Climate: 3 myths about climate change

“The climate has always changed”, “only future generations are concerned”, “it is too late to act”. Some myths about climate change still persist.

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According to FPS Public Health, 80% of Belgians see climate change as a problem that requires urgent action. Yet the myths persist. Today, the abundance of information on the subject and the amount of fake news circulating on the Internet is a source of confusion for many people.

These myths are more than scientifically accurate, they have real implications for our actions in the fight against global warming: ” Faced with myths and misconceptions, we as individuals lose our motivation to act. We are also losing the will to engage in collective action that would drive institutional and structural change. “, Dilshani Saratchandra, associate professor of sociology at the University of Idaho, told Discover Magazine.

Also read: What is the connection between winter storms and global warming?

Myth 1: The climate has always changed

It is true that the climate has changed a lot during the 4.5 billion years that the Earth has existed. However, the extremely rapid global warming we are currently experiencing cannot be explained by natural cycles of warming and cooling. “ Changes that normally take hundreds of thousands of years are now taking place in just a few decades. “, says the WWF.

Temperatures around the world have been breaking records for the past decade. According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2022 will be the fifth or sixth hottest year on a planetary scale since observations made in the 1860s. In Belgium, 2020 and 2022 were the warmest years since MRI observations began.

Also read: 2022 and 2020 were the warmest years since MRI observations began

This warming is explained by the increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, which has been constantly increasing since the industrial revolution. That’s why we talk about anthropogenic climate change, because it happens as a result of human activity.

Myth 2: Only future generations are affected

Climate change is already affecting populations and biodiversity, even if it is not always easy to prove. According to a study by Carbon Brief, 71% of 504 extreme weather events in the last few decades “It’s being exacerbated or exacerbated by human-induced climate change “.

An extreme heat wave in India, a drought in Europe, floods in Pakistan… The climate events marking the year 2022 must intensify in the coming years, and it is not only this that worries future generations: ” It’s just not true anymore. Now we can see the effects of global warming both for people in the South and for people in the North. “, University of Hawaii climatologist David Ho explains to Discover Magazine.

Also read: Global warming: why nature is our best ally

We are already seeing the devastating effects of climate change on global food supplies, increased migration, conflict, economic consequences, natural disasters, disease and global instability. “, shows his side WWF.

Humans are not the only animals affected by the consequences of climate change. Melomys rubicola became the first mammal to be linked to global warming in 2016.

Myth 3: It’s too late to act

Alarmist rhetoric perpetuates another myth: that it is too late to act. ” This belief is problematic because it breeds indifference or resignation and inhibits individual and collective action, while reducing public pressure for much-needed political action. “, explains Dilshani Sarathchandra of the University of Idaho.

Actions are already underway to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, reduce our use of fossil fuels or green urban areas are increasing.

Much can be done in terms of both mitigation and adaptation, and many of the technologies needed already exist. We just need the political and economic will to implement them on a large scale says Cascade Tuholske, associate professor of human geography at Montana State University.

Also Read: 5 Possible Points of No Return With Current Global Warming

Although individual action may have limited impact, each individual has a role to play: ” He talks about the actions he has taken in his life, and more importantly, the political pressure he can exert. “, the professor believes. WWF in turn summarizes: ” While the greatest responsibility lies with political leaders and businesses, everyone can act at their own level. Citizens and consumers are among the most important actors in accelerating and scaling up climate action “.

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