The Extinction Of Humanity

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Earth’s climate has been changing since the world came into existence, so why has climate change suddenly become such a pressing issue? Climate change has been proven to deteriorate numerous facets of the globe’s natural attributes necessary for the human race to survive, however humanity as a whole is incognizant to the ostensible truth of the ever-growing problem.

Research by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has proven the risk of a Hurricane-Katrina level storm rises by seven times for every 1.8 degrees Farenheit the globe’s average temperature rises. And, in turn, the world’s food supply will have decreased by 70 percent in 2050 according to Live Science. Millions of  “climate refugees” will have to relocate to attain primitive, life-sustaining resources such as food and water.

We have become zombified to this matter, making statements like “Climate change will never affect me,” or “The next generation can do something about it.” This is an ineffective approach to attain resolution and will result in a viscous, interminable cycle. Climate change can never be completely prevented, but it can definitely be reduced and slowed down with a few simple actions.

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world,” proclaimed the great humanitarian, Nelson Mandela. The most forceful initiative would be to educate the world’s population about climate change to bring a tremendous environmental change at a basic, worldwide level. The only way to save the Earth from climate change is to create initiatives to save the environment and implement them abruptly. I believe the human inhabitants of the Earth have become “zombified” to the issue of climate change, which will effectuate humanity’s extinction if we do not act expeditiously. 

Climate change is caused by a conglomeration of sources, and generates devastating effects. Frequent natural disasters. Rapid environmental warming. Food deprivation. All of these disastrous effects will contribute to the endangerment of the human race if we continue to neglect it.

Stevie Wonder, a world class musician and vocalist, declared during a recent hurricane recent relief telethon, “We should begin to love and value our planet, and anyone who believes there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent. Lord, save us all.”

We must acknowledge how our Earth is developing or our ignorance will haunt us. It is crucial to identify the causes of climate change before trying to solve the issue. Global warming occurs when the Earth’s atmosphere traps excess carbon dioxide. This establishes a greenhouse effect, making the planet continually warmer. According to The Union of Concerned Scientists, the 12 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998, the hottest occurring in 2016. The rise in temperature causes mammoth glaciers to melt, which brings about the rise of sea level and arctic animals to lose their habitats. Each year, the sea level rises an average of 3.4 millimeters which is a rise of about three inches in 20 years, making the flood zone greater and putting urban areas in the surf zone.

Glacial melting also affects animals by forcing them to migrate after losing their habitats. Penguins, polar bears, and a wide variety of arctic animals are rapidly losing their glacial habitats, and coastal animals are endangered by flooding. Numerous species have been forced to travel toward colder climates because their natural location has become too warm. Slow moving animals are hurt by forced migration much more than speedier ones. They suffer the consequences of trying to outrun the heat, and the lack of a secure home needed to hide from bloodthirsty predators. This has sent the risk of endangerment, and possibly extinction, through the roof for these seemingly impervious species. 

Global warming also increases the severity of storms because the amount of heat in the atmosphere relates to the water evaporated. This fatal combination formulates substantial surge in the intensity of storms and natural disasters. Four gargantuan, calamitous hurricanes hit the mainland United States this year, destroying homes and taking lives. A similar natural tragedy occurred in California this year, where widespread forest fires have engulfed thousands of acres, smoldered forests, structures, and homes in its way. Forest fires proliferate at breakneck, unrestrainable rates when water is evaporated out of the soil, making it severely depleted and dry. Climate change also affects agriculture, leaving the Earth’s steadily growing population with a shortage of food. Considerable harvests of crops can be eradicated by a single forest fire, single drought or single flood. With these traumatic events happening more frequently, the prospect of a hunger crisis is even more feasible. Climate change, if continued to be overlooked, will eliminate our food sources, natural environment, and even the human race. 

Climate change is inevitable and will continually worsen, yet we continue to neglect the devastating transformation it produces. Although we can never cease climate change, we can still minimize its detrimental effects on our planet Earth and its inhabitants, using education to our advantage. According to the Washington Post, 40 percent of the world’s adult population has never even heard about climate change. Even in a first world country such as the United States, only half of the citizens believe they have a basic understanding of climate change, as reported by Pew Research Center. These proven facts signify education about climate change is not common knowledge and a serious issue. For a widespread transformation to occur, everyday people need to know about climate change, and what they can do as individuals to help the cause.

Small, ordinary changes like using public transportation and saving energy are immensely effective to minimize the stress we put on the atmosphere. However, government action is equally crucial to the aid of climate change. Former United States President Barack Obama did wonders for the effort of climate change awareness and preventive measures during his presidency. He introduced legislation, and numerous laws were passed, including guidelines to regulate the harmful carbon dioxide emissions that stimulate climate change. The most revolutionary act was pact with China to reduce harmful emissions by 50 percent within the world’s two largest economies. These preventative measures will definitely aid the effort and extend the precious globe’s lifetime, however, it is vital to educate the masses about a problem before hunting for a resolution. Government action or that of leadership organizations is imperative to impose change, along with sweeping awareness to get everyone involved.

If climate change is not addressed expeditiously, the human race will suffer a multitude of effects, such as a spike in natural disasters, shortages of food, and accelerated global warming. Humanity, as a whole, has become zombified to the issue itself and climate change will only worsen if it is continually ignored. Currently, the consensus view of climate change is it will not harm us, or it may not even exist. This view must be altered for change to occur. A unilateral movement between people of all nations, and the leaders of those nations, is imperative to see change. Climate change is an issue we have chosen to neglect, and one which can never be completely prevented. However, with education and action, we can combat the degradation of the environment and preserve our beautiful earth. 

Turner Davidson

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