Living in the 21th century, the talk about climate change is a topic that is constantly in the spotlight. Whether it is being discussed as being nothing more than another conspiracy theory or being spoken about the terrible consequences that will come with climate change, it has arguably been one of the most talked about subjects in the last 100 years.
To put in simpler terms by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), “Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface.”
In the US, the large amounts of CO2 emissions being produced and released into the air is the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity, more specifically coal-burning power plants.
English steam engineer and inventor Guy Callendar was born in 1898 in Montreal, Canada and later moved to London in the UK to live his life. Callendar’s life would forever be in remembrance when in 1938 after many years of study and research, he came up with the conclusion that people were dumping enough carbon dioxide into the air to raise the world’s average temperature.
Callendar would not be wrong because the earth’s total temperature has risen an alarming 2° Fahrenheit since the late 1880, before he was even born.
Although the race against global warming has been a fight against time for years now, it would be on the morning of Sep 21, 2020 when real panic would set in as Manhattan’s Union Square welcomed the Climate Clock lit up New York.
American authors Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd came up with the idea of setting up a digital clock in a busy place such as Manhattan in which a timer of 7 years, 101 days, 17 hours, 29 minutes and 22 seconds began.
What this timer represents is what the Washington Post describes as the time we have left before Earth’s carbon budget is depleted. A total depletion would cause the world into further destruction and suffering through more natural disasters.
President Donald Trump announced in 2017 that he would withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change Mitigation. Currently living in a country in which its own leader is not a huge believer of climate change, it leaves the responsibility on humans individually to make some type of change. Individuals need to make changes in their life and all come together as one to fix and slow down this worldwide problem.
Trump tweeted, “The weather has been cold for so long that the global warming HOAXSTERS were forced to change to climate change to keep $ flow.”
California has taken an initiative to help cut down these emission gasses. On Monday Sep 22, California Governor announced California’s major climate initiative. This initiative set up a new goal to eliminate gas car engines by the year 2035. This will also mandate that all operations of heavy-duty vehicles to be 100% zero emission by 2045 where possible. He hopes that this initiative will encourage other states and countries to follow in the same direction.
This timer is one that will not be a stable one. Depending on current and future emissions, the timer is able to go up and down on time. As time goes by, Golan and Boyd hope that time will work backwards in this case and prolong this countdown.
Ana Delgadillo is a staff writer for The Express. Follow her at @aaanakd.