For the Nth Time, Scientists Outline How Young People Will Bear the Burden of Climate Change and a Dying Planet

Climate action should be a priority.

We need global climate action. As if scientists haven’t warned us enough, the planet is dying. Despite the substantial evidence that points to global warming and rising sea levels, it often seems like scientists are shouting into the void as large nations depend on the money coming in from greenhouse-gas-emitting activities. Massive deforestation, gas-chugging transportation systems, and unclean electricity production are just some of the ways the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters (China, U.S., India, Russia, Japan) are contributed to hastening climate change. 

And it’s all going to bite them in the ass one day. Correction, not them, us. Because according to a study on the “intergenerational inequities of climate change” published on, it will be the young who pay for the choices of their elders. 

According to the study, the first of its kind to create an extensive model of what the young will face in the future, a child born in 2021 will live through: 

  • Seven times more heatwaves 
  • Twice as many wildfires
  • Three times as many droughts, crop failures, and river floods

"We found that everyone under 40 today will live an unprecedented life in terms of their lifetime exposure to heatwaves, droughts, and floods," said Wim Thiery, a climate scientist at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, who led the research. "This is true even under the most conservative scenarios.”

Climate change in the future will also affect those from developing countries worse. 

But don’t fret. The world isn’t ending—yet. Despite all the (unheard) calls to commit to global climate action now, Thiery still has hope that big governments and big companies will move to cut greenhouse emissions. But hope is a fickle thing, and the likelihood of fossil-fuel-heavy countries like China and the U.S. stopping greenhouse gas emissions altogether is low. 

At this point, climate action should be a non-negotiable initiative, because what good is money and business when the planet is dead anyway? 

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Anri Ichimura
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