The sun blazed a tad bit too fiercely on July 27, 2023, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres, with a grimace shadowing his face, announced that the globe had been plunged into an era, not just of warming but of boiling. Can you imagine? A planet simmering in its juices, much like a chicken roast in an oven. Only this time, we’re the chicken.
July 2023 is set to be the hottest month ever recorded.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) July 27, 2023
The consequences are tragic:
Children swept away by monsoon rains.
Families running from the flames.
Workers collapsing in scorching heat.
No more hesitancy or excuses.#ClimateAction – now.https://t.co/yQhWo26Uom
The heat, the intense, sweltering heat of July 2023, did not spare a single corner of the world. Imagine stepping out of your home and instantly feeling as if you’ve walked into a steam room, the hot air sucking the breath right out of you. With a blistering average global temperature soaring 1.7 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, this month has set the mercury rising, and unfortunately, the record books too.
Do you remember the sizzling summer of 2016? It was the previous record holder for the highest average monthly temperature. Yet, 2023 told 2016 to hold its beer and watch the real game. Thermometers in China, the United States, Greece, and diverse countries around the globe worked overtime, registering temperatures that seemed straight out of an inferno’s manual.
But the heat wasn’t just an uncomfortable nuisance. It had a dark side, a side that breathed fire and destruction. Greece, Italy, and Algeria – these countries echoed with the crackling and hissing of wildfires, as ancient trees turned to ash and homes were razed to the ground. All ignited by the relentless heatwave that showed no mercy.
As our planet slowly turns into a stovetop, Guterres appeals to the world leaders to cease the ongoing devastation. And no, he doesn’t call for despair, but action. Because if we do not act now, we risk stepping into an apocalypse of our own creation.
But why all this hullabaloo for a mere 1-degree Celsius increase since the pre-industrial era, you may ask? Imagine yourself wearing a woolly sweater on a warm day. How would you feel? Suffocated, right? That’s how Earth feels – suffocated and trapped – only the woolly sweater here is the greenhouse gas emissions.
This one degree has already pushed the sea level up by about 8 inches since 1880. Imagine coastal cities like Venice or Miami losing their fight against the sea, bit by bit, inch by inch. Add to this, the rage of extreme weather events becoming more frequent and severe, and you get a doomsday scenario that’s not from a Hollywood movie, but our very own actions.
If we continue down this path, experts warn, by the end of this century, we’ll be greeting another 2-3 degrees Celsius rise. Can we afford more wildfires, more floods, droughts, and heatwaves? I think not.
In the face of such a stark warning from the UN on the era of global boiling, it becomes clear as crystal – our planet needs us, and it needs us now. We must tighten our belts, roll up our sleeves, and work towards cutting down greenhouse gas emissions. Only then can we escape the wrath of a boiling planet. Only then can we hope to offer a cooler, greener world to future generations. The clock is ticking. The question is, will we act in time?