Humanity is at a Code Red status…
The IPCC’s first warning, which successfully predicted the pace of global warming, started three decades ago. The second warning in 1995 noted that climate change was largely caused by human activities.
Fast forward to 2007, the IPCC published its Fourth Assessment and used the word ‘unequivocal’ to point out that humans were the main reason to global warming.
Seven years later, the Fifth Assessment came out. But this time, a harsh reality was revealed: “Greenhouse gas emissions were higher than ever, causing an unprecedented acceleration of climate change’s impacts.”
Humanity is at Code Red.
According to the 2021 report, the situation of our planet has gotten even worse. Climate change is altering Earth’s natural systems at every breathing moment. We can just tell from the extreme weather events that happened around the world this year.
Over the past three years, 91 authors from 40 countries gather information from more than 6,000 scientific studies and created the most recent IPCC report. Their research led them to a mutual conclusion that “every fraction of a degree of warming has grave consequences.”
The most important and practical goal right now is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees instead of 2 degrees.
The 0.5 degree of difference is small in number, but it’ll be a life savior to many people; As the report points out, a fewer number of people will be exposed to climate-related risks such as flooding, food scarcity, superstorms, deadly heat, and widespread disease.
A fewer number of people will be susceptible to poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050.
What is happening right now?
Now, let’s recall the disastrous natural events that happened in summer 2021. In later June, western Canada was under a “heat dome.” The phenomenon caused scorching temperatures when hot air is trapped by high-pressure fronts.
As Canada suffered from high temperatures, the U.S states of Washington and Oregon were also affected. The exact amount of death is not yet known but at least several hundred.
Europe was hit by devasting floods after torrential rains in mid-July. Villages in Germany and Belgium were severely destroyed, leaving at least 209 people dead and dozens missing. The damage also expanded to Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
Let’s also not forget the raging wildfires in the American West. The “Bootleg Fire” in Oregon, according to Firepost, “has burned the equivalent of the city of Los Angeles in vegetation and forests.” The blaze feeds on it and rapidly spread to the neighborhood areas. Across the state of California, wildfires have been an ongoing series.
The wildfire season started in the middle of an ongoing drought and low rainfalls and reservoir levels. The number of fires burned outpaced the 2020 season, making itself the largest season in California’s recorded history.
Outside of the U.S, natural disasters also struck heavily. In July, the central city of Zhengzhou, China, was flooded because of an unprecedented downpour that was a year’s worth of rain in just three days. Streets, road tunnels, and subway systems were overwhelmed with muddy water.
Natural disasters like floods and wildfires don’t just happen; they are the consequences of the increasing global warming situation and excessive human activities.
TikTok creatives who talk about environmental issues
Do you know TikTok is also a place where a lot of environmental activism happens? Indeed, TikTok is often associated with trends, funny videos, and relaxing content. But climate activists nowadays are taking humanity’s code red status seriously.
Philip Aiken, aka Phil the Fixer, defines himself as a redneck eco-socialist on his TikTok profile description. His videos, however, are not about cute animals or cool life tips & tricks. Instead, he talks about repairing soil sequesters carbon, boosting biodiversity, cleaning and restoring water supply, and making food more nutritious.
Against a backdrop of mashup viral sounds, the creator fully executes his creativity while addressing the existing environmental issue. Aiken intends to create more green spaces and most importantly, he hopes to cultivate positive influence and recruit more people to join his action.
“I am NOT a soil scientist. I’m an engineer, activist & creative who is just passionate about soil.”Philip Aiken, Phil the Fixer
Aiken also co-founded EcoTok on TikTok and the Intersectional Environmentalist on Instagram during lockdown. Both platforms set off to create a resource hub where people can talk about social + environmental issues and justice.
Campaigns fighting against our code red status
Besides influencers promoting environmental awareness on social media, companies, and brands have also developed bigger campaigns to cultivate more systematic activism.
Founded on the first Earth Day in 1970, EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement.
With its mission to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement, EARTHDAY.ORG has already expanded its positive action to 192 countries.
The organization has conducted multiple impactful campaigns such as The Canopy Project, The Great Global Cleanup, Artists for Earth, Foodprints for the Future, and etc.
At the end of the day, EARTHDAY.ORG urges people not to underestimate their own influence and power; It believes that an individual yields impact as a consumer, a voter, and a member of a community that can unite for change.
The message of We Don’t Have Time campaign is as straightforward as its name, urging humanity to take action on our code red status.
It is activism for changemakers who want to generate constructive decisions for climate change. Its goal is to influence businesses, politicians, and world leaders and apply their power and influence to motivate more people and create meaningful transformations.
How can we make use of social media?
In an article by Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu in 2020, she talks about how Millennials and Generation Z are becoming the active populations that discuss environmental issues on social media.
Keywords like #moss, #biodiversity, and #native biodiversity scored 84.4M, 12.6M, and nearly 800,00 views on TikTok just in 2020. This year, the numbers have already climbed up to a jaw-breaking 217.7M, 25M, and 1.3M views.
The power and influence of social media upon younger users are undeniable. In the age of technology, we are all avid content consumers. However, it is a code red moment for humanity to change.
Our time is a booming era of content creation. Social media platforms have already proved to us that every person can be his or her own content maker and influencer.
Right now, we need more voices that speak the issues. Instead of watching other creatives address environmental issues and increase public awareness, you can join the creative wave to make a difference as well.
That way, more efficient changes will eventually take place.