Climate Change or Climate Crisis
Climate change, or climate crisis, is a condition where the earth suffers from changes of temperature and weather patterns.
The climate crisis is a challenge as it disrupts the balance of nature. This unbalanced nature is considered to threaten all the life forms on earth.
Definition of Climate Change
As summarized by Hanifah and Said (2022), climate change according to Law No.31 of 2009 is a change in climate that is caused, directly or indirectly, by human activities that cause changes in the composition of the atmosphere globally and changes in natural climate variability observed over a period of time. This condition is mostly caused by global warming.
If the Earth’s temperature increases by 1 degree Celsius, for some people it is just a small change and has little impact on the environment. But in fact, according to climate scientists, even a half-degree rise in temperature will have a major impact on far more extreme weather changes.
One impact of climate change that has begun to occur is the melting of the polar ice caps. With continued ocean warming and ocean acidification, this will result in the sinking of the earth’s coasts and small islands.
If climate change is ignored, the supply of essential food and clean water will be reduced. Ultimately, such drastic and extreme climate change can threaten the survival of humans and other living things on earth.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Global Warming
The consequences of climate change today are intense drought, water scarcity, wildfires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice caps, devastating storms and declining biodiversity.
The United Nations says the major cause of climate change is the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. This is mainly caused by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.
As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the Earth is 1.1°C warmer today than it was in the late 1800s. The last decade (2011-2020) was the warmest on record.
“It all started with the industrial revolution of 1760-1850, a massive movement in which human jobs in agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing were replaced by machines.” – quoted from Lindungihutan.com.
Therefore, according to the UN, adaptation will be needed everywhere. But it must be prioritized now for the most vulnerable people with the fewest resources to counter climate hazards.
“Adapting to climate consequences protects people, homes, businesses, livelihoods, infrastructure and natural ecosystems.” – stated by the United Nations.
In a 2018 UN report, thousands of scientists and government reviewers agreed that limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C would help us avoid the worst climate impacts and maintain a livable climate.
“The threshold for an increase in the Earth’s average temperature based on the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow, emphasizes that we need to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius only. If calculated from the earth’s average temperature rise of 1.1 degrees Celsius, then most likely the safe threshold can only be achieved until 2030.” – in Hanifah and Said (2022).
Climate Change that is Now Called a Climate Crisis
Lindungihutan.com observes that there is more or less a debate about the meaning and use of the phrase climate crisis in various circles such as academics and environmental activists.
Etymologically, climate crisis is a term that describes global warming and the very precarious situation caused by climate change that has negative effects on the earth and humans.
The use of the climate crisis itself is often used by scientists or environmental activists in expressing the urgency of the critical situation that occurs related to natural conditions and climate.
“This phrase is also a symbol of ‘anger’ due to the apathy of the general public towards climate change, which ‘lacks’ an urgent situation.” – quoted from Lindungihutan.com.