moment for international diplomacy. Never before had so many countries come together to combat a common problem such as climate change, and it set an important precedent for future negotiations on other pressing issues.
In addition, the agreement took a groundbreaking approach by shifting away from narrowly focused efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and instead emphasizing the need to adapt our global economy and infrastructure to the realities of climate change.
Finally, the Paris Agreement has inspired countless people worldwide to take action by raising awareness about the threat that climate change poses to our planet and society. By strengthening unity among nations against this globally-felt challenge, the Paris Agreement has made us stronger as a global community. Its impact will be felt for generations to come.
The Paris Agreement in Action
To achieve the goal of lowering global temperatures, each country has agreed to develop its tailor-made plan for reducing emissions. These plans are known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). NDCs are not set in stone and can be revised and updated over time as a country’s circumstances change.
In developing these strategies, governments must consider various factors, including existing technologies, economic feasibility, social impacts, and environmental constraints. By taking such a holistic approach to addressing climate change, countries can ensure that they are making well-informed decisions and maximizing their chances of achieving meaningful results.
How Countries are Helping Each Other
The Paris Agreement provides a comprehensive framework for addressing the complex and multifaceted issue of climate finance. On the one hand, it encourages developed countries to provide financial support to less endowed and more vulnerable countries, recognizing their crucial role in driving global efforts to combat the effects of climate change.
At the same time, it acknowledges that developing economies also have a vital role in addressing this issue through voluntary contributions from all participating parties. This balanced approach is essential for ensuring that adequate funds are made available for mitigation and adaptation initiatives, with large-scale investments needed to reduce emissions and better adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.
Support for the Paris Agreement
The international community has widely lauded the Paris Agreement as a crucial step in the fight against climate change. However, there have been some criticisms of the agreement. One is that it does not include any enforceable penalties for countries that fail to meet their emissions targets. Despite these concerns, the Paris Agreement represents a significant and much-needed effort to address one of the most pressing issues of our time.
The Paris Agreement in Effect Today
Although there is still much work to be done in the fight against climate change, the past few years have seen a significant uptick in low-carbon solutions and new markets. As more and more countries, regions, cities, and companies establish carbon neutrality targets and embrace zero-carbon technologies, there is a true shift towards low-carbon enterprises across a wide variety of industries. Zero-carbon solutions are becoming competitive on their own terms and creating lucrative opportunities for businesses that move first.
By 2030, it is estimated that zero-carbon solutions will be competitive in at least 70% of global emissions-intensive industries, an incredible achievement has given where we were just a few short years ago.
The Need For Continued Action
Despite the progress that has been made, it is still estimated that global temperatures will rise by 2 Degrees Celsius by the end of the century if we do not take further action. This increase in temperature would have devastating consequences for our planet, including more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and mass species extinction. To avoid these outcomes, we must continue working towards meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals. We can do this in many ways, both as individuals and as a society.
What is Sustainability?
We often hear the word sustainability about environmentalism or green living. But what exactly is sustainability? Sustainable is defined as “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” So, when we talk about environmental sustainability, we are talking about practices that can be maintained over time without damaging or depleting resources. So, sustainability is about finding a balance between meeting our human needs and preserving the natural world around us.
There are three main pillars of sustainability – social, economic, and environmental. For something to be truly sustainable, it must take all three of these pillars into account.
1. Social Sustainability
Social sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of present and future generations. This means considering things like human rights, social equity, and diversity. A lot of times, when we talk about sustainability, we focus mainly on environmental concerns. But social sustainability is just as important – after all, humans are part of the environment too!
2. Economic Sustainability
Economic sustainability looks at how we can maintain economic growth without damaging environmental resources or creating social inequality. For example, one way to sustain economic growth is through eco-tourism. Instead of polluting factories, we create jobs by offering tour packages focusing on nature conservation and enjoying natural scenery and wildlife. This type of sustainable economic growth benefits both the environment and local communities.
