Climate change : What could happen if we do nothing about it
Author : Amal Rahiman
The year is 2050.
The air is heavy. You cough, but that’s not new. You have been coughing every day for the past few years now.You accept it as a part of your life.
Fresh air is now a luxury. It is bottled up and sold. Very few can afford it. For the
remaining, there are masks.
Before stepping out of the house you have a look at the weather forecast. Floods,
wildfires, heatwaves, and other natural disasters are rampant. You never know what
to expect these days. Simple sunny days do not fool you anymore, another disaster
is lurking somewhere close.
With increased natural disasters, there isn’t much time to recuperate and rebuild
lives. Food and other supplies are always limited. Transport is not feasible and with
floods and wildfires, growing food locally is also not possible. Everything is
destroyed, but you can now grow food in the Arctic. You cannot move countries
anymore though. Borders are shut. Nobody wants to share resources. There isn’t
much to share anyway.
Your next hunt is for water. If on one hand, you are fighting increasing water levels,
on the other hand, you must fight droughts caused by heatwaves. All moisture has
been lost from the underground. Countries are on the verge of war for water. The
rich are hoarding water while the others fight for it. Money is still powerful, that has
With rampant disasters and an uninhabitable environment, wildlife has all but
disappeared. Fishes are dying in waters that have more acidity than oxygen.
Countries around the world are hitting 60°C. Some have even crossed that. The heat
is unbearable. Maybe you can sit under a fan, but there are no more trees for the
wildlife. They suffocate, they burn, they die – without even a drop of water. This
makes you think of the poor farmers in rural areas. Do they have a choice?
What has come to life though are ancient microbes. Freed out of their previously
frozen jails, these microbes are spreading throughout humanity. New, and
eradicated diseases are on the rise. Anti-biotics cannot help – most of them are
resistant anyway. Air, water, and food are all infected, there is very little medicines
can do now.
With sparse food, limited water, restricted fresh air, an uncertain future, and the all-
around prevailing despair, physical and mental health have taken a toll. You are
surrounded by gloom and doom. You resent the previous generations for not doing
what was right.
Did it have to get this bad? Could humanity have been saved?
The answer is yes, we can still save ourselves from the calamities of climate change.
But what exactly is climate change?
Climate change refers to the significant changes in temperature and the weather. If
you feel that it is hotter than ever, there is less or more rainfall than expected, the
winters are unusually shorter or longer, then you have experienced the changes in
the weather patterns of your area. These are all effects of climate change.
Our atmosphere is like a blanket around Earth. It can trap in the necessary heat.
When we burn fossil fuels, we release greenhouses gases into the air (mostly CO2).
They end up in our atmosphere. These gases can also trap in heat. Now there is a
lot of heat being trapped in, making the earth hotter than it needs to be. This is called
In the race to start new businesses, make air travel cheaper, and grow our individual
wealth – we have also drastically increased the use of fossil fuels. Our planet is
already 1°C hotter than what it was in the 1900s. We need to limit global warming to
a maximum of 1.5°C by 2050.
With recent research, if we do not act now, global warming will go over 2°C by 2050,
or maybe even by 2025. The next few years will decide.
To put it into context, if we continue to do nothing, then in the next few decades 15
million people will be affected by wildfires; 90,000 more deaths will happen due to
heatwaves; 2 million people will be exposed to extreme flooding, and coral reefs will
completely disappear from the face of the earth. Human species will follow soon
So, what is the solution?
Your efforts, or better yet OUR efforts can impact climate change. It may sound
simple but all of us must play equal parts to save our planet. Reducing demand for
meat, using public transport to use less fuel, powering our homes with renewable
energy, reducing individual wastage, and refusing to use plastic are all examples of
how we can help.
Climate change is real. It is here and we are living through it. With growing wealth
and dreams of living an easier lifestyle, we ended up breaking our planet.
Now let’s do our part to fix it before it is too late.
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