Going Green and living more sustainably are becoming increasingly necessary as well as more attractive and satisfying. This “Green Page” will look at one sustainability topic each month, with ideas to consider and steps to use individually and as a congregation to care for and honor God’s amazing creation.
The Future Impact of Climate Change on Children
Climate change is already harming daily life, however, it will rob future generations, today’s children and those yet to be born, of the climate that previous generations have enjoyed. Scientists have predicted that if the planet continues to warm at its current rate, the average 6-year-old will live through roughly three times as many climate disasters as their grandparents. An article in Science reports that many scientists believe that, unless world leaders agree on more ambitious policies to combat climate change, today’s youngest children will be exposed to an average of five times more disasters in their lives than if they lived 150 years ago. Obviously, the worst effects of climate change will be experienced by generations of people who will have had little say in current policies. The making or breaking of the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit in the Paris Agreement (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) will decide the lives of today’s children and of future generations. The peak scientific authority on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has stated that, if governments fail to drastically ramp up climate action in the next decade, warming will exceed that limit sometime between 2030 and 2050. However, aggressive efforts to curb fossil fuel use and other planet-warming activities can still dramatically improve the outlook for today’s children. If warming can be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, newborns’ risk of extreme heat exposure will fall almost by half. They could see 11 percent fewer crop failures, 27 percent fewer droughts, and almost a third as many floods than if emissions continue unabated.
Climate change has put the issue of generational inequality into sharp relief. The moral weight of this moment should be almost unbearable for today’s adults. For generations parents have tried to leave behind a better world for their children. Now is the time for the older generations to act to limit global warming and allow children to have the future they deserve. Save the Children has said that one way to help children cope with climate anxiety is to help them feel empowered to do something about it. In fact, in addition to school strikes and protest marches, cases are already being filed in courts in the United States and elsewhere by young people arguing that the failure to act on climate change is a violation of their rights.
Mark your calendars for the April Earth Forum:
Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
50 Years of Earth Day!
Theme: Recycling, More Sustainable Practices