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Thursday, September 20, 2018
Trevor Page is a writer and photographer living in Alberta, Canada. His op-eds and articles, often illustrated by his own photographs, have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, National Geographic on-line and in numerous books. Mr. Page is a former director of emergency humanitarian assistance for the World Food Programme and WFP Country Director is several African, Asian and Caribbean countries.
ROME, Aug 17 2018 (IPS) - Climate change is on us. Parts of the planet are burning up. Heatwaves across the northern hemisphere have dried vegetation and withered crops. Forests are ablaze in North America, Europe and Asia – even as far north as the Arctic Circle. The polar ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. Massive storms and floods have devastated communities. Deserts continue relentlessly to encroach. And the extraordinarily hot spells this summer followed on from the extraordinarily cold spells of last winter. In 2018, extreme weather is the order of the day.
It’s not that we haven’t had adequate warning. Climate scientists, the United Nations and its intergovernmental panel on climate change, the IPCC, have been predicting this for decades. But it’s hard to get people to accept something remote in space and time, and whose very livelihood depends on maintaining the status quo. And for many still in denial, climate change is a natural phenomenon that we can’t influence anyway.
Be that as it may, Planet Earth is the only home we have – at least for the present. We must do everything we can to preserve it, lest the natural environment that spawned us be gone forever.
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