Saturday, May 30, 2015

"If we fail to act..."

"The damage that climate change is causing and that will get worse if we fail to act goes beyond the hundreds of thousands of lives, homes and businesses lost, ecosystems destroyed, species driven to extinction, infrastructure smashed and people inconvenienced."
David Suzuki, scientist, author, environmentalist

       The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average. Changes in the Arctic climate creates a ripple affect around the world like a stone thrown into a placid pond. Rising sea levels and altered weather patterns are occurring at an accelerated pace. Mainly, melting snow and ice expose a darker surface, increasing the amount of solar energy absorbed. March of 2015 was the warmest month of March in 136 years on record. The CO2 levels are now higher than they've ever been in 800,000 years.  Across our planet we continue to damage or destroy entire ecosystems.

 The following paragraph is an excerpt from an article written by Ilissa Ocko, climate scientist at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), who contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

"The warming of the Arctic may also render Greenland largely ice free. While Greenland's ice loss will likely reach the point of no return within this century, the full transition will take at least a few hundred years. The impacts of the Greenland ice melt is expected to raise sea levels by up to 20 feet. Half of the 10 largest cities in the world, including New York City, and one-third of the world's 30 largest cities are already threatened by this sea-level rise. Today, those cities are home to nearly 1.8 billion people. Other vulnerable American cities include Miami, Norfolk and Boston."

      If humans act responsibly by stabilizing birth rates, reducing our consumption and eliminating hydrocarbon energy we might be able to reverse the current warming we've created. If we fail to act now, we face an escalation of heating beyond our control. Carbon emissions are dominated by the US, China, Europe, and India. Primarily, sources of carbon emissions are coal, gas, oil, and cement manufacturing. All of these sources and more are preventing the carbon uptake by plant life, reduced further through deforestation and the increased acidity of our oceans. We are killing our planet or perhaps to be more brutally accurate- we are committing suicide. If we continue on our current path without making major changes we continue poisoning our own plant, food and water resources, our wildlife and ultimately ourselves.