Every one of us has heard stories about what will happen by 2025, 2050, or 2080 to the environment if climate change continues at its current pace, and the outcomes are devastating. More extreme and more frequent storms like tornadoes and floods, an increase in temperatures that makes farming more difficult and the heat more unbearable, so why isn’t climate change at the forefront of our politics? Governments have been making an effort to reduce the effects of climate change by adopting biofuels as another fuel source, but because of misinformation this attempt has failed as an alternative fuel.
Despite environmental efforts, not much action was taken after Al Gore tried to warn us of the Inconvenient Truth of climate change, and now we can see its effects even right now. Ski Resorts all over New England and California have had to use snow machines to create enough snow for skiers and snowboarders. A spokesperson from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in California was quoted as saying, “We had a very, very dry December — just 2 inches. We got 200 inches last year just in December.” The Northeast has also been getting much more rain than usual, The Washington Post says that “The heaviest rainstorms have already become 67 percent heavier since 1958 in the Northeast.” In the Southern part of the country, the number of days over 90 degrees could go from 60 days a year to 150 days by 2100.
And already, some species of wildlife have gone extinct as a result of climate change. In South America, the last Golden Toad died in 1999. This was the first documented species to have gone extinct as a result of climate change, and in the future more species like the polar bear are many species of tropical fish are expected to go extinct too as a result of melting ice caps and bleaching coral reefs respectively. Some states are even expected to lose their state birds as the species migrate further north. And birds aren’t the only thing to migrate north. As temperatures rise, the grasslands of the Midwest are expected to become forests, while the bright fall leaves of Breech and Maple trees in New England will move farther north to cooler temperatures.
Climate change has the possibility to drastically change the world we live in, in as soon as 40 years. If we do not start drastically changing our habits now, we are going to have an even bigger mess to clean up later on. While it is very important for everyone to recycle and turn off lights, we need companies and governments to help us make more drastic change by looking into alternative fuel sources and reduce our carbon footprint globally. With new booming economies in China, India that use fossil fuels, we need to work with the international community to ensure that these companies are being green in their practices. While it might be hard to accept that climate change is coming fast, the sooner we start to slow or reduce its pace, the better off our planet will be for the next generations.
What do you think governments and the international community should be doing to curb the effects of climate change? What can we do here in the United States to set an example for the rest of the world? Do you think we should be the leader in environmentally friendly businesses?