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How the Top 1% Are Making Global Warming Worse

How the Top 1% Are Making Global Warming Worse

By Maya, age 15

Every day we are bombarded with articles about climate change, global warming, and the climate crisis. The truth is climate change is a major issue that threatens our future existence on this planet. While the insinuation, that as a result of our past behaviour, we may not live long enough to see a future isn’t pleasant, it is true and we must acknowledge first if we are to ever reverse our actions in time. We, normal people, are repeatedly told how to decrease our own individual carbon footprints, and while individual habits have formed part of the problem, it is mainly corporate giants and the ultra-rich that are currently the biggest players in the pollution of our planet. 

Between 2030 and 2050, a total of 250,000 additional deaths are expected to occur because of climate change, and most of these deaths will happen in developing countries that don’t have the facilities nor the resources to deal with the effects of climate change. In the UK, the average person emits 8.5 tonnes of carbon per year while just the investments of 125 billionaires resulted in the emission of 393 million tonnes of carbon per year, this means around 3 million tonnes per person for each year. A report published in 2017, revealed that just 100 energy companies are responsible for 71% of all industrial emissions since around 1995. 

While billionaires enjoy flying around in their private jets and corporate giants roll around in their billion-dollar profits, they secure our doom in the near future. The world’s poorest 50% accounted for only 7% of climate emissions in 2015, however, they will be the ones who feel the effects of climate change the hardest. The hypocrisy of how the ones least responsible will be the ones most affected only serves to emphasise how unfair it all is. As normal people try to eat more plant-based diets and switch to planet-friendly modes of transportation, the top 1% continue to pollute our planet and face no consequences. Severe droughts, increase in wildfires, stronger floods, the melting of glaciers, stronger hurricanes, rise in sea level… The effects of global warming are many, and most of them are already happening. 

The numbers exist, the facts are there, and the top 10% continue to exploit the resources of our planet for their own selfish motives while the bottom 10% suffer because of their behaviour. People need to be held accountable and the wealthy must accept culpability for their roles in the ruination of our planet. Once we start holding big corporations and billionaires accountable, we can start making a change and, if we’re able to do it in time, we might just have a chance at saving our planet. 


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