No, We’re Not on Fire - Yet

From news headlines of the climate crisis to company advertisements concerning the pandemic, this past year has become a cesspool for anxiety and depression.

5 min read
No, We’re Not on Fire - Yet

Climate Policies and the Truth Behind the Biggest CO2 Emitters  

From news headlines of the climate crisis to company advertisements concerning the pandemic, this past year has become a cesspool for anxiety and depression. People around the world are experiencing an increase in mental illness not only from the isolation that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought but from the daily, heartbreaking news concerning our climate crisis.

Since 1880, our sea levels have risen 21-24cm with around a third of that statistics solely coming from just the last two-and-a-half decades. The exponential rise from waters is derived from our melting glaciers and ice sheets caused by the heat rise in our climate, hence the name global warming. Moreover, nuisance flooding has experienced a global increase of 900%. With these statistics hanging over our heads along with the amount of pollution and waste food and clothing companies have brought upon us, it’s easy to be swept away into an anxious void thinking that no one in charge cares about our man-made recipe for extinction. Luckily, thanks to engineers, scientists, activists and certain politicians, society has been making advancements in making policies and products that are eco-friendly, sustainable and could eliminate our wrongdoing.

Most recently, policies in Canada have been signed such as the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth, Net-Zero by 2050 and Clean Canada to help Canada and countries across the globe economically and sustainably. While scientists have advised the public for decades about the urgency for reduced carbon emissions and immediate priority for sustainable effort- ecological advances, no matter how late, are better than never. Including the other six countries of the G7, Canada is among many nations taking part in climate policies reducing to zero-net emissions by 2050. Canada’s Net-Zero by 2050 act has committed three billion dollars to access accelerators and fund large emitters to aid in reducing emissions. Following the initiative, the Government of Canada is making efforts to influence their ecological act for large industrial emitters in order to help accelerate the process and even out the efforts towards net-zero emissions by 2050. Among other policies, it’s clear that Canada’s effort in being eco-friendly is present and while it may take decades to achieve any results, nearly 120 countries since 2010 have changed or updated policies in their by-laws to help create a more sustainable environment.

With Bidden as the 46th President of the United States, America is making improvements in its by-laws as well. To ensure a cleaner environment, Biden has since pushed the Biden Plan to “Build a modern, sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future”. This plan again is on a path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Other deals such as Biden’s two trillion dollar plan tying the pandemic economic relief and climate act together are pushing for a limited expansion of polluted air. The restriction on emission gases is meant to save America’s GDP, where economists have measured that unmitigated climate change would reduce GDP by 25% this century. Economic damage and recessions for nations have pushed policymakers to acknowledge the detrimental effects that climate change emits. Luckily, North American politicians have made other plans apart from their 2050 gate for zero-net emissions. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced early in his running for the PM title in Canada that Canada’s Climate Plan plans on advertising public transit, renewable energy, energy efficiency to save money and target pollution by putting fines and prices on companies that do damage to the environment in Canada.

The policies listed are amongst many that have been introduced to humanity over the past decade across Europe and North America. The EU27 has since confirmed that climate mitigation is one of the three main priorities in its COVID-19 recovery. Unfortunately, most of the countries that cause the most damage to our planets such as China, India, Russia and Japan are not involved in the EU27 or North American policies. China has been reported as the world’s most populated country causing danger to the planet with their massive export market bought by countries across the globe.

Scientists have since argued that no matter how much trouble every country puts itself through until countries like India and China abide by the updated laws and policies, the world’s dream for cleaner life is nearly impossible. However, to claim that all the blame lays in the hands of those two countries is hypocritical as almost every country across the globe supports and purchases from them, resulting in promoting and advertising gas emissions. It appears daunting, as if humanity is waking up to a new ordeal each morning seeing headlines such as “China emitting 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide”. That being said, charts available to the public are proving otherwise, that while China is one of the largest emitters, the USA and Australia have shown that they are producing between 16.88 tonnes and 16.16 tonnes of CO2 per person in 2017. These standing numbers exceed China's carbon dioxide rates by nearly 3.8 billion tonnes each for Australia and the USA.

Thus, while India and China are being targeted for not being as involved in climate crisis acts, the countries targeted in The Paris Accord and other deals are being unfairly tarred by the rhetoric around carbon emissions. Countries such as the United States, Australia and many in the EU27 are among some of the most polluting not only in their explorations but in their CO2 emissions per person.

The amount of misinformation brought to the public specifically about the climate crisis is overwhelming. While humanity has been feeding its home poison repressively for the past hundreds of years and the tragedy that has become our environment is frightening, it is important to educate ourselves in the truth about who and where the targeted areas are. Countries like China and India have been targeted for decades now for their pollution, while the United States and the EU27 have been just as well attacking humanity with their fossil fuels. Seeing the harmful countries taking initiative to limit their waste and imports is a late start, but a start. With new climate plans being processed annually, the allowance for scientists to explain to the public at conferences about how to rightly deal with these issues has come alive. Hopefully, their publications in courts and halls influence other countries who have even been wrongfully treated in public to take part. So no, we’re not on fire, not yet at least, but needless to say, the climate crisis is still very present and if not even worse than suspected as other countries have since been admitted to be more harmful than India and China. While we remain alive and conscious of our decisions, it is the public’s turn to make our choices for a healthier life so that even if politicians make mistakes, mistakes big enough to cause a catastrophic extinction, the public can contest that they attempted for the right rather than the wrong.


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