3. Environmental Sustainability
Environmental sustainability is probably what most people think of when they hear the word “sustainability.” It refers to practices that help us preserve natural resources so that they can continue to be used by future generations. This includes reducing pollution and waste, conserving energy and water, and protecting ecosystems through reforestation projects.
Environmental sustainability is important because our planet is finite. There are only so many resources available, and we must find ways to use them responsibly, so they don’t run out. Climate change is another big reason why environmental sustainably is so important – if we want our planet to be livable for future generations, we need to find ways to reduce our impact on the environment now.
The Weight of the World: Carbon Footprint
We all know that our actions have consequences. But sometimes, it’s hard to see just how significant those consequences can be. The world is a big place, and the things we do – good or bad – can have a ripple effect that extends far beyond our little corner. Nowhere is this more true than when we’re talking about carbon footprint.
What is a Carbon Footprint?
A carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of an individual, organization, or community (9). This term can refer to natural and artificial processes, including electricity and heating usage, vehicle emissions, and waste production. In general, the bigger one’s carbon footprint, the more greenhouse gases they release into the environment. Therefore, reducing one’s carbon footprint has become an important goal for many individuals and organizations. Yet, there still needs to be a complete mindset change, needing most, if not all, individuals and organizations to reduce their Carbon Footprint.
The size of your carbon footprint depends on many factors, including how you get around, what you eat, and the products you buy. But whatever your footprint may be, it’s important to remember that we all have one – and that our collective footprints are responsible for the climate change we’re seeing.
What Can We Do?
Planting trees can help, yet we can’t plant enough trees to stop Climate Change (19, 20), nor will that help prevent plastics from going into the oceans. New clean technologies are coming, yet we can’t rely on them alone, and we would just be kicking the can down the road; we need real and permanent change.
Mindset and Action
There needs to be a fundamental change in our Mindset from a consumerism society to something that is more sustainable. We need to move towards a Circular Economy (25), where we need Reduce, Reuse (and Share), Recycle, and Repair in addition to cleaning up our mess.
Governments can change laws, create regulations, tax companies, and more, yet if there is a demand, a business will grow around it.
“So, we need to reduce and even stop the consumption of high Carbon Footprint Goods & Services.”
Remember, you do not need to be a company’s CEO to change it; if there is little or no demand, a business will change focus or disappear. Therefore, buy local and support businesses with sustainable practices, goods, and services.
Here are a few more things you can do:
1. Achieve before Gaming
Do one or more of the below points every day before gaming or sitting in front of a screen. Consider the more you do, the more time you can game or watch, with a Maximum of 2 hours per day. Stay tuned for the Full Vitality Challenge for a healthy Gamer Lifestyle and to Save the Earth.
2. Drive Less
Carpooling, biking, taking public transportation, or walking whenever possible is a start. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (10), the average passenger vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Also, keep your tires adequately inflated, or else it adds to emissions.
3. Eat Less Meat
Meat production is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions-more than the entire transportation sector! So simply eating less meat can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Repair
Recycling and composting can help reduce the emissions associated with manufacturing new products. And reuse or repairing items instead of buying new ones helps to reduce emissions even further.
5. Save Energy
There are plenty of easy ways to save energy around your house. For example, something as simple as turning off the lights when you leave a room can make a big difference. You can also save energy (and money) by using energy-efficient light bulbs, unplugging electronics when not being used, and setting your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and higher in the summer.
6. Buy Eco-friendly Products
Did you know that some products are better for the environment than others? So when making purchases, try to buy eco-friendly items when possible.
For example, choose recycled paper over virgin paper, rechargeable batteries over disposable batteries, and so on.
7. Start A Healthier Lifestyle
Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight are all great ways to improve your health. Unfortunately, people who are unhealthy are more likely to get sick, which can lead to more doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and the use of medication-all, which require energy and resources.
8. Be Conscious Of What You Buy
Be conscious of what you buy and where it comes from. If possible, buy local and support businesses that have sustainable practices. Be an informed consumer and know the difference between certified organic products and those labeled “natural.” When in doubt, vote with your dollars and choose products that align with your values.
