The climate had always been a huge story. Since Al Gore scared most of a generation into trying to save their planet, it’s been on the minds of politicians and household families alike. It’s been a topic of debate and convention globally since 1994 when the first environmental summit was held to talk about the current issues and the 21st such summit is being held this moment in Paris.
Billions of dollars have been spent in attempts to save forest land and slow the impact of human involvement while places like Beijing, just today, have issued their first ever “red alert” for the air quality, schools and businesses to completely shut down until it is safe to venture through the air.
The current state of our global climate is a dire one. The month of October revealed global average temperatures higher than ever recorded, first to September’s average temperatures. The chart here shows areas of deviation from the average temperature for the months of January through October, red being warmer and blue being cooler. Denmark and Latvia experienced record dry months with 30 percent and 13 percent of average monthly rainfall respectively. As mentioned before, places like Beijing and New Delhi in India are experiencing record low air quality readings. Parts of New Delhi for example, using a system to analyze just about every pollutant and issue with the air quality, is rated at a 716 AQI while Santa Fe, Jalisco, Mexico was recorded at a lung collapsing 896. In other words, very poor, even dangerous, air.
Which brings us to the 2015 Climate Summit being held in Paris. Having started on the 30th of November, countries and entities from across the globe are communing under the banner of climate improvement. Or at least that’s their goal.
The idea is to create an internationally, legally binding agreement on climate change. This will have been the first time that this is accomplished, if they do so, in the history of over 20 meetings. Unfortunately, the conference will continue until the 10th of December, so we can only speculate as to what might be announced by the end. Some of the major deals include progress on the Transformative Actions Program set forth by ICLEI, the Shift Project put into action by French business coalitions, and various indigenous peoples efforts.
Already, allegations have been made by delegates and campaigners toward Saudi Arabia and an apparent attempt to sabotage the proceedings. As one of the worlds major oil producers, Saudi Arabia would be hit hard by a world bent on turning away from the usage of it. Objection after objection made by the Arabian delegates has slowed the process of the summit down, but not nearly stopped it.
In the coming days, results will be revealed, but for now, the hard truth is: something’s gotta change.
As global leaders approach this idea, that whatever the result of this summit ends up, something has to change, many people are curious what approach the delegates will take. There are options spoken for extreme solutions and likewise, more gradual solutions. While more extreme ideas revolve around a total deviation from fossil fuels and billions of dollars gifted to countries to protect rain forests and preserves, less extreme solutions seem to be much more feasible. As it seems, only time will tell.