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Reading Naomi Klein’s Book: This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein brilliantly argues that our economic system is at war with our environment. An argument that strikes some people as ‘radical,’ yet for many of us, it only seems obvious that our egotistic, selfish and materialistic ways were bound to take a toll on something. The decisions we make inevitably have consequences – and serious ones at that.

I think that our economic system is responsible for many of the problems we face today. Conclusion: There are causes and effects, actions and reactions – and concepts like inequality and injustice harm our environment (which should be considered most valuable to us) and our entire beings. In fact, they’re all part of the same narrative and cycle, and if we can’t cherish the planet, our only and shared home, I doubt we will care about much else.

But perhaps, facts are harder to deny. So, let’s talk numbers.

Sea Levels

In the last century, global sea levels have risen about 17 centimetres. The scarier bit is that the rate in the previous 10 years has doubled.

Global Temperature

It’s a fact: the Earth has warmed since 1880, and surface temperatures continue to increase.

Oceans

This heat impacts the oceans, resulting in a warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.

Shrinking Ice Sheets

Data shows a loss of 150 to 250 cubic kilometres of ice per year between 2002 and 2006 for Greenland and 152 cubic kilometres for Antarctica.

Declining Arctic Sea Ice

In the decades, the thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly.

Extreme Events

In the United States, the number of record high-temperature events has increased. At the same time, the number of record low-temperature events has been decreasing since 1950.

The truth exists, and the numbers tell it. But, first, we have to be brave enough to face it. Only then can we look for solutions to change it? And when we do decide, “there will be things we will lose, luxuries some of us will have to give up” (Naomi Klein’s Book, 28). The road ahead is long. But the decision to pave a path that honours life and values the planet is entirely ours.

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