If we wait for ‘the science to settle,’ there will not be anywhere for us left to settle


Source: Nasa and USA Today

The previous year’s rains did not come, forcing the farmer to sell his land. With no money, he must move to an area which is not affected by climate catastrophes, he passes through flooded roads, past bread lines, and into the only place left that he is not in direct danger of a climate catastrophe, a high rise building. This is a possible and based on current trends, a likely future. We need to stop kicking down the can of climate change to future generations. It’s a reality we all need to face, and everyone is going to suffer due to it, from increasing refugee population in areas to destabilizing nations, to simply increasing insurance and your taxes immensely, there are a lot of problems that will come from dealing with climate change.

There is 97% consensus on the importance of fighting the impacts by scientists and researchers all around the world, so why do people still deny climate change by saying things such as “The Earth’s climate has been changing throughout its history.” Or the worse one of all: “The science is still not settled on the subject; we do not truly know the effects of climate change.” These are not sound arguments, and people need to understand the effects of what they are simply dismissing.

We need to push action immediately about climate change. Some of the effects I pointed out are far worse than they can be viewed at face value. According to the UN, a 6 billion dollar investment in disaster prevention risk due to climate change would prevent over 360 billion dollars later on in damages. In fact, due to our actions on not caring about the environment or the climate, 2020 was the first year that the Amazon rainforest emits more greenhouse gases than it absorbs, due to our continued deforestation. The previous statement is important due to the fact that the Amazon rainforest is considered the ¨lungs¨ of our planet, as it does a huge amount of photosynthesis.

When we emit more carbon into the air, the oceans naturally absorb more of this, and are known as carbon sinks. When more CO2 is added to the oceans, the pH decreases, which leads to less marine life and that finally leads to less food available for the human population and can damage economies. This leads into the next point, on which due to global warming, many places that were previously ideal farmlands and could be used to grow crops are now disappearing rapidly, with less areas being suitable enough to grow sustenance. Another important aspect of global warming that will hurt us is the amount of coastal area we will lose to the ocean. Some major cities of Florida will be underwater by 2050, and only putting more strain on resources outside of Florida and overall increasing the effects caused by global warming.

It is not easy to simply switch everything to green energy, as a lot of people in America itself get their paychecks from the oil and gas industry (according to the American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry accounts for 5.6% of employment in America as of 2012). The above listed are merely a few effects that we will or already have experienced from global warming, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.