The clock is ticking on the climate crisis before we reach the point of no return.
Every day, the sun rises and falls, reminding us that time is not on our side. The reality we embrace of having no planet B becomes much scarier as news reports depict rising global temperatures, sea level rises, unimaginable disasters, and other horrific catastrophes. Unfortunately, the developing world bears the brunt of climate change caused by the developed world. Greta Thunberg has inspired thousands of young people to stand up to politicians and fight for the environment. “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change”, Greta couldn't have said it better herself. I began pondering about that quote when the unexpected happened. Covid-19 brought us to a halt. As baffling as it could be, little did I envision that the experience of being grounded as a young person would ever be translated into civilization. Airplanes were grounded, boats were docked, vehicles were left in their garages and many more. I dream of a world where climate change is averted and the environment preserved, without it being at the expense of the development and prosperity of lower-income countries.
In only a few decades, the word "sustainability" has gone from the fringes to the mainstream, becoming one of the defining features of 21st-century reality. Today, the word sustainability refers to a complete paradigm change in how we think about the environment and our position in it. As it will influence all facets of our economy, this latest concept of sustainability is set to have a profound and pervasive impact on how we operate and build economies in the twenty-first century. The climate ambition gives me hope. I cannot possibly overcome every climate change problem, but using my information ability to preach the good message of sustainable lifestyles is unquestionably my strategy. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”, Benjamin Franklin said.
The world today has advanced technologically, making information accessibility very convenient. Jump onto the internet and you are just a click away from learning something new. E-Learning sites are accessible with free contents saving you the hassle of financing. While some people in the least developed economies face difficulties accessing appropriate education due to technical and financial constraints, it becomes a moral imperative for developed economies to change the status quo because they are the primary cause of the climate crisis.
As climate activists, not climate propagandists, we must “walk the talk” on sustainability. If we could all walk and bike more, conserve water, develop our energy-saving practices, use sustainable transportation, shop wisely and use less plastic, and champion activism on green education which could trigger a “Green Knowledge Pandemic”, I believe the planet we all desire is just a stone's throw away. Indeed, socialisation starts at home, and my first call to action is to spread green awareness and habits in my immediate community, which will have a ripple effect on humanity. We can achieve our goal of leaving no one behind if we start and act NOW!
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Josh Edem Kojo Dotse is a graduate renewable energy engineer from the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani-Ghana. He is the Head of the African community at ClimateScience, and advocates for sustainable living and capacity building of young people.