In October, a terrifying report came out, shocking millions. We may have much less time than we thought to reverse climate change. It’s possible that there are just 12 years left to stop the planet from warming further or we’ll face devastating changes that will affect nearly every aspect of our lives. And this wasn’t just the kind of study reported on a morning talk show to create some buzz. It was incredibly comprehensive — and all the more daunting because of that.
The study involved 91 scientists, 40 countries, and the analyzation of nearly 6000 studies. The result? Scientists concluded that a rise in temperature by two degrees Celsius (from pre-industrial levels) would lead to dangerously high water levels, affect agriculture negatively, destroy natural ecosystems, and thus, lead to famine and collapsing economies all over the world. The worst part, we’re already halfway there with a one-degree increase and we could be at this critical mass point by just 2040.
Ugh. Sounds bleak, right? But that kind of attitude is no good. Because an absence of hope leads to nothing but an absence of progress. When we’re apathetic about the situation — convinced there’s nothing to be done — we’re far less likely to put in the work ourselves to fix things. And the truth is, we have the tools to make the world a better place and reverse the damage. There are technologies out there that could save us from what is far from an inevitable fate. We just have to remember that these innovations exist and that people all over the world are working to stop the destruction. Then, support them while making the changes we’re all capable of in our own lives.
These are the ways technology is currently fighting back against climate change:
Satellites can now help track our emissions — to help identify problem areas.
Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in our atmosphere and, because of this, raise earth’s overall temperature. The largest offenders of this are CO2 and Methane. And it’s not easy to get rid of them. They’re given off in so many processes, both industrially and personally — like agriculturally, in the burning of fossil fuels, waste, and wood, and in the use of many chemicals. They are so commonplace all over the world that it’s hard to even know where the biggest problem spots are. For that, we need more data.
Which is why governments and private businesses in Europe and North America have developed the technology to launch satellites that track methane and carbon dioxide emissions from afar. These satellites are able to find leaks which not only contribute to climate change but that cost companies billions of dollars. So finding them is really a win-win. They can currently pinpoint a leak within one square mile. This could end up revolutionizing business and environmental policy for the better.