If COVID-19 Virus Does Not Kill Us, Climate Change Will

Muntaser Ahmed
Staff Writer

Since March 2020, the world has been plagued with the Coronavirus. Although this has the world’s focus for more than half of this year, some leaders have been focused on climate change. According to AP news, President David Kabua of the Marshall Islands said, “Change relies on protecting the most vulnerable, because those on the frontline – whether healthcare workers battling the pandemic or small island nations sounding the alarm on climate change – are critical to the survival of us all.” The Marshall Islands is just one of the countries around the globe that have been deemed free of COVID-19.

In Manhattan, a 62-foot-wide 15-digit electronic clock stands on display in Union Square. The clock displays a connection of digits said to equate to the current time, but in a fractional form. On Saturday, September 19, 2020, the clock switched the numbers to a phrase reading “The Earth has a deadline,” followed by numbers counting down to that deadline. Now known as the “Climate Change Countdown Clock,” it is a way to quantify the time we have left until the effects of climate change are irreversible, The New York Times reports.

The devastating effects of climate change should not be underestimated. In the United States, California alone has faced The forest is dry and barren due to little to no precipitation, creating the perfect environment for wildfires to spark through electricity and lightning strikes. While millions of people are suffering in the U.S., the President is neglects the reality of climate change and how it affects people all over the world. In a publicized press conference with California Governor Gavin Newsom and other officials, President Donald Trump responded to Crowfoot’s remarks on the dangers of avoiding the science of climate change, AP news reports. To this, President Trump said, “It will start getting cooler.” Crowfoot asserted that he wished science would agree to that, but the President went on to further refute him and said, “I do not think science knows, actually.”

If fires are not enough to convince world leaders of the danger climate change poses, perhaps ice will. Currently, an extensive piece of Greenland’s ice cap is floating far off in the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream, Forbes reports. This is not uncommon in this period of global warming, as more carbon emissions are entering the atmosphere and depleting the ozone layer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has published a study that shows that ice loss from the Greenland ice sheet increased sevenfold from 34 billion tons a year from 1992 to 2001 to 247 billion tons a year from 2012 to 2016.

Although the leaders of the world may not agree about how severe of a threat climate change poses, advocates in the fight against climate change will not be silenced. A main proponent of this view is 17-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist who fights to promote the view that humanity is facing a global crisis due to climate change. Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, students all across the world are rallying in the fight against climate change, especially in Canada. There, students have been demonstrating their passion on Fridays for the Future, following the origins of the most famous advocate, Thunberg, CTV news reports.

As citizens, leaders, and companies across the world are all trying to see through the same lens, it is easy to see one commonality among everyone: if the virus doesn’t kill us, climate change will.

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