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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 31 - June 6  > We must cut GHG emissions now to turn from uncertain future to better future
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2017 May 31 - June 6 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
column 

We must cut GHG emissions now to turn from uncertain future to better future

June 4, 2017
Akahata ‘current’ column

Ice shelves in Antarctica are melting away. Abnormal weather frequently occurs worldwide. Abnormally large hailstones fall in many parts of the world. Tornedos and tsunamis hit big cities. The earth will freeze before long. These phenomena announce the arrival of a new ice age depicted in the film “The Day After Tomorrow”.

The film was inspired by actual shelf breaks that occurred before its release in 2004. Today, another ice shelf is on the blink of collapse which has been a focus of discussions by climate scientists. Many researchers predict that if glaciers and ice on the shelf flow into the sea, the sea level will rise by about ten centimeters.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef. It, however, is experiencing the rapid advance of coral bleaching. The coral when it turns white will die. Climate experts say that the international community must immediately cut global greenhouse-gas emissions. If not, the experts warn, the world will see the worst-ever destruction at the Great Barrier Reef.

Global warming has been causing various forms of extreme weather all over the world. Measures to curb rising temperatures have now become an urgent task of all mankind. However, U.S. President Trump has turned his back on global efforts tackling climate change and announced the country’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

He promotes his “America First” policy and says that he made the pullout decision to protect domestic industries and jobs. However, a majority of U.S. businesses, municipalities, and citizens are supporting the Paris climate accord. A lot of countries in the world have already made a shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy. These nations are pursuing economic growth while making efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. No one can stop this current. The United States, for sure, will only become more isolated.

According to observations the Japan Meteorological Agency recently made in Japan, the level of carbon dioxide has hit a record high under the present government led by Abe Shinzo who has a backward stance on global warming countermeasures. The “day after tomorrow” also refers to an “uncertain future”. It is us living today who bear the responsibility to work for a better future.
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