Thursday, 19 December 2013

So, will there be snow in Africa this Christmas time?

Hey, people of the world!
Back when I was fifteen, I did a speech on global warming, and I thought actually, why not adapt it into a blog? Yes, you are getting an insight into my blatant laziness and my clearly uninspiring life (have you tried taking A-Levels?! They are killer, I tell you). But hey.
I give you my speech, voila. Just call me Al Gore. Or don't. It sounds like a Spanish horror movie or something.

Hello, hello my little friends. (they were my age, but I'm condescending).
I’m pretty sure that you know what global warming is, and that you know what’s causing it. You know what effects it will have, and you’ve already decided where you stand on the matter. Now, seeing as I’m supposed to talk for five minutes on the topic, this leaves me with something of a predicament.
Where do I start when you know so much about it? I decided to start on safe grounds, so I went with an anecdote.
I was with my friends, and we were talking about the lyrics of that Band Aid song, Feed The World. And I was being pedantic as usual, and I was saying, “It’s so stupid how they say, there won’t be snow in Africa, because what about Mount Kilimanjaro? It’s going to be snowing up there! It’s nearly 6000m above sea level. Bob Geldof really needs to check his facts. No rain or rivers flow? What about the rainforest? WHAT ABOUT THE NILE?!”
Then I did a bit of research. It’s something I tend to do; make some wild claims, and then check if my facts are right later. And I came across this picture.

The only words that resounded repeatedly through my head were, “Bob Geldof was right.”
There won’t be snow in Africa.
Maybe there is this Christmas time. There might even be snow next Christmas time. But one year, not very far in the future, there won’t be snow in Africa.
This is six thousand metres above sea level. And this isn’t right.

(Incidentally, the world’s rainforests are experiencing an unequivocal rate of destruction, and the Nile region of Egypt is severely water stressed - climate change induced, I hear. Bob Geldof is a wise, wise man.)

(yes, this particular section of the presentation was inspired by 'An Inconvenient Truth'. But I was fifteen, I was drowning in homework, and I only really had about an afternoon to write this speech. And plus, does this point ever get old? I mean, look at that mountain. LOOK AT IT!")

Now, six is a small number. If we add a word after six, you get six degrees. In the sense of global warming, a common synonym of six degrees is “death”.

We have evidence that a warming of global temperature by less than this has caused mass extinction before. It happened in the ice age. Ever wondered why we don’t see these guys anymore? 

Actually, I lie, we see these guys everywhere. Hasn’t it been FOUR movies now? Alas, I am digressing.
Now, we probably won’t suffer the same fate as these species – we can adapt to different conditions in time. But what global warming could do is kill other species, mess up the food chain, and just generally, make life unliveable for us. And there is no point to it. No real benefits for anyone - no-one at all. Now I only have one question for you guys: why? Why are we letting this happen?

Now, I’m throwing crazy ideas out there and adding so much major drama that I might as well earn a drama A-Level straight out – but I’ve got to carry on now I’ve started.
Hurricane Sandy. 253 human Fatalities.
Hurricane Katrina. 1833 human Fatalities.
We are causing these hurricanes. If we’re not starting them altogether, we’re taking their initial severity and increasing it tenfold. (The warmer the ocean, the more severe the storm forming above will be. To put it in basic, basic terms).

Have you ever killed a person?

We’ve got to stop this now, or there will be blood – metaphorical blood – on everyone’s hands.

*dun dun dun*

The class pretty much stared at me, shell-shocked. It was a dramatic moment in my Year 11 career.
And then that was it. My speech.
I tell you, my teacher loved it (full marks, not that I'm bragging), but at the end of the day, we all went home and polluted some more. And the same people who I gave the speech to in that classroom are the same people I see around school littering. They walk out of the room without turning off lights, they drive to school when I know full well they don't live further than a fifteen minute walk away.
And this year, I've looked out the window to green grass on the ground as opposed to snow, which had been there for so many previous years at this time. People in my class still wear vest-tops! 

And I can't wash off that metaphorical blood Typhoon Haiyan splashed over my hands.

I will try and write some more original blog posts, when I'm not struggling to locate my reason to live underneath all these textbooks!
- SavingTheWorldFromMyKitchen