Home / Opinion / Quick Edit /  Suicide alert

Sometimes, it takes the bitter truth and some plain speaking to nudge people into action. In the context of climate change, on Monday, the United Nations general secretary António Guterres said, “We have a choice. Collective action or collective suicide. It is in our hands." Half of humanity is in danger, he added, and yet we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction. These comments were made in the wake of wildfires raging in Europe and North America, extreme heat in South Asia and the UK, where the mercury has risen to record levels, and heatwaves recorded at the planet’s two poles. Globally, extreme weather events are now so routine that few argue global warming is a false alarm anymore. Capping the world’s average temperature rise since the industrial age began to 1.5° Celsius, however, is a goal fast slipping away. Yet, like the proverbial frog in a tub of water on a slow boil, our joint responses to creeping stimuli seem too lax for our own good. While economic crises evoke familiar rescue plans involving easily printed money, we are yet to secure our future on a major matter of life and death. Guterres’ warning needs to ring out loud and clear.

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