With the UN summit on climate change happening next week; climatologists, geologists, biologists, and numerous other scientists are forcing the world’s leaders to admit that there is only one thing left to do: Adapt or Die.
That’s right, folks. Our governments have been led by those with the biggest bank accounts for so long that we’re standing at a precipice. Because the rich haven’t wanted to change their ways, they wanted to keep profits on the rise and costs on the fall. They ignored what their practices did to the world around us and so did we. The outcome of that has been a drastic and marked change in our environment. We used to refer to it as “global warming” but now we know better. It is Climate Change. Humans have impacted the world in such a way that our climates are changing everywhere. Some areas are facing rising temperatures, some increased precipitation, while others are seeing drought on a biblical scale.
The United States is a leader among nations but our flaws have wreaked havoc. We have been focused on having the biggest house, the newest car, or even the most expensive bottled water for so long that we didn’t think about how our lifestyle was hurting the environment. Even now, when it is impossible to ignore that pollution has caused our world to reach a crisis point, many people are unwilling to change their ways.
Why should we pay more for some products that we know come from “green” businesses when we can pay less at super stores who import the same item from overseas where it is mass produced by companies that line the pockets of corrupt politicians so that they can ignore responsible environmental restrictions and continue to dump their waste in the waterways, air, and land around them? After all, getting that item on the cheap was way more important, right?
As the water levels in our oceans continue to rise, we’re going to start seeing populations move inland. Cities are going to have to raise their buildings and reinforce their infrastructure if they want to literally “stay afloat”. Our weather systems are going to change and the behavior of those systems that has been expected for so long will cease to exist and what is left will become erratic. People are going to have to realize that if we don’t start massive and global reversals in our way of life, then Mother Nature will force her will upon us and that is most likely to include eradication of populations unable or unwilling to adapt.
We are already seeing problems manifest. The North Pole’s ice pack is predicted to breakup and/or melt within the next ten years. By the end of this century, the oceans will have risen an estimated three feet. The difference in these water levels are enough to completely submerge many of the world’s cities; London, Copenhagen, New Orleans, Shanghai are just a few who will be unable to cope. The rise in temperatures has already driven insect and animal populations farther from their native ecosystems than has ever been predicted. Birds that used to flock south for the winter, nesting in Mexico, now rarely migrate beyond Oklahoma.
Earth is a planet and it will exist long after the human species has died out. But unlike any other animal, we have the opportunity to save ourselves and prevent further destruction. We can’t afford to do what is easy anymore; that habit has led us to where we are now, living in a world that that is slowly dying around us and also, because of us. It goes beyond just turning off the lights when we aren’t in a room. It means turning off and then unplugging those electrical items that aren’t in use. It means scaling back on the air conditioning and heating of our homes. It means using less gas and buying more fuel efficient vehicles. It means reducing what we spend and purchasing items that aren’t harmful to the environment in their manufacturing. It means recycling and sorting our trash. It means reusing whatever we can. It means living our daily lives conscious of the fact that our actions have consequences. We can longer say that it will be our grandchildren who will have to deal with the environmental problems. It is us, our generation that has to stand up and say we will make a difference.
Shirking the blame for the problem of Climate Change has been a trait passed down thru the decades but that precedent must be broken. We have to assume responsibility for the damage the human race has done and realize that we are in a race for our very survival and way of life. Continuing down the path of least resistance will not work; we must make the decision to change. One voice may not mean much but adding your own to those who are already speaking up will produce deafening results.