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What does the 2-degree limit mean to me and how would I contribute to achieve that goal?

By Dinda A. Royhan
Twitter: @dindarohyan
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Let's be frank here, I'm not into science. So when my environmentalist friend explained to me that 2-degree Celsius increase can change the world in a dramatic way, I just didn't get it. He explained this 2-degree limit in a very pessimistic manner, and I didn't quite get what he's so sad about. But after looking for simple explanations, I finally get it that 2 degree limit is important because of the consequences it could bring to the ecosystem. The world will be too hot for humans to live if we pass that limit. I also understand that it will take complicated measures for us to reach that goal—not only because we need to do a lot of efforts, but also because people don't understand yet what's so urgent about it, therefore refusing to contribute in doing those necessary efforts.

That is exactly the problem with society in general when understanding environmental problems; the ideas are too difficult to grasp that problems like these lose the attention of society in a quick second. Ignorance continues to happen because the inability of society to understand and the inability of environmentalists to make them understand.

As someone who doesn't deserve the title “environmentalist” for the lack of knowledge she possesses, my contribution to make the 2 limit goal happen is on a very personal level. I will continue to minimize the use of private car. I have always been a public transport enthusiast since I was a kid and I don't see that will change in the near future—especially since Jakarta's transportation system is getting a lot better now. I will also grow the habit of using my tumbler again because my excuse for not brining it, which was because I was too lazy to wash it everyday, now sounds too silly if I think about all of the consequences of not bringing it.

But last but not least, my biggest contribution would probably this: I will do my best to make people understand, because I believe ignorance is not what makes people not believe in environmental issue—it's s just their inability to understand something so difficult, which is totally normal. And in doing so, this internship will be my best option to get the best understanding of the issue.

Environment is just too badly misunderstood. But I believe the knowledge I will possess, when given to more people so that they would understand, would be a way for them to also give it to more people. Thus, environment can be less misunderstood, even though it takes one person at a time to do it.

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