Before man arrived on planet Earth, the conditions of the planet changed over time, sometimes violently, other times more gradually. All these changes produced the favorable conditions for life to develop as we know it today. As a general definition, we can also say that everything can be considered changeable over time, even the climate.

Why, then, are we talking about a crisis and a climate emergency?

To better understand it, we must first go to the root of the meaning of the word crisis: it comes from the Latin crísis, from the Greek krísis derived from kríno (I separate, decide, distinguish, judge). So a moment that separates a way of being (or a series of phenomena) from another different, a decisive turn that takes a given situation. In medical parlance, a sudden change in the favorable or unfavorable sense of a disease.

Crisis is a turning point, decisive.

Emergence comes from emerging: the act of emerging, what emerges. In practice, everything that becomes so evident that it rises above other conditions or situations.

We could speak of a simpler change in the climate where this does not create a condition of choice, let alone so evident that it is necessary to pay close attention to it.

Instead, we speak of a climatic emergency because extreme conditions are already occurring, or much more extreme, which can be observed and verified in a tangible, evident way and without the possibility of denial.

We talk about the climate crisis because we are facing a decisive turning point, which can lead to a favorable or unfavorable condition for every form of life on the planet.

Both are spoken about globally, without distinction of border, race, nationality or even more or less evolved society, or economic wealth. This is because the climate has no boundaries, extreme events occur everywhere and possible solutions and actions must be put in place by each of us, according to our possibilities, in a unified way.

Both are evaluated in a timeline that starts from today up to future generations, because the emergency conditions are already occurring all over the world and the consequences of our choices today will affect our today and tomorrow, our children and of our grandchildren. In a less serious way if we act immediately and with certain choices, in a much more serious way if we do nothing, or very little.

That is why it cannot be treated as a simple climate change.

It is part of the series: Understanding the climate crisis

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