Credits – Vivian Chieh & Esma Adiguzel
The Earth has a deadline. Manhattan’s Metronome digital clock was re-programmed to display the numbers representing the years, days, hours, minutes, and seconds until that deadline. It is now known as the Climate Clock, an effort to project the urgency of combating climate change.
First of all, what is climate change? Attributed to global warming, it denotes the resulting shifts in weather patterns. Global warming is the result of increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trapping heat radiating from Earth toward space. The production of greenhouse gases has been contributed mostly by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels. Changing the natural atmospheric greenhouse has evidence of welcoming warmer temperatures on Earth, affecting evaporation and precipitation, partially melting glaciers and ice sheets, increasing sea level, climate extremes such as droughts and floods. It all comes down to a large-scale shift in weather patterns on Earth.
Some people wonder whether climate change is real, but there is compelling evidence to bring about the seriousness of this issue. Earth’s average temperature has risen about 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century. The ocean has been a victim of absorbing the increased heat, and there has been evidence of the top 100 meters of ocean warming more than 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.33 degrees Celsius) since 1969. Another significant effect is a decrease in shrinking ice sheets and snow cover, consequently resulting in the rising global sea level to about 9 inches (20 centimeters) in the last century. Therefore, the focus should not be on the validity of climate change but on how to combat climate change.
Making a difference always starts with you. Everyone must play a part. So, what can be done by every single one of us? There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprints, such as when you run errands or travel, you can walk or ride a bike instead of driving, or you can take public transportation or carpool. When you are at home, saving electricity and energy is as significant as choosing products that are sustainable and made from recycled materials. You can also get involved in efforts to “green” your neighborhood, joining environmental programs, and raising awareness around your place of residence.
More than 40 Dutch Nature Conservation, Environment, Development, and Humanitarian NGOs have joined together to develop a Joint Climate Change Program. This coalition includes Oxfam, Red Cross Netherlands, Unicef, PLAN, WWF, and many other national and international NGOs. They aim to develop a program with the objectives of creating adaptation projects, influencing government and business policies, and integrating responses to climate change into disaster risk reduction, poverty, and sustainable development efforts.
With the climate clock in Manhattan showing 7 YRS 073 DAYS 21:34:08, the clock will only continue to tick. Once it reaches the deadline, there’s no turning back.