Heatwave should melt hearts of climate change sceptics

Europe has been turned into a firebox. Since last week, unprecedented temperature levels have been recorded across the continent.

In Paris, the mercury climbed to a record 42.6C. Temperatures also hit record highs in Belgium (41.8C), Germany (41.5C), Luxembourg and the Netherlands (40.7C).

The scorching heat disrupted transport, schools and also affected some people’s health.

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The heatwave has been blamed for the deaths of five people in France, and thousands of chicken at a farm in Britain.

Another heatwave in 2003 caused the deaths of 15,000 people in France. Chillingly, climate researchers have warned that there will be more and more heatwaves across the world.

Their analysis of the last 500 years shows that Europe has recorded its hottest summers in the past 17 years. But it is not only heatwaves that are giving humans a headache. Prolonged droughts, floods and rising sea levels have elicited concern across the globe.

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At the moment, Kenya is staring at a major food crisis due to crop failure occasioned by a dry spell earlier in the year. Drought-fueled food shortages have become regular not only in Kenya, but also in other parts of Africa. Devastating weather phenomenon such as the cyclones that hit several South African countries early this year are predicted to become more regular.

The world is running amok. Sadly, we are the authors of our own suffering. Scientists have provided evidence that these adverse weather conditions are a product of human-induced climate change.

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The need to reduce green house emissions, and to mitigate the impact of climate change has never been more urgent.

Yet, despite the devastation wrought by climate change and the promise of doom and gloom in the future, humanity continues to walk the path to self destruction.

Burning fossil fuels and cutting down rainforests, which are said to intensify global warming, continue unabated.

Matters are aggravated by policymakers—including US President Donald Trump, who, ironically, should be showing the world the way — who refuse to acknowledge that climate change is real.

It is time world leaders addressed climate change with the seriousness it deserves. Denying there is nothing wrong with the climate, will only render us sitting ducks for an increasingly furious Mother Nature.

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