9. Eat Whole Foods
Eating whole foods is not only good for your health, but it’s also good for the environment. By definition, whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined, requiring less energy and resources to produce. They’re also often local and seasonal, reducing their carbon footprint.
10. Grow Your Own Food
If you have the space, consider growing your food. Not only will you enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor, but you’ll also know exactly where your food comes from and how it was produced. Plus, home-grown food often tastes better than store-bought food!
Composting is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. When you compost, you’re essentially recycling organic matter back into the soil, which helps to sequester carbon dioxide and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
12. Support renewable energy
There are many ways to support renewable energy. For example, you can install solar panels on your home or business, purchase green power from your utility company, or invest in a renewable energy project.
13. Reduce your Consumption
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to consume less. That means buying fewer things, driving less, eating less meat, etc. Of course, this can be easier said than done. But if we all make an effort to consume less, we can collectively make a significant impact.
How Global Climate Change Could Affect Your Gaming
We’ve all heard about global climate change and its potential to wreak havoc on our planet. But what about its potential to ruin our gaming sessions? Whether you’re a hardcore PC gamer or a casual mobile gamer, there’s no denying that global climate change will significantly impact your ability to game in the near future, from computer/console overheating, to power outages, equipment damages, and much more.
Climate Change may not affect you significantly at this time, but it will be too late once it does.
We want to avoid this and start thinking about your impact.
Global Climate Change is a reality that we cannot ignore any longer. It’s time to start paying attention to our actions and how they affect the world around us.
Join Vitality For Gamers’ cause, and let’s Save the Earth and our Health.
As, sooner or later, we will not have a choice, as we are now in Survival Mode.
- Lionel Thomas
- Roy Wibowo
Artist (Article Images):
- Dall-E 2 via NightCafe
- Ozone Image from ScienceDirect.com
- COP27 Logo is the Offical Logo; Vitality For Gamers is not associated with COP27.
1. United Nations
2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Earth had its 6th-warmest August on record
Climate change is making hundreds of diseases much worse
Climate change is making hundreds of diseases much worse
5. United Nations: Treaty Collection
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone
Layer (with annex). Concluded at Montreal on 16 September 1987
6. United Nations: Climate Change
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
7. United Nations: Climate Change
Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework, Convention on Climate Change
8. United Nations: Climate Change
The Paris Agreement
9. Global Footprint Network: Advancing the Science of Sustainability
10. EPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency
Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle
11. United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Climate Cycles
12. National Geographic
The sea is running out of fish, despite nations’ pledges to stop it
13. Science Alert
Fact Check: Will The Oceans Be Empty of Fish by 2048, And Other Seaspiracy Concerns
Impacts of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services
15. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020
16. National Geographic
17. World Food Programme
5 facts about food waste and hunger
18. The World Counts
A world of waste
19. Climate Portal
Why don’t we just plant a lot of trees?
20. World Economic Forum
How would planting 8 billion trees every year for 20 years affect Earth’s climate?
21. Center for Biological Diversity
Ocean Plastics Pollution: A Global Tragedy for Our Oceans and Sea Life
22. National Geographic
Plastic trash flowing into the seas will nearly triple by 2040 without drastic action
23. National Library of Medicine
Evidence that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly accumulating plastic
24. The Ocean Cleanup
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
25. US Environmental Protection Agency
What is a Circular Economy?
26. Global Climate Change: Vital Sign of the Planet
The Effects of Climate Change
27. Conversation in a Changing Climate
28. World Health Organization
Obesity and overweight
29. World Wildlife
Deforestation and Forest Degradation
30. Our World in Data
Cars, planes, trains: where do CO2 emissions from transport come from?
31. Carbon Care: Reduce Emissions
Evidence that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly accumulating plastic
33. Science Direct
External geophysics, Climate (Aeronomy and Meteorology)
The way forward for Montreal Protocol science