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We are in a deep climate hole. Let's stop digging

We are in a deep climate hole. Lets stop digging
The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres speaks during the UN Climate Action Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.-AFP

Indeed, the time for talk is over - it was over a long time ago, actually.

By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's desk)

Published: Mon 23 Sep 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 Sep 2019, 5:36 PM

"We are in a deep climate hole, and to get out, we must first stop digging," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the opening of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. Profound words, those. Words that will stir even the most ardent climate change sceptic. But words aren't enough - not anymore. As Guterres further noted: "This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk. This is not a climate negotiating summit because we don't negotiate with nature. This is a climate action summit."
Indeed, the time for talk is over - it was over a long time ago, actually. Warmer oceans, rising sea levels, melting icebergs, glacial retreats, increasing number of high-intensity cyclones and storms, rapidly spreading and mutating diseases, water shortages, worsening droughts, rising temperatures, growing plastic in the oceans, unprecedented high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. these are no longer the cataclysmic events that we see in doomsday movies and apocalyptic TV series. They are a reality today and we've kicked the proverbial can so further down the road that there's no more road left to kick it any further. We've reached the end of the road. It's time to turn back. To undo the damage that we have caused.
Can we - you and me - be that catalyst for change in our immediate surroundings that will help save our planet for our children and theirs? The answer can't be 'no' as that would be betraying our kids. "You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal," an emotionally charged teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg said yesterday at the summit. A year ago, she skipped school and protested alone outside the Swedish parliament. This Friday, 4 million people joined her across the globe in climate strikes. "The eyes of all future generations are before you, and if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you." The youth has woken up to the ills of carbon emissions and climate change, and you don't want to be on their wrong side - or that of history.

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