Switzerland | 2022
The World Is Darkening "After more than 11,000 years of relative stability, what geologists call the Holocene epoch, Earth has entered - or rather, human beings have created - a new epoch, the Anthropocene," wrote UK's Guardian newspaper recently. Responsibility for the transition to the Anthropocene epoch lies in our burning of fossil fuels and loading the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Melting permafrost, glaciers, and ice caps; warmer oceans; violent storms; floods; heatwaves; droughts; and wildfires are clear signs of the climate crisis. "Life on Earth can recover from drastic climate change by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems; humans cannot," says a dire warning in the draft report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to be released in February 2022. In his book On Time and Water, Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason asks, "If we are sensitive creatures and we know where we are heading, why don't we stop?" Between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, philosopher Max Picard wrote, "Nothing has changed the nature of man as much as the loss of silence." One can disagree with this statement, but thoughts of this kind are the reason for my opinion that we need to move away from a local "me first" to a "global yes we can." We can slow global warming if the majority of the people start listening to what scientists know, not what politicians, social media influencers, and others believe. Whatever we do, the road ahead of us is already rocky. The longer we wait, the steeper it gets. The burning of fossil fuels has terrible effects on the climate—we have known this for at least sixty years. I am deeply concerned about the future. The world is darkening.