We must wage war on climate change to save the Earth

November 14, 2022 5:45 am

This past week, more than 100 world leaders gathered for the Climate Summit to continue their clarion call that countries must come together to stop the course we are on, which is fueling and hastening earth’s demise (Photo by bestdesigns/iStock Images).

When a country’s sovereignty or well-being is threatened, it mobilizes to protect itself even if means going to war.

Defeating the threats, dangers and possible annihilation of the earth and life as we know it will require the same.

This past week, more than 100 world leaders gathered for the Climate Summit to continue their clarion call that countries must come together to stop the course we are on, which is fueling and hastening earth’s demise.

In his opening remarks, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, declared, “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”

One of the primary goals of the summit was to sound the alarm for the need to significantly increase efforts to reduce global warming before we reach a point of no return.

But convening summits, sounding the alarm, proposing polices and entering agreements by world leaders have not been and will not be enough.

Countries across the world recognize and have committed to passing and funding climate control programs and environmentally friendly industries.

But will such initiatives within themselves be enough to change the course we are on? Will incentivizing consumers to accept and participate in these initiatives go far enough?


Saving the earth from the ravages and destruction of climate change will be tantamount to nations and their people together waging a war to stop the major enemies.

Who and what are the enemies?

We have seen them, and they are us.

Our living habits perpetuate a disregard for the earth’s eco-system. We love the earth and its remarkable beauty and bounty. Yet, we disregard its needs and abuse its gifts.

What will it take to win the war to save the earth?

It is a war that must be fought on multiple fronts.

Historically, in major world wars, the people are asked to make sacrifices. Winning this war will be no different.

The first front, and perhaps the most important, is the public being willing to join in and do its part. But that requires believing that there is a climate change problem caused by how we live our daily lives.

Like election deniers, there are many climate deniers.

How do we overcome the denial, the apathy, the lethargy that is too prevalent, too pervasive and could undermine earth-saving efforts?

Just as national policies and investments to clean the environment have high priority, a massive and ongoing campaign to educate the public at all levels should be undertaken. The public and communities need to understand how their way of life may be contributing to the problem.

More importantly, they need to be provided with the tools and know-how to make necessary changes to adopt a lifestyle that is ecofriendly and eco sustaining.

Decades ago, recycling of plastics, glass, paper products were the craze. But even those steps were not broad spread and consistently practiced among the populace. The success of recycling has been mixed.

Sadly, in recent years, we have become increasing aware that those plastics and other refuse have ended up polluting our oceans, destroying their ecosystems, endangering sea life.

Landfills have also become environmental hazards, threatening our food and water supply. They have also been shown to release carcinogens that impact the health of those who live near them.

What is the public willing to sacrifice to help win the climate crisis war and save our earth?

As much as we love and have become accustomed to living a certain lifestyle, we must be willing to change, to stop.

We must choose to live and co-exist in ways that do not deplete and destroy the earth’s resources and treasures.

Another front is forming and advancing an alliance with future generations. There are young people — our children and grandchildren who are very concerned about the earth we are leaving them. They are making their voice heard, urging us to do what is necessary to stop the harm of global warming and climate change.

Coalitions with young people within this country and across the world could be the secret weapon of making major and long-term changes in lifestyle to create and embrace a more ecofriendly and sustainable environment.

We see it in little ways, small steps as commitments to buy hybrid or electric automobiles and consuming other ecofriendly products; choosing urban living where bike trails and public transportation are accessible.

Such initiatives by current and future generations should be embraced, encouraged and supported in every way practicable.

Yes, nations must come together to commit to policy changes, make resource investments to clean the air and our oceans, to create and support alternative environmentally friendly industries. There are many things that can be done.

But, it will not be a winning strategy until the public fully believe and embrace the fact that saving the earth is a war effort where we all must play our part — not intermittently, but consistently until battles are won on multiple fronts.

What are you willing to do, to sacrifice, to help win the war to save our beautiful planet?

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Janice Ellis
Janice Ellis

Janice Ellis has lived and worked in Missouri for more than three decades, analyzing educational, political, social and economic issues across race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. Her commentary has appeared in The Kansas City Star, community newspapers, on radio and now online. She is the author of two award-winning books: From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream (2018) and Shaping Public Opinion: How Real Advocacy Journalism™ Should be Practiced (2021). Ellis holds a Ph.D. in communication arts, and two Master of Arts degrees, one in communications arts and a second in political science, all from the University of Wisconsin.