Ahead of this year’s upcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow, talk of humanity reaching the 1.5C warming threshold has had many leaders scrambling to announce plans for sustainability in the future.
Despite calls to lower greenhouse gas emissions and limit pollution, it seems that the world is inching dangerously close to passing 1.5C. The results of such an event could be devastating.
Here’s what is likely to happen once global temperatures reach the breaking point.
More natural disasters
More wildfires, more hurricanes, more floods, more earthquakes — you name it, we will experience more of it. As the world gets warmer, the Earth will undoubtedly experience a rise in sea levels, extreme heat waves, and unprecedented weather as well, setting the stage for natural disasters to ravage the environment.
This will take a toll on countries around the globe, who will be made to deal with such disasters more frequently. As the floods and wildfires in Europe this year have shown, first-world countries won’t be exempt from the calamities. Expect trade, materials, crops, and more to be severely affected in the next few years.
Have you ever seen movies like Mad Max: Fury Road? They were based off of something, and it happens to be our grim future. In Mad Max, the world has become a desert wasteland and society has separated into factions that fight each other for basic resources.
As natural disasters ripple through our planet and humans eventually use up the last of Earth’s resources, things like water, oil, and gas will soon become limited. We will start to ration what we have left and may eventually fight over it. While it won’t come as quick or look as drastic as the Mad Max setting, the loss of resources is inevitable considering the fact that humans are consuming resources faster than the Earth can replenish them.
Disappearance of species
We’ve already seen this happening. With climate change and the immense negative impact of human activities, animals, for years, have been steadily disappearing from the Earth.
Deforestation, pollution, and overhunting has led to the extinction of hundreds of species; in fact, in the past decade, around 467 species have already been declared extinct. Less animals mean less biodiversity, which leads to an unstable environment. The loss of even one species can cause a domino effect in the food chain, which can eventually crumble whole ecosystems over time. Just look at the time-old example of the Yellowstone wolves.
With dwindling resources and natural disasters devastating countries, the time will come when governments will have to implement strict measures to organize people.
Wars will no longer have to do with race or terrorism, but will be more about the distribution of food, water, and other basic necessities. It will become hard to control hungry people and, like many authors have foretold, society as we know it will be no more. As early as now, climate change protests have been ongoing to make leaders realize that time is ticking. In the future, protests may not be as peaceful.
Art Daniella Sison