Halfway through the summer season and temperatures continue to soar as successive heatwaves sweep over the world. In Greece, July has brought extreme heat in a prolonged heatwave that is expected to be the longest in this country’s history, while global news these days seems to be full of stories of heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, and flooding. Without a doubt, we are going through a period of extreme weather and climate phenomena. Climate change is here, and it stands to have a devastating impact on the world’s population if we don’t take immediate action to limit it.
Sadly, we continue to not realize that our Earth is a single ecosystem and that we must think beyond our own backyard and operate with a global mindset. But how can we expect world leaders to reach agreement and to seek out and implement common policies and practices when in our own cities, neighborhoods and communities, environmentally reckless and damaging practices are so often overlooked and face no consequences at all? And all this because of greed and, sometimes, stubbornness. Reckless practices, indecisive and irresponsible policies, and unthinkable public tolerance from us all are resulting in ongoing environmental damage and biodiversity loss. Our planet, this beautiful home of ours, is in danger because of our unsustainable use of its natural resources and our destructive practices that are destabilizing ecosystems and driving climate change. The consequences, if we do not take drastic measures now, will be dire. We must not only develop the necessary awareness but also learn to react to the environmentally reckless and abusive practices, large and small, happening next to us every single day. In a crime of such magnitude committed against society, tolerance is, simply put, complicity. So we must demand that any and all best practices with the potential to mitigate the impact of climate change be sought out and implemented urgently, even if doing so displeases some people.
One way forward is through the utilization of innovative technologies—technologies that are today advancing very rapidly and which provide excellent capabilities across all areas of human activity, not least in analyzing, comprehending, preventing, and addressing such phenomena as those caused by climate change. As is the case with any technology, however, it is up to us when and how we harness this new potential and use it to address these unprecedented challenges. Emerging technologies can be an invaluable tool in the fight against climate change and in charting a course toward a sustainable future. It is now up to us to deploy them and, most importantly, to take responsibility for our future.