The thermometer panics, the temperatures soar. It is also hotter on earth.
The last few weeks have witnessed intense heat waves in many parts of the world. We can no longer count the broken records: 49.5 ° C in a village in Canada, 34.87 ° C in Moscow and 48 ° C in Siberia. Devastating fires are raging in Australia, California, Amazonia, Cyprus among others.
Should we see the alarming premises of a climate change in progress or the consequences of sporadic meteorological phenomena?
Unless you are a convinced climate skeptic, it is clear that the intensity of climatic hazards on Earth has risen a few notches for years. We even have the impression of witnessing a certain acceleration recently with a bar always placed a little higher. In any case, for a large part of the scientific community, there is little doubt as to the reasons for what we are suffering. Like the climatologist, Jean Jouzel, who declared a few days ago: “If the credibility of scientists had been considered thirty years ago, we would not be there. Because we are today at the point that we envisioned thirty years ago, in terms of rhythm, global warming, the acceleration of the rise in sea level, extreme events, which we perceive that they become more and more frequent or intense. This invites us to give credibility to the words of scientists. If nothing is done seriously to fight against global warming, if the commitments of the Paris Agreement are not respected, we are heading towards a world to which it will be very difficult to adapt. "
Precisely. In addition to the violence of the phenomena which cause significant damage and a large number of victims, the living conditions for many living beings, including humans, are expected to be dramatic. Water is lacking. And if nothing is done on a global scale by governments, there is no reason why this trend should not continue with force as Zeke Hausfather, American climatologist reminds us: "If we continue the CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, this will not only become usual but more frequent than today ”.
And here is that the report published last June by the UN on the state of drought on earth takes a very particular reasoning. The UN, which considers the risk of drought to have been largely underestimated by experts, says it could become the "next pandemic" . Mami Mizutori, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said when releasing the report that: “ The drought is about to end. become the next pandemic and there is no vaccine to cure it. ” It is difficult not to consider the lack of water as an extreme threat when one examines the appalling situation that certain countries are going through. For example, we mentioned in our past articles the situation in the western United States or Madagascar. In the latter case, we realize how an extreme drought can make it difficult, if not impossible, to provide water, electricity and food.
Madame Mizutori is no more optimistic than reassuring when she adds that: “drought is now a generalized phenomenon which does not only affect the arid regions of Africa. The United States, Australia and southern Europe have already experienced episodes of drought. By the end of the century, almost every country will suffer in one way or another. "
This growing threat knows no borders. And while we are not all equal in the face of climate disasters, all societies, economies and sectors will suffer. Agriculture, transport, tourism, industry, energy production, no one will be spared, one way or another. Scarcity of food, rising prices, impoverishment and migration of populations, collapse of GDP, conflicts and insecurity, the picture of celebrations is wide. Nature Communications , for example, reported in its journal, an excerpt from a study indicating that "nearly 40% of agricultural imports into the European Union could become " very vulnerable " to drought by mid-century. "
The interconnection of nations in a globalized economy forces us, therefore, to understand drought as a real pandemic. And according to the UN, no less than five billion people could be affected by water scarcity by 2050.
Man, at the same time guilty, responsible and victim, perfectly knows the facts of the problem and has, in his hands, the means to remedy it. The outcome is not in repeated meetings or declarations of intent whose effects are as insignificant as they are exasperating, but in action; immediate and total. Hoping it's not too late.