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June 20th is World Refugee Day. According to UNHCR, there are 70.8 MILLION forcibly displaced people worldwide.
Furthermore, migration due to climate change is on a rise. The World Bank estimates that climate change could force more than 140 million people to migrate within countries by 2050.
Learn more about Climate Refugees and The Human Cost of Global Climate Change, article published by Environmental Justice, accessible at the Environmental Migration Portal:
According to the IEA (International Energy Agency) CO2 Emissions Statistics, in 2016 TRANSPORT accounted for 1/4 of total global emissions, 71% higher in comparison with the statistics from 1990. Road transport accounted for the vast majority of the increase. Furthermore, total global CO2 emissions have more than doubled since the 1970 ́s and grown by approximately 40% since the year 2000. In 2017 alone, worldwide CO2 emissions rose by 1,5%, led by China, India, and the EU.
What conclusions can we draw from this?
During my studies/research on climate and environmental topics from a wide variety of angles since several years back, I have noticed how much progress has been made around the world in terms of environmental protection, and concrete climate action.
With climate change deniers, resistants, apathetic individuals and those who talk the talk without actually walking their talk, our world has plenty of individuals who actually are fully dedicated in their everyday lives to tackling both climate change and environmental destruction. These individuals take action in their personal lives, create businesses and contribute to/make significant political decisions in terms of protecting our local/global environment without which things could look much worse than they actually are today.
In terms of communicating climate and environment-related topics local and global journalism/media play a significant role; how else would the crowd be informed about any development that is taking place? Well-informed citizens of any country, or people who dig deep into specific topics out of personal or business interest of course know how to search for information through a wide variety of sources, which today is even more simple than ever thanks to the Internet and people around the world having public access to information and reports, many times for free.
Nevertheless, and despite important political decisions and legislative changes in terms of environmental protection, journalism and media have a huge responsibility and lots of power when it comes to bringing public awareness about specific issues, climate change and environmental protection. Anthropogenic climate change and environmental protection are both no new topics.
Those with longer life experience and more years behind them know that specific climate/environmental issues have been discussed for several decades. In recent years, however, there has been a significant increase in climate change and environmental topics brought up by various media outlets. Since the Paris Agreement was signed on April 22nd 2016, most countries on our planet have actually pledged to concrete climate action; some countries with more ambition than others.
The main goal of the Paris Agreement is for all countries that have signed (and ratified) the agreement to take concrete actions in order to stop global warming and to prevent global average temperatures from rising above 1,5 degrees Celsius (34,7 Fahrenheit), since research indicates that even slight increases in global (or regional) average temperatures can and will lead to drastic changes worldwide in terms of for instance food security. The purpose of the Paris Agreement is also to ensure that countries take all possible action to reduce GHG ́s (greenhouse gas emissions), which are found to be increasing the global average temperatures through the warming effect that these create.
The question is, however: Do We Take Climate Action Fast Enough?
In the global energy sector, renewable energy sources (excluding nuclear energy), today account for 25,6 % of the total global energy sector, a vast majority of which comes from hydropower (15,9 %). (IHA 2019). Despite the growing capacity of renewable energy sources worldwide in recent years, energy-heavy sectors such as cooling, heating and transport lag behind and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind today account for 2,1 % respectively 4,6 % of total global energy. (IHA 2019; REN21 2018).
Climate marches and school strikes on behalf of climate action and environmental protection that gather millions of people together around the world of course bring an important message and put increasingly much pressure on both educational institutions and schools, businesses in all industries, and governments/politicians, but the focal point here is to focus upon concrete action, which can be taken on various levels throughout societies: in our personal lives, in businesses, and in terms of legislation.
It is comforting to notice that despite of certain climate change resistance or complete ignorance even among world leaders, major cities around the world and in countries such as the U.S. are committed to taking action and concrete measures to either eliminate or reduce their carbon emissions, including for instance New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Furthermore, research and reports published by IRENA and OPEC reveal how even traditional oil-drilling/oil-producing regions invest into renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
Nevertheless, with a rapid population growth globally and a continuous increase in energy consumption worldwide, environmentally more sustainable solutions are much needed to keep up with the current development in order to meet the demands of the Paris Agreement which aims not only to protect, but in fact to save our planet Earth from complete destruction.
