Editorial: The climate change battle

As Athens University Professor Efthimis Lekkas explained, between 14 October and the dawn of 15 October the volume of rain that fell on the Kifisos river basin, from Kryoneri to Faliro, was more than 30 million tonnes!

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Climate change, or even better the climate crisis, as the prime minister describes it, is undoubtedly here, at our doorstep. One need no further eyewitness accounts or scientific affirmations to understand that.

It is glaringly obvious that from now on and until global warming is checked, hot summers with relentless heat waves and disastrous wildfires will be followed by tropical autumn storms that are capable of dragging along everything in their path. They will be followed by extremely heavy winters with unprecedented snow storms and many needs, followed by unstable springs with vicissitudes in temperatures, and morning freezing conditions that can harm trees at the time of their productive flowering

The recent autumn storm code-named “Ballos” clearly confirmed that.

As Athens University Professor of Dynamic Tectonics, Applied Geology, and Management of Natural Disasters Efthimis Lekkas explained, between 14 October and the dawn of 15 October the volume of rain that fell on the Kifisos river basin, from Kryoneri to Faliro, was more than 30 million tonnes!

The entire country experienced the extreme weather conditions wrought by the Mediterranean typhoon, which experts believe will be an increasingly common phenomenon in the future, with repeated extreme weather conditions and dangerous situations.

According to Professor Lekkas, the Mediterranean constitutes the umbilical cord of the planet’s climate. Due to its position, it is extremely sensitive to changes in the climate, so it will face ever more frequent, more intense, and more extreme weather phenomena, which in turn will result in crises that are complex and pose a danger to human activity.

The common conviction is that the coming decades will be full of tough, repeated climate events that can result in the serious destruction of infrastructure, homes, crops, and of course the loss of human lives.

Everyone has now been warned that intense climate situations and crises will be part of our lives.

That means that it is important for everyone to take precautions, and first of all governments, regions, municipalities, and those who manage civil protection mechanisms.

Conditions mandate that governments especially must shift their priorities and organise and bolster all state services that are responsible for the management of such crises.

They must also equip these services with the necessary technical means and personnel and institute effective networks for the timely warning of citizens, which have been proven to save lives. Moreover, governments must be more decisive in adopting measures and policies that can stem global warming.

Opposition parties must also work in concord and cooperation with governments in this effort. There is no room for facile judgments, as all future governments will have to deal with a disaster on their watch. Moreover, futile skirmishes over wind energy and reservations about the instalment of new technologies that favour the economy’s shift away from coal are impermissible.

Moreover, everyone must reject conspiracy theories that suspend and hinder the country’s protection from cataclysmic changes in the climate.

Local government must also participate more actively in confronting climate-related events and their repercussions. There is no longer any room for great or small games regarding the interests of local government officials regarding anti-flooding projects, waste management, positioning, and a series of other issues.

Prefects and mayors must be mobilised and record the danger zones in a timely manner so as to inform citizens regarding the necessary actions and interventions.

Time is running out.

The battle against climate change is not simple and it has taken on existential proportions.

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