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If the temperature rises by 0.5 degrees, there will be 100 million refugees

# The name of this rain is not rainy season, but climate crisis

Professor Chun-ho Cho stood between the green earth and the hot earth. The red color represents the average temperature of the Earth in 2100 when greenhouse gases are not reduced. The redder the color, the higher the temperature. Professor Cho said, "It can be prevented by reducing greenhouse gas."

This summer, Korea set a record as the longest rainy season ever. Rain damage was also significant due to extreme weather followed by local torrential rain. The hashtag (#), ‘The rain’s name is not rainy season, but climate crisis’ is also spread on social media. After the rainy season withdraws, heat waves and autumn typhoons await. The extreme weather is no longer an abnormality, but a daily life. It's not only in Korea. Weather phenomena, which can statistically occur once every 100 years, are occurring more and more frequently around the world. Meteorological experts say there is a high likelihood that in the future you will continue to experience this "strange weather." This is because of climate change caused by global warming.

The problem is that climate change doesn't just affect the weather. Cheon-ho Cho, a professor of climate change at Kyung Hee Cyber ​​University, who served as the president of the National Institute of Meteorology, warned, "If we go like this, the collapse of human civilization will come in 40 years." There was a prospect that if we did not respond right now, Korea could become a refugee in the forefront, hit by the climate crisis. He said, "The climate crisis is directly connected to the national security and the maintenance of the democratic system," he said. I met Professor Cho on the 11th, who is taking the lead in publicizing the seriousness of the climate crisis.


Q: How serious is the current climate change?

A: “The global average temperature has risen by 4 degrees Celsius over 10,000 years since the time when glaciers on Earth expanded the most, creating the same climate as it is now. However, since industrialization, humanity has increased one degree in just 100 years. It's 25 times faster than the rate of change that occurs by nature itself. This is the first rate seen by an ecosystem that has endured the ice and interglacial periods every 100,000 years. One by one, the weak links in the ecosystem are on the verge of extinction. Like Jenga's game, if a block falls out one by one, it is retained at first, but one day it collapses in an instant. Just as people begin to feel unwell when their body temperature rises by 1 degree, the Earth is showing signs of climate change. When the temperature rises more than 2 degrees Celsius, the earth loses its resilience like an extended spring. Currently, the temperature rise is getting faster. If humanity goes to its present state, we have to think about the collapse of civilization.”


Q: The next 10 years are the decisive period for the climate crisis.

A: “In 2018, a general meeting of the Intergovernmental Council on Climate Change (IPCC) was held in Songdo, Incheon. Here, the conclusion that the scientists reached by unanimous agreement was that the global average temperature should be prevented from rising by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. To this end, all countries set a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 45% compared to 2010 by 2030. Scientists have calculated that if 420 billion tons of carbon dioxide are emitted, the temperature rise will exceed 1.5 degrees. At that time, carbon dioxide emissions were 42 billion tons per year, so 10 years remained. Now seven and a half years remain. You cannot make greenhouse gas emissions “0” overnight. This means that we need to take action right now. Fossil fuel-based civilization needs to be changed to a level that upsets itself.”


Q: It doesn't seem to be as experienced as the corona crisis or the economic downturn right before your eyes.

A: “It is said that the recent wildfires and subsequent droughts in Australia are due to climate change, not because of the current concentration of carbon dioxide, but the effect of greenhouse gases emitted in the 1980s and 1990s. There is a time difference before the results appear. It is also called'warming that has already been done'. Because greenhouse gases accumulate, global warming will continue for a while even if emissions are stopped right now. The climate crisis never retreats. As seen in the previous five major extinctions, the Earth has a tremendous number of processes that can destroy life on its own. The temperature rise of 2 degrees is what triggers it. If the current carbon dioxide emission is maintained, it is highly likely to exceed 2 degrees by 2060. At that time, even if humans do not emit greenhouse gases, the planet itself amplifies change. If the ecosystem collapses and you can't buy food even if you go to the mart, it makes no sense to sprinkle disaster support money. The climate crisis has nothing to learn from trial and error. It is because if it appears in front of you, it is over. It is clear that the pace at which the crisis is approaching continues to accelerate. It is a problem that can be avoided by reducing greenhouse gases.”


Q: What can citizens do right now?

A: “The Mayor of France's An Hidalgo Paris, who successfully reelected in June, made a pledge to eliminate 60,000 ground parking spaces in the city. It means don't go into town by car. Instead, it decided to significantly increase the bike path. Parisians chose such a market. In New York City, USA, a strong climate response law was passed last year. This is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of large buildings in the city and regulate new buildings with glass facades. One of the ways to change the world is politics. We should vote for people who are interested in the climate crisis, not politicians shouting "economic growth" that only raises the gap between the rich and the poor. Of course, to do so, citizens' consciousness must first change. I think the climate crisis can be solved in the process of making a good world.”


On the morning of the 5th, the water level of the Han River rose due to heavy rain in the metropolitan area, and the entire area of Banpo Hangang Park in Seoul was submerged. (Yeonhap News)

Q: It is difficult to expect political movement.

A: “European advanced countries, whether conservative or progressive, are the top priority of the national agenda, regardless of political faction. The time has come for a political leader to put the climate issue as a top priority in Korea. It's just a matter of timing and I think it will come out someday. This is because it is the only way to go and there is no danger of disappearing. Although it is still insufficient, the public's perception of the climate crisis has changed a lot in the last 1-2 years. You'll feel desperate as you see what's happening right in front of you. However, the sooner you realize it, the less burden you have to bear, so the time must come sooner. If the time is missed, democracy in our country will also face a crisis. When the Great Depression comes and the problem of immediate survival arises, democratic agreement cannot be expected. Authoritarian political forces come to power in the midst of disorder and instability. Didn't Hitler come out like that?”


Q: Is the climate crisis a threat to the national system?

A: “What triggered the civil war in Syria was a surge in wheat flour prices due to drought in the Russian wheat-producing region. When you're hungry, riots happen. Food, water, and energy are the basis for the maintenance of the country. The problem of Syrian refugees crossing the border because they cannot stand is a matter of national security in Europe. There are about 4 million Syrian refugees. However, it is said that if the global average temperature rises by 0.5 degrees from now, up to 100 million refugees can occur. How can Korea respond when refugees emerge in Asia? Korea, which draws almost all of its resources from abroad, is likely to be the first country in crisis. It is a very fierce and serious situation to consider survival, but now Korea is not even aware of the crisis as a crisis.”

Need to actively respond outside the frame of developed countries


Q: How do you see the government's Green New Deal policy?

A: “It seems that advanced countries are passively following the frames they have made. Instead of following others, you must exercise your leadership and focus your energy. The energy problem is also not partisan. Even in terms of economics, nuclear power has already expired in the market. Globally, investment, research and development are no longer being conducted on the nuclear side, while enormous funds are being put into the renewable energy side. Solar panel and battery prices have fallen by 85% in the last 10 years. It is said that it will drop by 50% more in the next 10 years. As capital and technology are intensive, years are developing differently. The world is turning towards an energy shift, and to hold coal and nuclear power means to have stranded assets. The industrial structure needs to be changed. Apple has announced that it will reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2030, and the European Union is considering imposing a carbon tax on imported goods.”

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