Wouldn’t it be really great if the solution to climate change was a small group of attractive british secret agents? I mean just look at the main character from Kingsman:
(My heart stopped too, especially with that british accent…)
All joking aside, it would be easier of the solution to climate change was either:
- A “Smart, rich” man takes it upon himself to select a few of the world’s elite politicians, families, and individuals that see eye-to-eye with him about the future of the world, to keep alive, while killing the rest of the world’s population.
- A group of secret service agents stopping a “smart, rich” man from killing off most of the world’s population, and instead having the world’s population work together to combat climate change.
Are either of these likely? I mean it would be great if the whole world could hold hands, sing kumbaya, become environmentally friendly, and live in harmony with all the cute birds and bees on earth. But do enough people care? Probably not. So what will get people to take climate change seriously? No land left to live on? Mass death to do lack of resources? What would make you work for the cause?
Unfortunately, I tend to think that the only way people will all work together to slow climate change is when it’s too late and there’s no going back. Cynical? Or am I just being realistic?
What do we already know about climate change?
- If we reach the 3.6 degree Fahrenheit threshold (or the “2C target”), the human population will no longer be able to control the affects global warming will have on our planet’s environment.
- According to the Nature Conservancy some of the most dangerous effects of climate change that can already be observed include:
- Higher temperatures
- Changing landscapes
- Rising sea levels
- Increasing risk of drought, fires, and floods
- Stronger storms and increasing storm damage (Ex. Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina)
- Economic Losses
- Increases in heat-related illnesses and diseases
- Endangered and extinction of wildlife species
- According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency projected changes in the environment will affect humans in the following ways:
- Agriculture: More severe warming, floods, and drought may reduce crop yields. But moderate warming and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may help plants to grow faster.
- Coasts: Warmer and more acidic oceans will disrupt coastal and marine ecosystems. Climate change could put additional stress on coastal areas, which are already stressed by human activity, pollution, invasive species, and storms.
- Ecosystems: Climate change can alter where species live and how they interact, which could fundamentally transform current ecosystems. Mountain and arctic ecosystems and species are particularly sensitive to climate change.
- Energy: Climate change will increase demands for cooling in the summer and decrease demands for heating in the winter. Sea level rise and more frequent intense storms could disrupt energy production and delivery.
- Forests: Climate change will alter the frequency and intensity of wildfires and insect outbreaks in forests. Productivity of forests could be affected by changes in temperature, precipitation, and the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
- Human Health: Warming will worsen conditions for air quality and increase the risk of heat-related illnesses. Increases in the frequency and strength of extreme events (such as floods, droughts, and storms) will threaten safety and health.
- International: Many people in developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change impacts than people in developed countries. Impacts across the globe can have national security implications for the United States and other nations.
- Society: Climate change will have more of an impact on people that live in vulnerable areas and the poor, young, old, or sick. Cities are sensitive to many impacts, especially extreme weather impacts.
- Transportation: Climate change will damage transportation infrastructure through higher temperatures, more severe storms, and higher storm surges.
- Water Resources: Warming temperatures, changes in precipitation, and sea level rise will likely affect water supply and quality. Changes to water resources affect many sectors, including energy production, infrastructure, human health, agriculture, and ecosystems.
So I’m sitting here, writing about how everything’s about to go to shit, and you must be sitting there depressed thinking: what am I supposed to do? I didn’t cause Global Warming, it was the generations before me! Unfortunately, we have to deal with the aftermath of past generations if we want future generations to survive? Don’t care about the future? Just remember that someone like you will be thinking the same thing when they’re overtaken by a flood, forest fire, drought, or die from a lack of resources.
Humans: all we have is each other, and as a species we strive to survive, it’s in our nature as animals. So how will we survive? By slowing and gaining control over climate change? How will we do this? Sure there is a chance if we all become environmentalists it might not change anything, but why not start there if there is a chance? What’s so bad with living in harmony with the environment? Honestly, that sounds a lot better to me than spending all day on a computer watching Netflix. Sure, binge watching Breaking Bad or Gilmore Girls, taking a 45-minute shower, and driving to the grocery store 5 minutes away, are all examples of things that can be nice and convenient, but are they necessary? I prefer spending my days outside, walking around, spending time in the sun, smelling flowers, running on the beach, and all the rest of the nature cliches you can think of. There is a reason cliches exist – because they exist, at least in terms of the way that people feel they need to be connected to nature.
So join me now in embracing our human nature of connecting to our environment. Get off your computer, put your phone away, and work for a better tomorrow.