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2020 was an annus horribilis for everyone, even for the climate.

Posted by Maria Cristina Chiulli on

2020 was the hottest year on record in Europe, with temperatures 1.6 degrees higher than the 1981-2010 average, and a difference of 0.4 degrees compared to the previous record set in 2019.

Europe too is burning and is a global warming hotspot. And yet no national newspaper in any European nation chose to write about this on its front pages, despite the fact that this issue should overshadow any other, be it a health or political crisis. No one thought it might be of interest to their readers that the most consistent anomaly on the continent was recorded where it should be coldest: the Arctic Circle and Siberia. Here, average temperatures were 6 (six!) degrees higher than the 1981-2010 average. 

The true tragedy is the increase in heatwaves, hurricanes and extreme weather events, in droughts that lead to desertification, unprecedented wildfires and floods that cause enormous damage, not just to human settlements.

We experienced a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, but this does not and will not have concrete effects if it doesn’t become a consistent trend. What was the point of shutting everything down if nothing, not even journalism, is willing to change, put pressure on institutions and take people’s concerns into account, given that they have amply proven to care about their future and that of new generations? If news reporting hasn’t changed, how can we expect those who have an interest in maintaining the status quo from shifting? 

We must take advantage of the opportunities and space for change provided by an extraordinary year – in the widest sense of the term – to avoid the climate crisis from becoming so serious that we’re driven “to activate a mechanism of collective erasure to abstract a problem that looms over us and for which we’re unable to find solutions,” (Stefano Liberti). It is our last chance to build a future worthy of our species’ name, Homo sapiens sapiens. (source: lifegate.com)

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