OPINION: When it comes to saving the planet, it’s now or never


THE human race never learns. Why?

Are we stupid, ambivalent, or just downright lazy? Read on and you decide.

My vote is for all three.

When you know that something is wrong and not tackled with positive action, then this seems the most likely answer.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists say ‘It’s now or never’. Photo: Pixabay

And so it is with the inexcusable way we continue to damage our environment.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists say ‘It’s now or never’ to limit global warming.

This key United Nations body urges ‘rapid, deep and immediate’ cuts in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions.

If we don’t stop the upward trend of harmful emissions within the next three years we will all suffer the impacts of inaction. The IPCC has published its guidance on what the world can do to avoid an extremely dangerous future. 

“Some governments and business leaders are saying one thing – but doing another. Simply put THEY ARE LYING. And the results will be catastrophic,” said UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres this month.

United Nations Security Council Meeting On Ukraine To Discuss War Crimes
‘The results will be catastrophic’ said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Photo: Cordon Press

Key data from the IPCC report prompted this fiery reaction. Top of the list was that even if all the policies to cut carbon emissions that governments had put in place by the end of 2020 were fully implemented, the world would still warm by 3.2*C this century.


It really is NOW OR NEVER.

If we chose never (and political rhetoric counts as never) we will witness :

  •  Increased droughts leading to large scale famine
  •  Unprecedented heatwaves
  •  Terrifying storms
  •  Widespread water shortages 
  •  Abnormal flooding 
  •  Extensive fires across habited areas
  •  Loss of inhabited islands
  •  Massive destruction to our ecosystem 

I have never heard such an alarming call for action from the UN. Both governments and us as individuals need to act.

Why do governments not grasp the nettle and allocate the funding that is required to tackle this problem?

  • It costs more to rectify the damage than prevent it.
  • Lack of available funding, commitment and resolve create problems that are resolvable.
  • Wind and solar only supply 10% of the world’s electricity. Why? A lack of funding.
  • Farmers do not use green fertilisers. Why? A lack of funding.
  • Massive changes are needed to change transport , industry , production , consumption patterns and the way we treat nature. Again, why? A lack of funding.
  • New technologies are required urgently to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere.Why has it not been implemented ? You guessed it……a lack of funding.

When we need more forests, why are we allowing deforestation to continue?

We have to reduce our demands on electricity. As the world’s economies rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for energy soared. Research shows that the growth in the need for electricity last year was the equivalent of adding a new India to the world’s grid.

Martin Tye Picture 3
How can a ‘civilised Europe’ continue to fund Putin’s war machine by purchasing oil and gas from Russia?. Photo: The Olive Press edit.

Maybe we should accept it as a race taking two steps back before we push forward again.

Rapidly increase the use of renewables, cut our consumption habits (and also stick two fingers up to Putin’s oil and gas).

How can a ‘civilised Europe’ continue to fund Putin’s war machine by purchasing oil and gas from Russia? Sacrifices need to be made. We just need GOVERNMENTS TO HAVE THE BALLS TO ACT.


There are some countries leading by example. The Netherlands, where the sun doesn’t shine nearly as much as in Spain, has moved a 10th of its electricity demand from fossil fuels to renewable sources in the past two years.

Vietnam tripled its solar production in less than one year thanks to attractive government subsidies.

Martin Tye Pic 4
The Netherlands has moved a 10th of its electricity demand from fossil fuels to renewable sources in the past two years. Photo: Pixabay

Denmark, whose ability to produce electricity from the sun is less than the UK’s, now produces more than 50% of its electricity from wind and solar.

So it can be done.

Just so long as we don’t allow governments to be stupid, ambivalent or lazy.

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