Anne-Maria Yritys 13.5.2019
During this era of climate change awakening and a realization of what is going on in terms of climate change and environmental destruction around the world, it would be very non-kaizen not to individually contribute to increasingly much sustainable economic development. Kaizen is Japanese, and can be recognized as one of the basic ingredients for the success of Japanese products on the world market. Not only the term, kaizen is actually a life and business philosophy of continued improvement, personal development, and efficiency.
Implementing kaizen into one’s personal life, and business, is simple. Since radical change is often challenging for anyone, methodologies such as kaizen can be implemented as a part of both personal life values and core business values. Leading an increasingly much sustainable life both in business and privately does not mean that we have to give up on everything or drastically change our consumption habits. We can, however, contribute by reconsidering our consumption and through changing some habits. For many businesses worldwide, sustainability already is a competitive advantage and at the very core of the brand.
Environmentally healthy choices are in fact often better for our health too, such as biking (exercising) more, using public transportation instead of sitting for hours in traffic jams (which is very stressful), eating less red meat, eating less cheese and so on. Many people today go vegan and protest all animal farming. It is up to each one of us to decide how far we are willing to go. Even small changes matter. Instead of eating beef every day, why not just once or twice per week and consider some other options, such as having one vegetarian day per week, or replacing beef with chicken or fish. Letting go of old habits can be extremely difficult, especially if the change is forced upon us or if we are unwilling to change.
The bigger the change, the more important it is to take baby steps and not to force yourself or other people to change. Guilt-tripping only makes things worse.
Nevertheless, considering the fact that the vast majority of world population cannot even afford buying meat, it may be helpful in understanding that to many people, meat is in general a luxury product that they cannot afford. And while overweight has become a larger problem worldwide than hunger and malnutrition, millions of people in this world actually go hungry every day and do not get all the essential nutrients such as proteins and different vitamins.
Except for Europe and North America, the whole world has been eating insects as a part of culture. Not until recent years have insects made their way to European tables, supermarkets, and restaurants too. Food is one of the biggest single anthropogenic factors worldwide contributing to an increase in CO2 and methane levels.
Some people and sources claim that it is too late to plant trees and vegetation to stop human-caused climate change and to prevent CO2 levels in the atmosphere from increasing.
Now, more than ever, do we need to plant more gardens, more trees and more vegetation to save this planet from toxicity. Trees and plants play a significant role in the environment, absorbing large amounts of CO2, helping the environment to stay cooler than it would without any greenery or trees, and helping the environment to prevent for instance erosion.
In his book “*Puukirja: puut osaratkaisuna maailman nälän ja ilmastonmuutoksen ongelmiin” (1997, Ympäristö ja kehitys), Finnish author Risto Isomäki writes about the importance of various trees not only as a source of protection for our Earth, but also as a source of food and nutrition to population all over the world. [Note:*”The Book of Trees: trees as a part of the solution to world hunger and the problems caused by climate change” (1997, Coalition for Environment & Development). The original text is in Finnish, and I have not found an English translation of this book].
In terms of climate change and sea levels rising, the numbers for sea levels rising are announced very moderately and optimistically by mainstream media, meteorological institutions and research institutions perhaps since it is a) unsure how much sea levels will actually rise, if global average temperatures rise by more than an optimistically calculated three degrees Celsius (six degrees Celsius in certain regions on this planet can be more realistic unless global warming is stopped); b) the media or any scientific institutions do not want to cause panic which is understandable although the purpose and goal of quality journalism is to produce reliable information and stick to realism rather than to paint overly optimistic pictures to an audience wearing rose-colored glasses.
Rising sea levels are a threat to hundreds of millions, or even billions of people worldwide. A vast majority of the human population live in densely inhabited coastal areas, and coastal cities around the world are already preparing for rising sea levels. One of the main problems is that no one knows for sure how much sea levels will rise, and how fast it will take place. Due to a number of scientific factors, sea levels may rise in different proportions in various locations around the world.
The consequences of human-caused climate change are real and felt all around the world, in all industries and by every human being and animal.
