A public lecture I attended about climate change inspired and rekindled my hope.
The presenter demonstrated how simple, serious and solvable this existential problem is and how we cause it, how it impacts us directly, and how we can individually and collectively solve it.
Simple refers not to solutions but to causes of global warming and climate change. It is simple because, when heat is applied to something, it gets hot and if it is not protected, it gets hotter faster, dangerously.
Serious refers to the existential catastrophe that is global warming and climate change. This is because emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere cause the ozone layer to deplete.
The magnetosphere deflects the most harmful solar rays and shields us from the hot sun. The ozone layer specifically protects the Earth and shields us from the harmful effects of UV radiation and hot sun rays, which cause all sorts of burns, cancers, and blindness and dry our waterways, cause drought, and we know first-hand the effects of drought in Kenya; melt ice and cause oceans and seas to rise to submerge many islands.
Global warming and climate change extend the tropics to the northern and southern hemispheres changing lifestyles, jobs, and sources of livelihoods.
Deserts will also expand and only the super wealthy will survive but only for a short while because the air conditioning and water that they can afford will deplete fast.
You know, if you go outside at 12 noon in Kitui or Turkana and stand under the sun for five minutes you will begin to sweat and get dehydration; imagine if you stood there for two hours, you would probably faint or die!
Now imagine if there was no ozone layer to protect you; you would die immediately. That is why, if a person was teleported towards the sun, they would die long before they arrived near it.
Now imagine an Earth completely without protection from the sun by the ozone layer; even the wealthiest will perish with all of us. When the warmth increases temperatures by 10 degrees Celsius, we shall not reverse the damage for thousands of years, and we may not survive.
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Solvable refers to sustainable solutions, NOW. We can begin by stopping setting stuff on fire, protecting our water catchment areas and not politicising evictions from these areas, stop cutting down forests that trap CO2 and other harmful gases, and planting more trees, better even including fruit trees in the mix, using renewable and clean energy such as solar, wind, and geothermal.
And it is cheaper than we think. It will not cost us more than 1 per cent of our GDP to invest in these sources of energy per year and by the fifth year, everybody in Kenya will have clean, renewable, and sustainable energy for a tiny fraction of what we are paying Kenya Power per month.
And, every person in Kenya will have access to affordable, reliable, clean, and sustainable energy, forever and we will have solved our existential problem of climate change and replenishing the ozone layer in the process!
If very cold snowy states like Vermont in the US can be powered by solar energy, imagine what Kenya can do with all the solar we have.
Please rethink and consider how your carbon footprint is damaging the ozone layer and how you can make an impact by being part of the solution through planting trees, conserving water, protecting our water catchment areas and water towers, recycling, and using alternative sources of energy such as solar, and wind and ensuring responsible production and consumption.
Reversing the negative impacts of greenhouse gases and ending their emissions must be done NOW. If we wait, the effects and impact will be with us for thousands of years and it certainly will be more expensive down the road. Let us ACT NOW and save our PLANET EARTH because WE CAN.
-Join the conversation @Koki_Muli @StandardKenya.