Imagine if your home town was covered by water. Imagine if the woods in your country disappeared due to forest fires. Imagine if floods, hurricanes, snow blizzards, and droughts were part of everyday life. How would that affect you? Your friends and family? The society you live in? Climate change is a challenge everyone is aware of and affected by.
The consequences of climate change are diverse and interconnected with many other global challenges. It will take united effort on a global scale to solve them.
- It affects our living spaces. The number of climate refugees is certain to climb in the next years. We will have to find new homes for more people in less space.
- It affects our health. The increase of extreme weather will cause harvest failures and thereby hunger. It can cause power cuts which might hit hospitals. It can destroy houses and cities thus taking away shelters and hygienic facilities.
- It affects life on Earth in general. The natural habitats of flora and fauna are being disrupted. Ice caps are melting. Forests are burning down. Green areas are drying out, and the oceans are turning hotter and more acidic. The extinction of species isn’t just bad for the particular species, but for every species in the food chain. All living beings are interconnected, so when one dies, we all feel the consequences – good and bad.
So what can we do to solve this major challenge?
Climate Change or Climate Chance
Every challenge is also an opportunity at the same time. The challenge of climate change is no exception. Each of the issues mentioned above comprises a chance for changemakers to get creative and solve those issues. Many top entrepreneurs and innovators describe climate change as the “greatest business opportunity of our time.”
For example, several companies and startups are currently working on improving our power generation and developing greener alternatives to gas and oil. General Fusion is focusing its attention on commercializing nuclear power plants. Disney has also entered the game and is currently developing solar power plants.
Others are looking at transportation to find new and more sustainable solutions, as this is responsible for 23% of carbon emissions. The key here is to develop batteries with a longer lifespan for electrical vehicles. Tesla is the front-runner in this area, but also companies such as ChargePoint or Bolt are doing theirs to revolutionize our ways of transportation.
Food is also an important issue in the fight against climate change. Our meat consumption needs to change either by us eating less meat or by producing meat in the lab or with 3D printers. Beyond Meat, supported by Bill Gates, is working on exactly that by creating meat-like products using plant materials.
Other projects include:
NASA and other space organizations have also developed programs and missions to keep a close eye on Earth’s climate from space.
and from our #beapirate challenge last year, these cool projects were developed:
- MOSS (Multipurpose Odor Sensing System): an artificial olfaction technology that notifies the user if certain chemical thresholds are reached.
- Urbicuflos: a movement for bringing nature back to the cities as plants convert the constantly emitted carbon dioxide into clean oxygen and cool down cities due to the moisture they spread.
- Shuset: a solution for reusing the shower‘s water for the toilet and thus fight against water scarcity.
You can find more projects working towards SDG 13: Climate Action here.
These are just some of many, many projects that are being developed right now. Some of them have a global impact, others are more locally-focused, but all of them are important for us to solve the challenge of the climate crisis.
So pirate, how will you make a positive difference?