Turning the Tide on Climate Change

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) comprises of young individuals striving to shape a better future for Australia. The local group at University of Wollongong is arranging an event called ‘Community Climate Forum’ on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at UniCentre Conference Room (Building 11). The event is scheduled to start at 10:30 am and involves presenting hundreds of signatures collected from the Illawarra region demanding action on climate change from the federal politicians. This petition called the ‘Safe Climate Roadmap’ will be presented to Sharon Bird MP and Stephen Jones MP.

Climate change has been a controversial topic, however a 97% consensus exists within the scientific community, which shows that human activity is the root cause of global warming. According to various sources, including NASA, Carbon-dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has unprecedented levels, which have historically been found in the ice-ages. CO2 is one of the heat-trapping (greenhouse) gases and is released through burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and volcanic eruptions. This increase has led to global warming, which causes ice at the poles to melt resulting in sea-level rise which is dangerous for millions of people living in low-lying coastal areas across the globe. Global warming has also resulted in an increase in severity of extreme weather events like bush-fires, droughts and floods, which have affected a lot of human lives and also had a dire impact on the ecosystem.

Hence, the need for action on climate change is urgent. The solutions are present in terms of alternate energy sources, such as solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies. However, it is argued by social scientists that the development of renewable energy alternatives will not be sufficient in solving the climate crisis. Therefore, a long-term cultural shift is also required to move away from fossil fuels, leading to emissions reduction.

Australia had the highest recorded per capita emissions by 2012, according to the Global Carbon Project. This gives the Australians an opportunity to stand up and raise their voice for a reduction in carbon emissions to make a difference to their country and the world’s future. Hence, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition is asking only one question: Will the Australian public turn the tide on climate change or is it going to the other way around?

 Article by Usman Iftikhar, who believes in changing the world before it changes us.