#itmustbeNOW is our call-to-urgent-action, our trumpet call, our rallying cry!
We are at an urgent and defining moment for our planet – our ecosystem is in decline, our population is rapidly multiplying, more than a billion people lack access to safe drinking water, our air and ocean is polluted, and the gaps between rich and poor are widening. Humanity has become a force of nature and we cannot escape our negative impacts affecting all countries, our oceans and the wildest corners of our planet. We have caused our climate to change and it is the biggest threat of our time. And the worst part is that we have brought this on ourselves!
At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below the dangerous 2° Celcius, and to aim to limit the increase to 1.5° Celcius. In June 2017, the USA superpower that emits the highest greenhouse gas per capita announced it would pull out.
By December 2017 at the Paris One Planet , the urgent message was “We are loosing the battle. We must do more and we must do better.” According to global scientists, we are now on track for an irreversible 35.5° Celcius (38.3° F) by 2050.
But not everyone is moved by politics or the science; or the doom and gloom messages in the last decade. The fear and guilt trips have made many people tune-out or withdrew from the issues and focused on something else that makes them feel better. Many people still think of climate change as a distant problem – distant in time and that the problem is for future generations; and distant in space and that the problem is far away in the arctic or South Pole. And it is not as if many people don’t care, it just such a huge and complicated problem.
So let us start by just looking at our own neighborhood and community. How clean is the air? Is there abnormal drought? Are people choking from pollution? Is the rate of asthma and cancer increasing? Is there access to healthy whole foods? Are the ice caps melting? Is it getting too hot? Is there lesser and lesser snow in the alps? Are people and animals dying from lack of food and water? Are species and plants disappearing? Are there more fires that flare up on their own? Are sea levels rising? These are the impacts when we don’t live in harmony with the environment.
The climate we are changing is the biggest issue of our time. Earth’s climate changes over time but it’s the rapid rate of change and the amount of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide filling up the atmosphere that have scientists concerned. Global warming doesn’t just increase temperatures, it also threatens food, water, shelter, energy grids, the health of humans and all living creatures. Rising sea levels threaten low-lying destinations and make groundwater undrinkable, inundate coastal ecosystems, decimate local plant and wildlife populations, and increase migration.
At this most urgent of times, we already know that there is no quick fix. We have seen the threat of climate change move slowly and then accelerate with horrifying speed. This must shake our collective consciousness and ignite bolder actions from each of us to scrutinize and demand wider responsibility and accountability from our governments and the companies we reward with our business.
As a mother of two children, I am deeply concerned, cautiously optimistic and boldly empowered. We are entrusted to protect our natural heritage and safeguard the future of our children, and so far, we are failing at it. This has inspired business innovations and prompted real changes in the way many of us live our lives, but at this most urgent of times, each person must do more. We are the problem … and we are the solution.
Launched on Earth Day 2017, itmustbeNOW.com is our urgent response. Our mission is to boldly advance sustainability, social responsibility and principled business practices in the travel industry we know and love. As the number one employer of people in the world, tourism is a powerful economic drivers which can influence the way countries and companies treat their citizens, foreign workers, indigenous people, wildlife and the environment. There are 1.3 billion international travellers today and this is forecasted to grow to 1.8 billion by 2030. It is a booming trillion-dollar industry, but so are the massive negative impacts that need to be changed.
Use your spending power to drive change when you travel and only support inspiring and responsible accommodations that share your values and are serious about sustainability and trying to make our world a better place and improving lives.
We have only one planet and it is our home. How we treat our world and each other reflect our values and humanity, our consciousness and intelligence, and ultimately it will determine our very survival. It’s time to urgently accelerate the momentum to build resilience to our planet, to improve our lives, and to build a desirable world for future generations.
Radical change starts with us. It must be NOW!