ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image of Lake Dukan in northeast Iraq, asking “What is planet Earth trying to tell us?”
On the heels of COP 24, the United Nations Climate Change Conference that took place last week in Katowice, Poland, it is very clear what Alexander is trying to tell us.
From his vantage point on the International Space Station, Alexander shares his daily views of Earth, as well as his perspective. His imagery captures not only the beauty of Earth but also the fragility. “It is crystal clear from up here that everything is finite on this little blue marble in a black space, and there is no planet B,” he said in a recorded message to kick off the start of the conference.
During this festive season Lake Dukan brings a Christmas tree to mind. The reality behind it is less cause for celebration.
Global warming is dramatically altering habitats and landscapes. What started with melting polar ice is quickly becoming a global problem, as rising sea levels and warmer global temperatures trigger devastating weather phenomena and large-scale habitat destruction.
While organisations such as the United Nations, in global collaboration with governments and agencies monitoring climate change, work to breathe life into the 2015 Paris Agreement, there is much individuals can do to be part of the solution.
This holiday season you can help reduce waste and the stress it puts on our planet. When gifting consider upcycling old toys or purchasing second hand furniture. Making gifts is also a creative option, or give the gift of your time by volunteering to help a friend or a cause, or treat loved ones to an event. Going into the new year, commit to doing a little more to help our planet by recycling, reusing or reducing overall waste.