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Where Are We Headed in the Era of Global Boiling? | Cartoons

By Xuelin Mu, Qiao Yu|Jul 01,2024

Chongqing – Last year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that "the era of global warming has ended and the era of global boiling has arrived" when July 2023 was recorded as the hottest month ever. Will July 2024 be cooler? We don’t know yet, but alarming heat waves in India and Saudi Arabia are not optimistic signs.

Extreme high temperatures in Saudi Arabia claimed over 1,300 lives during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, according to a Saudi authority announcement on June 23. Unprecedented heatwaves in Saudi Arabia were believed to be the major factor behind the overwhelming death toll. Similarly, unprecedented heatwaves in India this year, with the capital's temperature soaring to a national record-high of 52.3 degrees Celsius, also captured global attention. These incidents are just a snapshot of the climate crisis facing the world today.

Doomsday: what can we do to keep Earth from being consumed as time passes away? (Cartoon created by Qiao Yu, Mu Xuelin)

A one-degree Celsius rise in the global average temperature signifies the destruction of Earth's ecological balance. Increasing natural disasters like wildfires, floods, droughts, extreme weather, and heatwaves occur worldwide, affecting not only underdeveloped and developing countries but also developed ones. These disasters are a stark warning that climate change and ecological destruction threaten human survival. Taking action to achieve sustainable development is urgent.

How can we reverse the worst consequences of climate change?

"Smile Earth VS Weeping Earth" Earth: Ouch, burning fever is killing me! Hey, man, stop torturing me and try to heal me. (Cartoon created by Qiao Yu, Mu Xuelin)

Burning fossil fuels like gasoline, coal, and natural gas emits greenhouse gases, one of the leading causes of climate change. With industrial development worldwide, fossil fuels have been the primary energy source for centuries. Now, as heatwaves become more unbearable and natural disasters more frequent, some countries have taken action to decarbonize their economies and achieve carbon neutrality by adopting new energy sources and innovative technologies. For example, China has made significant progress in green and tech-intensive development, contributing to global green development. Last year, China's exports of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, and solar cells amounted to $147 billion, a year-on-year increase of 29.9%. Notably, its export of NEVs reached an unprecedented 1.203 million, a 77.6% year-on-year increase. China is now developing new quality productive forces to achieve innovative breakthroughs in green and low-carbon technologies, the market-based allocation system of resources and environmental factors, green and low-carbon industrial transformation and upgrades, as well as green production modes and lifestyles.

A Letter From Mermaid: My dear human friends, as you all know, I'm from a fairy tale, but my home—the beautiful blue ocean—is not. If our friends keep treating the ocean as a dumpsite and recklessly killing marine life, the gorgeous blue ocean will only exist in fairy tales, too. Please treasure and protect the beauty of the blue ocean through actions! Sincerely, Mermaid (Cartoon created by Qiao Yu, Mu Xuelin)

Meanwhile, land and ocean ecosystems act as "carbon sinks," absorbing over half of all carbon emissions. However, unrestricted human activities and expansion of living spaces result in serious deforestation, forest degradation, forest biodiversity loss, and the disappearance of swamps, causing natural "carbon sinks" to lose their functions, exacerbating climate change, and challenging human survival. The degeneration of the “carbon sink” function also affects the ocean ecosystem. The ocean has warmed, lost oxygen, and been acidified by climate change. Additionally, pollution and over-harvesting by humans threaten the living environment of wildlife and plants in the ocean. For instance, areas of kelp forests that are efficient at fixing and storing CO₂ are shrinking rapidly.

A Poor Billionaire: When all natural resources are exhausted, how much will a drop of clean water cost? (Cartoon created by Qiao Yu, Mu Xuelin)

Therefore, biodiversity, environmental protection, and ecological remediation are essential for maintaining the global ecosystem's balance. The international community should be aware of this. Multiple measures should be taken, such as issuing laws to prevent pollution, halting hunting and other harmful activities, and restoring oceans and forests. Will the global boiling situation deteriorate or reverse to become human-friendly? It depends on whether we take action and slam on the brakes.


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