Let me set the scene.
You are in Maths class, and you are doing a quiz. It’s a quiz, a test that will help your teacher determine your final AP grade and you are on the final question. It’s multiple-choice, and you have got four choices. The options are: A) 12 B) 13 C) Extinction D) 15 Your heart says A, your head says 15 but…. UNDP says “Don’t choose extinction”.
The UNDP, United Nations Development Programme, is an United Nations agency whose aim is to make lives better and improve our world’s situation through sustainable development. With its mandate in mind, the UNDP has initiated the Don’t Choose Extinction campaign, whose aim is to tackle climate change and inequalities around the world, while ending the excuses that people usually say to try to justify their lack of participation or unnecessary doubt.
The UNDP writes, “Our governments currently spend about $420 billion per year supporting fossil fuels…. we’re turning the planet into a horrible place to live.” The problem that this campaign wishes to solve is the consequences of man-made change. Mankind has made the world a great place to live in, but overtime, our creations have turned or resulted into wildfires, floods, storms and many other natural disasters. Recently, those have been increasing in both intensity and frequency, making the world a hard place to live in. With these hardships, humanity is nearing extinction as time goes on and on. According to the campaign’s website, if you have been lucky (or privileged) enough to have avoided all these, there’s still a great possibility that you might fall victim to the diseases or pollution that these disastrous events create. As a matter of statistics, every year, 7 million people are killed by air pollution.
And even if some might be aware of these issues, there are many who are unable to support or battle them due to their main priorities being focused elsewhere, like want of necessities. As billions of dollars are directed towards fossil fuels, millions still remain in poverty. Therefore, many are left behind, left disordered or not given the aid they deserve. Once again, the main target of the campaign is such - to reimagine the future by avoiding a “climate catastrophe and (making) sure no one is left behind.”
As social media likes to say, “the chances are low… but never zero”.
Despite these many visible problems, only 4 billion people believe in the climate crisis. There are still people out there who doubt climate change, or who have excuses to combat their lack of participation or want of progress. For instance:
#1: “I am already doing as much as I can.” - Bravo! Thank you for your service. You might be remarkable but remember, the world doesn’t need more of you, it needs people like you. If possible, share your deeds or help influence your community.
#2: “I won’t see the effects of climate change in my lifetime.” - Firstly, as of today, the effects of climate change are clearly noticeable. Wildfires, increased droughts, severe storms and so many more negative effects are signs of today’s harsh reality. Secondly, if you might not have noticed those, your grandchildren will. If you remain ignorant or inactive, say goodbye to your genes.
#3: “Soon we will have the technology to reverse climate change.” - It’s true that our human brains can come up with solutions that might reverse our current situation, but as the UNDP says, “that combination of brain power isn’t near an effective cure yet”. Thus, it’s important to know that climate change can perhaps be mitigated or improved, but can never be fully extinguished or reversed. If we refuse to join in on climate action, climate change will eventually reach a point of irreversibility. All these excuses and answers are actually from https://dontchooseextinction.com/en/. If you would like to receive more information or get answers to your own questions, check out the website!
In the website, you can learn how to take action and join this campaign as well. There are resources that you can use to help launch or spread this campaign and combat both climate change and inequality.
The Birds & The Bees - Colorful and innovative, exciting yet thought-provoking, this children's book tells a story about how life on Earth can be saved. Complete with beautiful illustrations and adhering to the belief that working together can inevitably save the birds, the bees and Earth, take action by reading the book (it has an E-Book version too!) and sharing it.
Thesaurus Rex - The UN is breaking boundaries today by using a pun. As a display of creativity, you are able to take action by adding the Thesaurus Rex Chrome extension to your browser. Essentially, this Google Chrome plug-in is to help you in understanding complicated climate change terms that you may find in any climate change page on the internet; what can I say? It’s a real lifesaver.
Global Mindpool - If you want to have your voice heard about going extinct, you can take action by joining Global Mindpool (check it out here: https://globalmindpool.org/)! An empowering initiative, it strives to achieve collective intelligence and action through data collection as means to solve the climate crisis. Sign up now!
If you are further interested, more resources and options are available at the campaign’s website. Have fun! With all these resources and information provided, the campaign has been making steady progress. However, there are still some who are unaware or not willing to recognise today's matters. Thus, you can participate or spread it within your circle to help educate others about this campaign. Especially with today’s climate, it’s crucial people are aware of what’s being done and furthermore, what could be done.
That is why it’s so important now, more than ever, that everyone makes the right choice.
Outcome 1: You chose C. Good luck getting into college with your horrendous grade.
Outcome 2: You chose everything but C (“All of the above except C” was your final answer), and you just got a 5.0 GPA.