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Eight Years Left - Başak Bozoğlu


With the new year's arrival, new films and documentaries began to meet with the audience on cinema theaters and digital platforms. The movie Don't Look Up, on the other hand, achieved to become the most talked-about movie with 152 million views in the first week of 2022. It became the mostly discussed movie on social media with its famous worldwide cast and dark humor genre. Don’t Look Up is about a young astronomer's discovery of an approaching comet that will bring about the end of the world. Although the film is not innovative in terms of its subject, it is quite realistic in terms of being handled with social media. Unfortunately, it is tragic and very familiar for two scientists to explain an event that will bring the end of the world to society and politicians.


Based on this movie, the first question that comes to mind is whether human beings are blind to the events that will bring about their own demise. In 2018, more than two thousand scientists from forty-four countries demonstrated six thousand scientific studies as evidence, declaring that the world will become irreversibly heated in twelve years. IPPC (The International Panel on Climate Change) Researchers working under the United Nations and conducting scientific studies on global climate change warned the whole world about the point of no return. It is not known precisely how effective it was to influence people in their actions with some YouTube videos, one or two news channel broadcasts, and columns in that period. However, there is an 8-year window left to act. In fact, one of the best parts of the climate crisis is being able to experience the change in the climate without seeing the incoming meteorite or comet. In the last five years, you have often heard conversations such as winter came late this year, and the scorching heat is much worse than in previous years, fires in agricultural lands and floods in stream beds have increased. Unfortunately, the situation is much worse. The last ten years are the warmest year measured in the last hundred and forty years. This situation is a terrible threat to the well-being of people, animals, nature, in short, the entire ecosystem.


International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol announced that after the Covid-19 pandemic, countries' budgets for clean and renewable energy have decreased in order to recover their economies and that by 2023, carbon emissions will reach an all-time high in the world. Fatih Birol also stated that they are far from reaching the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature target in the Paris Climate Agreement and that the governments did not take the necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions, especially after the pandemic, and did not help with financial support.


According to the report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), if the increase in global warming is not limited to around 1.5°C, and if there is an increase of 2°C, one-twelfth to one-fifth of the planet's green space will become desert, and corals will be destroyed by 99%. The disappearance of flour means that an additional 450 million people are regularly affected by extreme heat, and hundreds of millions fall below the poverty line due to climate change. At the same time, the enormous order that exists within the entire ecosystem will be irreversibly destroyed. Currently, human beings are the only living species that can maintain this order or at least control it.


According to the annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), at the end of 2021, the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record level in 2020, despite the fact that the whole world stopped during the pandemic period. According to the published bulletin, the amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide increased more than the last year's average levels.


With increases, glaciers are melting rapidly in Greenland and Antarctica, the number of air, sea and land-related disasters has increased fivefold, global sea levels have risen by 20 cm and are still rising.


For scientists, the source of the problem is people's activities, and the solution is people. COP26, keeping the promises made in the Paris Climate Agreement, implementing their own training and work plans as soon as possible by each government, reducing emissions from oil and coal can provide great results in the short term. The important thing is to continue with our lives without forgetting these facts and take all the steps that can be taken, no matter how small or big. While there is a truth and the solutions are being spoken by hundreds of scientists, it is up to governments and people to keep their eyes open and continue working. There is a reality of the impending danger. It is our duty to open our eyes and take all possible steps to discuss, inform people, and truly make the global climate problem one of everyone's problems.