Why and in What Way Should We Limit the Temperature Rise below 1.5 Degrees

It is January 2099. The students of the seventh grade of a primary school are writing an essay on the topic “Spring Has Come to my Neighbourhood”. Nebojsa is already very morose because he has been listening to great granny’s stories on how spring began on 21st March in her time and he is unhappy because he cannot use her essays on swallows and storks flying in from the south. To be honest, he does not recall that he has seen a single stork during his life, and swallows are constantly somewhere around. Allegedly, they used to go to warmer places because the weather was colder in Serbia and it used to snow. His younger sister, Ana is on the excursion in Bor. Marko from II/d is not as ducky to her as he would be if he didn’t have to wear that plastic mask that covers his stubby little nose.

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

The future of our planet is extremely gloomy if we continue to produce greenhouse gases with the same intensity. The research by Patrick Brown and Ken Caldeira, whose results were published at the end of 2017 and showed that there is 93 percent of chance that the average temperature on the Earth will rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of 21 century. Scientific predictions should not be taken for granted, due to uncertain future actions of nations against climate change, but as a warning and an incentive to direct our efforts against them.

The war on climate change was announced on 4th November 2016, when the Paris Agreement entered into force. Its main objectives, in addition to limiting global warming to values below 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial era, including the strengthening of the capacity of the states in order to counter this phenomenon, the development of green technologies and assistance to less developed, economically weaker countries in the implementation of joint plans for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions.

My country entered the war on 29th May, 20187, on the anti-polluter side, of course.

Although cars on diesel and petrol are considered to be one of the main enemies of our environment, and electric vehicles are represented as their “clean” replacement, we need to take a wider picture into account. The electricity that drives the electric vehicles should come from renewables and not from “dirty” sources of energy, so that they would be fully efficient.

The backbone of the unified political struggle should be a shift from the exploitation of petroleum products to the exploitation of the limitless potentials of the Sun, water and wind. Due to the effort of scientists, mustard and sugar have joined the “ecological trinity” since they are used as biofuel in the aviation industry, as well as many other organic products.

The effective “weapons” of the Paris Agreement signatories in this battle are also recycling, conscientious managing of waste and afforestation – and we are their fellow fighters, the inhabitants of the Earth.

What we can do as individual so that Nebojsa would see storks in 2099 and Ana the face of her crush in Bor – is to go to work or school by bicycle (or even public transport, which is less painful variant in comparison to driving your own car), reduce the intake of meat and milk, and for the New Year we should decorate real Christmas tree that we will plant at the end of the holiday.

And we will be several kilometers, cabbage rolls (minced meat with rice rolled into sour cabbage), cappuccinos and trees close to achieving the global mission of sustainable development. And even a few pounds lighter. A win-win situation for those who will inherit us, isn’t it?

Jelena Kozbasic