UN Secretary General Warns of Impact of Climate Change

Patrick Kissel, Reporter

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an appeal to world leaders on December 3 calling for world leaders to take the threat of climate change seriously and to act boldly to evade a cataclysmic rise in temperatures.

“Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption,” Guterres said.

These comments were echoed by other leading scientists and naturalists. Naturalist Sir David Attenborough said the “collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons” if no immediate action is taken he said during a UN summit on climate change in Poland.

“A lot of people seem to speak up about [climate change] but nothing is really happening,” freshman Dalia Newbury said.

Guterres also criticized countries for not being ambitious enough in the Paris Climate Accord, which the US withdrew from in 2017, where the goal for global temperatures was set to keep them below a 3.7 degree increase, which Guterres claimed was too high.

“I’ve rarely heard Trump talk about climate change,” freshman Evan Brown said.

According to a Yale study, even “at two degrees, parts of southwest Asia, including well-populated regions of the Persian Gulf and Yemen, may become literally uninhabitable without permanent air conditioning.” This means the agreement in the Paris Climate Accord that was criticized by Guterres could leave parts of the world completely uninhabitable.

“I think a big part of [climate change] is humans, and what we’re doing, and how we’re producing things,” freshman Olivia Murray said.

The United Nations’ Scientific Panel on Climate Change has also released a report, which indicated the Earth is currently on track for a major crisis by 2040, according to the New York Times. According to the report, in order to evade crisis, the world economy must change at a speed never before seen in world history.