For instance in Finland much of specific crop was lost due to excess rainfall in 2017. A year later, in 2018, up to 40% of all crops was lost due to drought. Similar problems are being reported from many geographical regions worldwide. I saw with my own eyes how the environment suffered from drought just within a few weeks of time. Dead plants, trees and vegetation in forests and everywhere in nature. This is something you cannot see if you never or rarely spend time in nature, but the difference was huge e.g. in comparison between 2017 and 2018. To understand the effects of human-caused climate change and destruction does not require much more than common sense, but it is of course helpful to be interested in what is happening to our environment.
If climate change is already endangering food security and food availability, imagine what will await us within a few years from now, if this development continues. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) emphasizes in its updated strategy from 2017: We have a window of opportunity to act in terms of food security, but we must take action now.
Sustainable economic development is in fact no longer simply a choice, but a necessity, around the world. The sooner this is realized and concrete actions are being taken by ALL citizens, all governments, and all businesses worldwide, the better will we be able to cope with what this world will turn into in the upcoming decades. Although some people think it is too late to do anything, there is always hope and we can always do our best in terms of contributing to sustainable economic development on this only home planet that we have.
Anne-Maria Yritys 11.2.2019
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More than 8.000 climate change activists and tens of NGO´s including Greenpeace Finland, Unicef and many others participated in Helsinki climate march on October 20th 2018, demanding the government of Finland to take action with regard to climate change. Despite of being a sparsely populated country, Finland and finnish citizens are among the most polluting (per capita) on a global scale.
Käyttäkää järkeä, Use common sense
Ilmasto on tärkeä. Climate is important
Nyt on pakko toimia, We must take action NOW
Ilmasto ei odota. Climate does not wait
Pallomme on ainoa, We have only this one Earth
sitä ei voi korvata. It is irreplaceable
Jo riittää spedeily, Enough of stupidity
päästöt alas heti nyt. Down with emissions
Nyt riittää jauhanta, Stop the nonsense
vaadimme ilmastotoimia. We demand climate action
Nyt on aika tajuta, It is about time to realize
ilmasto ei odota. Climate does not wait
Meillä on voimia, We are powerful
pallo tarvii toimia. The Earth needs climate action
Loppu soiden tuholle Stop damaging peatlands
tai pallo menee pilalle. or the Earth will sour
Ilmastomarssi, ilmastolakko. Climate march, climate strike
Seis tämä farssi, nyt on pakko. End this farce before it is too late.
As a reminder to all climate change skeptics:
Please keep in mind that when discussing climate change today, we refer to anthropogenic climate change for instance through a number of different emissions, much of which end up in our water bodies around the world increasing water acidity, into our forests that are important sources of absorbing emissions and toxins, and everywhere else in our environment. At least nine million people worldwide die each year due to environmental toxins.
Moreover, wastewater management worldwide is at a very poor level. Most of all wastewater worldwide ends up back in nature without any kind of treatment. Wastewater treatment in a country like Finland is a worldwide exception.
All water bodies worldwide becoming toxic or drying out are examples of how human beings destroy the global environment in addition to the fact that all toxins and emissions are destroying our home planet and causing climate change. Do you want to eat food that has been intoxicated or grown on sick soils?
These are just a couple of examples of how the behavior and inconsideration of human beings causes climate change and the average temperature of planet Earth to rise to an unbearable level.
If you need/want further examples, please get in touch with me.
I witnessed personally how whole water bodies dried out this summer, left with no water at all after the dry period. Finland will not be spared from climate change any more or less than any other country. Despite our many lakes and fresh water bodies, freshwater scarcity is already a reality which will affect all citizens worldwide. No one on this planet will be spared.
The time to act is now. We have no other option than to take better care of our water bodies and our environment, both in Finland and elsewhere in the world.
Observing and noting environmental problems is of course difficult if one is completely estranged from nature and used to living in an urban jungle without ever having seen a blue sky or a green forest during one’s lifetime.
Or, if one is so used to a polluted environment; how can one distinguish between a healthy and sick environment? Majority of human beings seem to belong to the latter group; with an inability to distinguish between what is healthy and what is sick. It is a skill that has to be practiced. Furthermore, environmental toxins are invisible to the human eye.
It is worthwhile to become familiar with nature and the environment, which is our natural living space and reflect deeply upon what is currently taking place in our surrounding world
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