In 2014, the global temperature was 1.24º above the 20th century average, making it the warmest on record. The sea level was 60.65 mm higher than in 1870. CO2 levels rose to 400 parts per million, the highest ever. In human terms, that meant hundreds of thousands of people displaced, communities ravaged by natural disaster, and severe drought and flooding worldwide. The Earth (as we know it) is at a breaking point.
This Earth Day, let’s take time to look at the true state of climate change and environmental degradation. There has been much progress made this year, with social and political movements pushing for change all over the world, and that progress needs to be celebrated. But in the face of this momentous crisis, we need to remember how much more work needs to be done. As our politicians deny the existence of the crisis and stall attempts at action, as the industry continues to explore for more and more carbon-intensive fuels, and as our very own administration fails to take serious action and refuses to engage in dialogue with us, the crisis is worsening. People all over the world are threatened, especially those peoples who are already most vulnerable.
This earth day, let’s take time to look at the true resistance springing up around the world. We are inspired by the communities who are standing up against extraction and refinement, standing up for their health and safety in the face of exploitative industry. We are inspired by the peoples across the world learning to value the planet and each other. We are inspired by the young people everywhere committing themselves to bring about change. It is this responsibility and strength that is needed from all of us.
2015 can be the year that we turn the tides on this crisis, but first we must recognize the urgency and the mobilization that it truly requires.