The Future depends on us an iNsight by Kirstine Mellgren Aavik.
This week we have a special guest providing our iNsight. In Norway in the last year of middle school the students have work placement week. This year we at NEMS were so lucky to have Kirstine Mellgren Aavik join us. Kirstine has been our Marketing intern for the week. One of the things she did was to write this essay to put the perspective of a 15 year old in relation to the climate issues we are facing. We think it is important that young voices like Kirstines be heard and that they have a lot of valuable perspectives to share. Thank you Kirstine for writing such a great iNsight! And remember, the future depends on us.
Climate change has been a problem we have known about for many years, but it is not until recent years that we have seen it as a real problem. The climate crisis is now seen as a serious problem that can have catastrophic consequences for the future. Young people are particularly involved in the climate crisis, it is probably because we are the ones who will live with the consequences of it. Now, of course, most people take climate change seriously, but there are still those who think that it is not man-made, but rather that it is a natural occurrence. This is not true, there is a big difference between natural and man-made climate change. Natural climate change is small changes in the climate that occur over thousands of years. Man-made climate change are changes in the earth’s average temperature that occur over a much shorter period of time than natural climate change does. Some of the causes of man-made climate change are industrial emissions.
The UN has created a set of sustainability goals and one of them is to stop climate change. Achieving this requires a global effort. The UN also aims to limit the increase of the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees. We must do this to avoid the catastrophic consequences of a temperature rise higher than this. All countries must cut their emissions and invest more in sustainable energy sources. We in Norway invest a lot in wind and hydropower, but we also produce a lot of oil. In order to achieve sustainability goals, we must move away from using fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas. Sustainable energy sources such as wind, water, and solar energy will grow in the coming years. We have already seen many more countries that have started using solar energy for example.
The oil industry is one of those industries that will probably go away more and more in the coming years. Instead of oil, we will probably focus more on sustainable alternatives. Many countries will probably lose money on this, but we cannot put economic growth ahead of potentially fixing the climate crisis. Many countries that have not been through the same industrialization as industrialized countries can more easily switch to sustainable energy sources when energy demand increases. The world’s population is only getting bigger and then the global energy demand also increases. That energy need cannot come from fossil fuels, but energy sources such as wind, water, and solar.
The world is well on its way and we are doing a lot to slow down climate change, but we can do more.
We need to think more about what we can do and come up with new ideas that can contribute. We in Norway do a lot and we can still do more, but it is not enough. The future depends on us. All countries must do a lot more. Individuals must also contribute, it is not useful to just think that the industry should do something. If everyone made more climate-friendly choices, it would have made a big difference. What is often raised when it comes to what you can do is cut down on your own consumption. Whether it is to buy used items or cut down on the number of meat dinners a week. Such measures contribute to a better climate. There is no point in having the mindset where you think that what I buy has nothing to say because it has. Those who produce goods produce in relation to demand. If they see that fewer people buy goods from them, they will also produce less from it.
Norway’s transition to electric cars has gone very well, but it will not have much to say if that transition does not become global. For us to really see the effects of not using diesel and petrol cars, more countries must be willing to do so. Electric cars have no emissions after they have been produced, but they use electricity. Then you have to look back at where that power comes from. Here in Norway, most of our energy comes from wind and water, but in a country where the electricity you get comes from fossil fuels, there will not be as big of differences in the emissions of electric cars and petrol cars. So for a global transition to electric cars to be most efficient, the power used must come from sustainable sources.
We are on the right track when it comes to climate, but we still have a long way to go. We must be willing to take far more action than we do now. The future depends on us taking effective measures that save the earth from emissions. Had we not taken action, the whole climate of the earth would have changed a lot. We would have much more extreme weather and a higher sea level and then today. It would not be the rich countries that are hardest hit, it is those who live in poor countries and those who live in island communities. It is very important that we manage to slow down climate change so that its consequences are minimal.