It is not an inconvenient truth
by Oladamola Arasanmi
Topics such as sexuality, mental health, race, and religion used to be considered as taboo and as a result, they were not part of the public attention. Nowadays the situation is completely changed. Liberal movement of various nature have brought up the importance of human rights which are inalienable and no one should be excluded for. At the same time, dealing with climate change issues is not anymore included, only in the political agenda of the radical movements.
Since last century, a considerable number of scientists had drawn attention to the urgent issue to the main political and economic leader. We now are in front of tangible evidence that cannot be disclaimed. All the consequences of the human activities since the industrial revolution to now are more real than ever. For instance, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) described 2016 as the warmest year with a temperature of 0,99 Celsius warmer than the mid-20th-century mean (NASA, 2018). Another more recent data shown on the Guardian on 27 February 2018, warns how the acceleration in the sea level rise should worry more people since a lot of infrastructures are build on the current level of the sea. What should we do for future generations (Abraham, 2018)?
Consumerism and environmental issues are strictly connected since our way of producing is influencing the environment negatively. We don’t want to take responsibility for the harsh and irreversible damage that we have caused to the planet. A considerable number of animal species are now extinct, pollution and the high emissions of gas into the air, significant rise of temperature, the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather are all consequences of harmful human activities. In spite of the importance of environmental issues, since the last century, many scientists have lacked economic and political support to furthered their research on sustainable methods of producing. However, we are not in the place to deny the big step made by the climate change movement. Talking about it, nowadays it is not anymore and inconvenient truth, with reference to the Al Gore’s film, used a part of environmental propaganda in the US. Sustainable methods of producing were not encouraged because they would have undermined the political agenda of this capitalist society (Dunlap and Brulle, 2015).
Should we then leave the responsibility to big corporations? From one perspective, the large multi-national corporations do have a major role and responsibility for a lot of the environmental issues, in the sense that they are the largest producers and financial supporters. From another perspective, we should analyse global climate change as a social challenge and thus as an issue of social sciences. Global climate change is a natural phenomenon that should not be disconnected from the historical context and its social factors. Sociology has been undermined by natural science. A preference for objective perspective marginalised a socio-cultural understanding creating its limits on the range of analysis of environmental issues (Urry, 2010).
It is also important to bring in civil society, as a part multi-diverse organisation of actors outside the market and government. We should recognise the ability of civil society to facilitate a collaboration between social and natural sciences. Civil society thus is the best location for a social movement to be fostered, we need to act voluntarily towards actual social change. Social movement is needed, with taking into consideration what is the political opportunity structure(Dunlap and Brulle, 2015).
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a comprehensive set of goals to improve the future condition of living using sustainable methods. We should take into account objectives12, on responsible consumption and production, and 13 on climate action, in order to live our daily life in accordance with these long-term solutions (Sustainabledevelopment.un.org, 2018).Each of us can take part in an essential change without shifting the problem to others. We should envision a realistic future, in which we can reestablish a friendly relationship with the environment. We need to accept the irreversible consequences of a capitalist economy that had lost the control and the equilibrium, with can-to-do perspective. We know, understand and therefore we can change it. We are able to re-take the control of what can be horribly dangerous for the future generations. We can bring together national and local authority towards a collaborative innovation of recreating a sustainable new way of producing.
Urry, J. (2010). Sociology and climate change. Malden, USA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Dunlap, RE, & Brulle, RJ (eds) 2015, Climate Change and Society : Sociological Perspectives, Oxford University Press, New York. Available: ProQuest Ebook Central. [7 March 2018].
NASA. (2018). NASA, NOAA Data Show 2016 Warmest Year on Record Globally. [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].
Abraham, J. (2018). Scientists have detected an acceleration in sea level rise | John Abraham. the Guardian. [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].
Sustainabledevelopment.un.org. (2018). Sustainable Development Goals .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. Available at: [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].