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Time to change climate narrative and move beyond words

By ZHANG MEIFANG | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-11-25 09:52

Zhang Meifang, China's Consul General to Belfast. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The climate is changing, and with it the mood and temperament of a planet and its people. And not in a manner that serves.

The latest report from the UN has raised the temperature of world leaders, as well the new generations, with the planet on track for a global temperature increase of 1.5 C within the next 20 years; a decade sooner than last projected and putting the Earth on course to exceed the doomsday threshold provided by the scientific community.

Mankind plays a principal role in the current story that is unfolding. This is the truth. And with its role, an obligation as primary beneficiary of a planet we call home. This is generally, if not widely, understood.

But with such awareness and understanding must come the relative responsibility that precedes any meaningful action. And that is where we are today. As nations. As humanity.

Science does not lie. It does not know how to tell anything other than what is the tangible, measurable truth.

Science has been telling us-for several decades now-that Earth, our host planet, is under siege. Its systems compromised by forces external in the form of human activity, excessive in its patterns, feigning ignorance when intelligence is required. Doing so through rhetoric that acts as camouflage, sowing fear and despair where hope and action would better serve.

Words matter. Deeds done, actions taken, matter more when in the material world; especially, when the fate of a state, all states that serve as the collective consciousness of humanity, is at stake. And it is. There are those who are looking to change the climate narrative to a story with a more desirable ending. Lead by example in an effort to strike a more harmonic balance between man and the natural world, putting geopolitics aside for a more favorable, sustainable, shared future for all mankind.

China is a responsive leader in this regard. In the spirit of what is known, evidentiary, let's look at the truth before us:

First, China currently sits as the world's leading market for renewable energy, as well as the leading producer of renewable energy equipment.

Second, China is a world leader in green transition and remains undeterred in its goals of peaking carbon emissions before 2030, and achieving a carbon-neutral society before 2060;this, with nearly 20 percent of the world's current population.

Third, China's leader, President Xi Jinping, has been a steadfast champion of the kind of change in thought and its manifestation through concrete planning that is needed; of directives taken-financial and otherwise-required to win the day for all humanity. Ultimately, changing the narrative on climate change through action beyond mere words, and in doing so, move mankind to a more healthy state, with the planet a ready beneficiary.

In his own words, President Xi has stated: "We need to focus on concrete actions. Visions will come true only when we act on them." This, in his formal address to COP26, one accompanied by a shared blueprint for activating thought, moving waves of emotion to beneficial and substantive action.

The universe, as with life, operates under what some understand as the triangle of manifestation: where thought and emotion (emotion as nothing more than energy in motion) materialize an action as effect to such causation. It is not magic, but the result can be magical when one understands we are not victims, helpless in watching as the world unwinds before our eyes, but are empowered in the process, the life course of which we are upon. Together.

For we either create, promote, or allow what materializes in our lives. And how fortunate are we that this is so. Empowered in the process, victims only of our own choosing when the means of change are within capacity our own.

Each nation must ask of itself, "In what way have we either created, promoted, or allowed this current crisis to unfold?" for awareness is requisite to understanding, and understanding to the responsibility we must take with the ability we possess: the capacity beyond our audacity to do better together.

Plenty has been written of the doomsday messaging. Less so about those nations that have risen up, beyond words and into that more material, in resolution of threats as these, taking definitive action. And demanding no less of its people than to rise as one, to cooperate, innovate, and thus conflate a crisis of magnitude into a manageable series of directives, actions that move words, and intention, to deeds through required intervention.

In life, the issue is never really the issue. It is how we relate to the issue, this is the issue most of all. For, we are in a relationship game with the planet, with Earth as host and our good selves as tenants who appear at times unruly; in times like these.

Climate change is really an issue of relationship. One of harmony. One of balance. Any healthy relationship begins with respect and appreciation, and survives troubling times through cooperation and innovation; that changes when change is required.

Let us follow the lead of China and those that retain the spirit of empowerment as their driving force, as opposed to empty words and rhetoric of the perceived victimized-oft to merely win political favor - that serves nothing more than to paint a picture, a false truth, that we are no more than victims doomed to some fait accompli. Humanity fated by its own destructive ways, destined as such through our nature.

So let us change … the narrative, current paradigm. And in doing so, turn climate change into a change in the climate by which we relate to a planet that is, by all measures meaningful, a brilliantly unique place upon which we reside. Unique as is irreplaceable. And, as such, a place that must be nurtured, with a sense of awe for the life it affords us all.

This is the very least we can do for a host that does the utmost for its guest… Humanity in its entirety.

The author is China's Consul General to Belfast.

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