19 November 2019

Is your mess my future?

Written by Veera Vihmo
Published in under Climate change

Do you know what climate anxiety is? Have you ever experienced it? 

Climate anxiety is when all the problems with the climate, its effects, and fear of the outcome start affecting you mentally. For most, it’s only small worries about the future, but for some it can become full scale depression. 

Should I worry for the rest of my life?

I’ve experienced small worries for my future, and of course it is good to already be aware of my future at 15, but worrying if I’ll make it to 30 due to the ever-decreasing health of the planet is not something I think I should have to do.

Our planet’s health is getting worse, and those who want to deny this, in my opinion are just scared of the outcome or are really holding onto their beliefs, thoughts and opinions.

I’ve read about how people think climate change is not real because they claim that there is no “real evidence” of it. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the global temperature has risen 0.8°C. There is evidence but people still want to turn a blind eye and continue to deny the existence of climate change.

Climate change - true or not?

There are a few reasons for this disbelief. I will be explaining two of them. The first one is the claim that our planet is just experiencing another “warm age”, like in the past. But research shows that the temperatures have risen due to the overflowing amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. 

Something I have heard and read about before is the typical “well my summers and winters are still the same, so climate change is not real”. This is overused and incorrect.

Yes, in some places in the world it is harder to tell the difference for example in the American Midwest. There, it still snows and is icy during winter, so this may give people an image that there is no change. But if you observe the seasons carefully you can see that the winter periods are shorter and warmer and the summer periods are longer and hotter.

In Finland I’ve started noticing the difference from 10 years ago. I remember the snow coming up to my neck as a kid and the snow staying for longer periods of time. Now as a 15 year old of course the snow doesn’t come up to my neck, I’ve grown, but the snow stays for a shorter amount of time and there is less of it here where I live. The summers have become hotter than before and the warm season tends to stay for longer.

The time to act is now!

One thing I tend to hear is “we’ll be leaving this earth in your hands, it is your responsibility to fix it”. This really isn’t something I want to hear. I understand that I am at the age that I will soon be finding a job and will have responsibilities, but being told that the Earth’s situation is in my, and my generation’s hands is stressful.

At this moment I think those who have the power to change things should take action and not rely on the younger generation to clean up their mess. I don’t think it is fair that we are expected to clean up the mess that we did not make. 

Of course we will do our best to help change and fix the problem. But telling us it is our responsibility, then sitting back and waiting for us to grow up, get into a position to change things and hope we’ll be able to do so, is not the tactic to go with. I fear that then it will be already too late to try and save this earth.

We’ve been putting this crisis aside for too long and the consequences are catching up. We need to do something now before it’s too late.  

So please I am begging those who are in the position and have the power to change and help things, please do something!

TET-harjoittelija Veera Vihmon blogi ilmastonmuutoksesta.
Veera Vihmo
Attended work practice program at Neste in 2019.