A cacophony of broken records
As the 28th edition of the Conference of Parties got under way in the UAE, Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, announced that the world is facing a “cacophony of broken records”.
Greenhouse gas levels are at a record high. Global land and sea temperatures are at a record high. Antarctic sea ice is at a record low and, predictably enough, sea level rise is at a record high.*
Extreme weather events including deadly floods and storms, extreme heat and drought, and associated wildfires, have affected many parts of the world, exacerbating the challenges faced by hundreds of millions of people.
Added to this tidal wave of misery, are the millions of premature deaths that are caused each and every year by breathing the polluted air that comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and the products of oil such as petrol and diesel.
And of course we’re not just making life worse for the present and future generations of humans. Millions of plant and animal species are also suffering the consequences of our reckless behaviour. Whole ecosystems are collapsing, and a mass extinction is well under way.
If we’re very lucky, the powerful people who are attending COP 28 will take the right decisions on the geopolitical level to restrict the use of fossil fuels, and then ensure that these decisions are implemented properly. That should help steer the world away from the environmental catastrophe that is fast approaching.
But, as we say elsewhere on this website, our contention is that we all need to take action to protect the environment, and that includes undertaking a serious review of the environmental impact of all our business activities.
Green Standard Schools was set up to help language schools undertake this sort of review. What’s more, we offer a free environmental audit to all schools, completely free of charge. All you need to do is find the time to work through the process. To get started, simply register on the homepage of this website then follow the indications.
To quote a German campaigner: “The greatest danger to the planet is the assumption that someone else will save it.”
*For detailed information on all these disturbing records, visit the WHO website: https://wmo.int