We need to act on climate change for the sake of others

In the South Pacific ocean lies three tiny atolls that go by the name of Tokelau. These islands have a population of around 1,500 people, around the size of a big village.

The Tokelau islands

The three tiny atolls that make up Tokelau

However, bad news is on the way for the people of Tokelau, as climate change is threatening every single one of the residents lives. Droughts are a real problem in the area, as despite being surrounded by sea water, there is very little freshwater that locals can use. Climate change means that rains are decreasing in the area, and drought is increasing.

The second issue for this tiny group of islands is the sea itself. Sea levels around the world are rising for two main reasons: ice caps are melting, and thermal expansion (when water gets hotter, it expands) – these are both caused by climate change, i.e. global warming of the planet.

The final issue for these tiny atolls is that they are made out of coral. Coral is a very delicate substance, that requires very specific conditions to grow and survive.

Basically, these islands are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and it doesn’t look like their situation is getting any better.

It is rather unfair of one to say that the use of fossil fuels on these islands is what has sealed their fate, as compared with the likes of China, the USA and the EU, the islands have virtually no greenhouse gas emission – they probably are responsible for less than 0.0001% of global emissions, leaving the rest of the world responsible for the other 99.9999%.

Despite this, Tokelau has announced that by September 2012, there will be no greenhouse gasses produced there at all, they will run 100% on renewable energy! Photovoltaic solar panels will make up 97% of their energy, whilst the rest will come from local coconut oil made into biodiesel. What is really amazing is that its per-capita income is only about $1,000 per year, a fraction of that in many western countries.

Why is Tokelau bothering though? Their fate is sealed, sea levels will rise further, drought will increase and coral will decline. However, this tiny group of islands believes that if they make a stand now, maybe, just maybe the rest of the world will follow.

The people of Tokelau will most likely be taken in by nearby neighbours, however their home islands will be lost forever, along with their natural beauty and potential. But that’s not the point.

I believe that Tokelau is a warning for what is to come for the rest of the earth. Climate change is happening and it’s real. If we carry on the way we are, we will almost surely destroy the planet we call home.

I have read predictions that by 2050 most of the worlds megacities and centres of economic and political power will be underwater. That includes the likes of London, California, the Netherlands and Bangladesh. That’s a lot of people who will be affected.

We need to take a stand now, for the sake of the future of planet earth.

A Europe centred picture of the Earth

Why not install solar on your roof? It could heat your hot water or power your electricity, even creating extra which you could sell back to the national grid! Why not have a small wind turbine set up in your back garden, that could do wonders for your energy bills!

Think about it. It is our world, we need to look after it.

From the bottom of my heart I ask that you think green, save resources and our home. We really are so lucky that in the whole of space, the perfect conditions came about so that our planet were ever to exist, with it’s vital magnetism and ozone layer, which helped to create and now sustains life.

Earth suspended in spaceWhat’s your opinion on this?

12 thoughts on “We need to act on climate change for the sake of others

  1. I can still remember how I enjoy staying outside when I was still young. However, everything changed as I started going to college. After few years, our weather is becoming worst than expected. I wonder why governments are having second thoughts of supporting those natural sources of energy like solar energy. Yes, it could be too expensive to start with and can affect the money earned by them through taxes from oil companies, but it could surely help us save our environment for future generations.

  2. I think now people are more aware about climate changes than ever, but still it’s our government which need to take correct actions. We need to promote resources which save our green world plus our interest also doesn’t affect.

  3. It’s very worrying what’s happening to our earth, the earth is warming up and the weather is becoming very extreme at times. I am lucky in that I live quite high above sea level, but these vulnerable people of Tokelau have a very uncertain future. As you said they virtually create no greenhouse gases, yet they will suffer from the big, rich nations insatiable appetite for fossil fuels, very unfair indeed.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      I think it would be a pretty sad thing to be a resident on one of those islands, you are paying the price for others mistakes 🙁

      Thanks for your comment Bethany, welcome to the Technology Bloggers commenting community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  4. Under the Kyoto Protocol, New Zealand (Tokelau is a territory of that nation) is – or at least should be – doing its part to combat potential environmental disasters. And I would think that New Zealand would be one of the first nations to take in any climate refugees from Tokelau.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      That is true Larry, it is part of New Zealand, technically, however it is a bit of an odd one, depending upon where you look will depend as to what people class it as.

      The Kyoto Protocol needs an updated/superseded, and that is one of the things that was meant to come out of the Durban talks :-/

      Thanks for your comment, welcome to the Technology Bloggers community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  5. i think people are aware of the climatic changes, but we can’t stop all the production that makes the environement dirtier than it is. But still one day we will become really concerned about all the climatic changes.

  6. Hey man I need the Copyright for this Picture ( http://www.technologybloggers.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Planet-Earth.jpg ). I want to participate in an Artist complication. The Task was to create a poster. I used your Picture for a special collage.
    Let me know if its allright when the Jury from this complication may publish my poster with your Picture in it.
    Please let me know soon because I need the Copyright for the picture tomorrow.
    Thank you for an answer
    Max from Germany

    • Christopher Roberts

      Hi, I’m afraid I don’t know who owns the rights to this picture. Feel free to using the version of the image on our site, but as I didn’t create the image so I can’t grant you copryight. Sorry about this.

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