When it comes down to the facts and figures, the world really is at risk from climate change. But for most of us (us included), our lives are so far removed from melting ice caps and thinning ozone layers that we don’t always think about the issues of climate change. We have our 9-5 jobs, we have bills to be paid, we have children to look after, and we have about every other stress going, so we don’t need another one added to the list, right? However, a simple education about the risks and effects of climate change can really spark meaning inside of you. The best way to learn about climate change? Watch these 5 TED talks.
‘Why I must speak about climate change’ – James Hansen
When it comes down to it, you’re always going to believe someone who has a bit of knowledge about the Earth and environmental sciences – and James Hansen has oodles of it. As a previous director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a professor of Earth and Environment Sciences and a member of the prolific National Academy of Sciences, James Hansen is one of the leading figures in climate change. Since the ‘80s, Hansen has made it his job to educate people on the effects of climate change, which is exactly what he does in this TED talk. Not only does he involve facts and figures about climate change right now, but he also delves into the future – and the long-term effects on the Earth if we continue to live as we do.
‘A simple and smart way to fix climate change’ – Dan Miller
Dan Miller’s ‘simple and smart way to fix climate change’ starts with the general public. In this invigorating TED talk, Miller begins to talk about the ‘bystander role’ that many of us play in human society. Although we hear about the threat of climate change nearly every day, we simply ignore it thinking that it will never affect our own lives, or that a simple change in our own belief system or actions will not make any difference in the world. However, Miller refutes this. In this TED talk, Miller persuades us all to focus on our own small solutions to educate others, and for us to all see our own place within climate change and the responsibility we hold as a human race. Without us, climate change will just get worse.
‘The emergent patterns of climate change’ – Gavin Schmidt
If you’re a fan of seeing facts, figures, and diagrams while trying to learn about climate change – Gavin Schmidt’s ‘the emergent patterns of climate change’ will surely impress you. With his detailed and specific computer models, Gavin attempts to describe the complexity of climate change and the systems around it. He adheres to the idea that climate change is not ONE problem, but an effect that is caused by multiple different facets which all need to be understood as one whole. Only with education and understanding can we truly make a difference in the world and save the world before it is too late.
‘New thinking on the climate crisis’ – Al Gore
Former vice-president of the United States, Al Gore, has been a long-standing supporter of climate change action, and has numerous TED talks about his and the world’s involvement in the climate change campaign. In ‘new thinking on the climate crisis,’ Gore presents new and improved information that shows the increased pace of climate change on the Earth, believing that it could be even worse than scientists first predicted. Because of this, he shows the undeniable truth of the impact humans have on the world and nature. He urges us all to take in this information and act now, to slow down an inevitable process.
‘My country will be underwater soon – unless we work together’ – Anote Tong
As the president of Kiribati, Anote Tong gives us an insight to those who aren’t so lucky. With our sheltered lives, resources, and protection, our ‘first world’ countries are relatively ignorant to the threat of climate change – because we do not see it in front of us. But for the people of Kiribati, they see the increasing effects each and every day. In this TED talk, Tong describes the rising sea levels, and the problems climate change is having on their small island in the Pacific Ocean. A poignant and emotional TED talk, this will enable you to see and feel the true war on climate change.
Climate change is the single biggest threat to our planet, and to humankind. That is not an exaggeration. Once you’ve watched these TED talks, you will realize just how much damage we have done to the Earth, and how we are a long way away from repairing it. There are ways, though, that might just be our salvation if we act now. But that’s the problem – we need to act. Ignoring or denying the issue will only harm our children and great-grandchildren alike. So watch even one of these TED talks, and make a positive change to help our world.