On Earth, human beings are the only species that can imagine their distant futures. But unfortunately our brains are not wired to rewrite the future we imagined as most of us don’t even save for our future. For most of us, future savings take a back seat against present needs and urges. Similarly, only a few can map out their future and will themselves to achieve it irrespective of circumstances.
Individual choices we make today can have a broad social implication, like if we don’t plan our retirement then we have to rely on public assistance. Not taking care of our health in our youth might lead to draining of healthcare resources in the future. Society as a whole leads to toxic short-term-ism that can change our future.
Similarly, climate change, a topic we have ignored for the past few decades, seems to catch-up to us at present. By following the societal rule of burning fossil fuel to make our present easier, we forget its limitation and repercussion in the future. Similarly, by cutting forests to make our houses and to make places habitable we forgot to care about its consequences.
Mass-producing cows to feed an increasing population and to look at the immediate needs we have cost the future of our planet. The future generation will have to pay the price for this generations destruction of its environment. The director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies, Andrew Dessler at Texas A&M University
recently posted a a version of the chart “The Climate Brink” from the newsletter, Substack that he co-authors with Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist. He labeled the chart “the scariest plot in the world.”
The chart shows the global temperature since the last ice age that was 20,000 years ago and projected another 10,000 years. The chart demonstrates the millennia it took Earth to warm up to 4 degree celsius to reach the Holocene inter-glacial period when human thrived.
In this era, agriculture, electricity and the human population started gaining major success. The chart then shows how the Earth warmed 3 degrees Celsius within a few hundred years after humans started burning fossil fuel. This time was a drop in the previous time it took Earth to warm up to be habitable.
This amount of global heating will bring catastrophe for billions of people in the current and future generation. Even if we stop burning fossil fuel at present the human-caused global warming effects will linger for 100,000 years said Dessler.
According to Dessler, “The decisions we make in the next few decades will determine the climate for the next 5,000 generations. If we choose unwisely, people in the future will justifiably be furious with us because we know what we’re doing but we’re doing it anyway.”
At present the policies and practices around the world are more or less going to be a catastrophe for our future generation. So this needs to change to improve survival changes of our future generation. Since we are the only species on Earth that can imagine the future, the hard decision of change is left on our hands.
It is up to us to fight the climate change effects or just keep on destroying the environment so future generation can look back and criticize us.