The reality of climate change
Among all the talks that I watched, I found the talk of David Puttnam “The reality of climate change” the most interesting and educative. Davis Puttnam is the chair of the Climate Change Joint Parliamentary Committee. Moreover, he is one of the first scientists who addressed the critical global issues relating to climate change by creating the world’s first Climate Change Act in 2008. The aim of it was to provide a framework for Britain and other countries to commit themselves to substantial reductions in carbon emissions (Joint Committee on the Draft Climate Change, 2007). David Puttnam makes a remarkable point that the problem of climate change has never been as urgent as today. The present-day people have to choose whether they are part of the solution or they contribute of the problem as there will be no better occasion than now (David Puttnam, 2014). Unfortunately, people prefer short-term interests to long-term ones today. They act only when there is the visible danger or situation that violates their zone of comfort and their profit. Moreover, the main problem of humanity is that we never learn the lessons from the mistakes of the past. We still choose ignorance and think that this issue does not concern us directly, but, as it appears, it does.
I really like the examples from the past that Puttnam provides, showing Steinfeld and Nader who wanted to help, warn, prevent, and save people from the addiction but were ignored at that time. It took 25 years until the government realized, or rather admitted, the harm of the tobacco products that Steinfiled was proving to them and which they so authoritatively and unanimously rejected. Similarly, it took Nader 20 years to prove that seat belts can help save lives and are necessary in the cars. It is such a pity that it always takes too much time to realize and accept the scale of the problem and when people do it, there are always big losses or it is already too late. Now the question is how many years people will need to understand the urgency of the climate change and its consequences to start acting and save the planet.
The presentation of the important words on the slides, which were very meaningful and made the points of the speaker much stronger, had a significant influence on my perception of the said. “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change – and the last generation that can actually do something about it” (David Puttnam, 2014). During the last decades, the world has changed a lot, it built numerous gigantic buildings, plants and factories, developed fantastic speedy cars, improved the technologies, and advanced in many other spheres. The life became better in the terms of comfort and practicability. However, the consequences of these changes are reflected in catastrophic alterations of the climate and environment. If we do not take action to resolve the problem, then with the development of the world, this issue will become more urgent with every next year. Moreover, our children and grandchildren will face greater hardships and feel angry with us for knowing about the possible consequences and not taking measures to avert them.
The important aspect in presentation was the table with 10 most expensive disasters of 2012 where the numbers helped to realize the total scale of loss and the scope of the problem of climate change. Moreover, this visual table showed not only the loss of money, but also gave the idea of how mгср suffering and pain it caused to the people experiencing these natural catastrophes. Such is the result of the disregard of terrible forebodings in the pursuit of profit (David Puttnam, 2014). The most upsetting thing is that money and other forms of profit are the main priorities of those in power in today’s world, and people, their health, and future wellbeing are not.
The most surprising fact to me was that all seven CEO’s of the major tobacco companies confidently and hypocritically swore to the U.S. Congress that nicotine was not addictive (David Puttnam, 2014). I could not imagine and saw for the first time with my own eyes that for the profit and the preservation of their business people are ready to do anything, risk the lives of others and persuade that nicotine is not addictive even after they received scientifically supported evidence that proved that it is.
In my opinion, the main “take home” message of the talk is that we are all responsible for the problem of climate change and by ignoring this issue we make it worse every day. We must face the problem as urgently as we face other important problems occurring in the course of our lives. We must act now and try to do what we can because it is our duty to our children and future generations of this planet, keeping in mind that we might really be the last who can do something to prevent and thus save the planet.
Joint Committee on the Draft Climate Change. (2007). Draft Climate Change Bill: Vol. 1: Report, together with formal minutes. London: The Stationery Office Limited.
Puttnam, D. (December 1, 2014). The reality of climate change: David Puttnam: TEDxDublin [YouTube Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjtO-0tbKU