Current Climate Crisis Impacts Are Much Closer Than You Think
Posted on: February 22nd, 2021
John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, is warning Americans that we may only have nine years left to avert the worst consequences of our current climate crisis.
In a recent interview with CBS News, Kerry said, “Well, the scientists told us three years ago we had 12 years to avert the worst consequences of climate crisis. We are now three years gone, so we have nine years left.”
Suddenly, assigning a number to the current climate crisis – one that’s much closer than many of us would’ve presumed – brings the severity of climate change clearly into focus.
From an educational standpoint, we turn to NASA’s site Global Climate Change – Vital Signs of the Planet. “Human activities are changing the natural greenhouse. Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This happens because the coal or oil burning process combines carbon with oxygen in the air to make CO2. To a lesser extent, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry and other human activities has increased concentrations of greenhouse gases.”
Impacts from these human activities on the natural greenhouse include:
- Earth will become warmer in some regions (which obviously has its pros and cons)
- The warmer temperatures mean more evaporation leading to wide-spread droughts
- As the ocean temperature rises, glaciers will melt more rapidly increasing the seal level
- Higher atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) can have both positive and negative effects on crop yield.
The US re-entering The Paris Agreement is a good first step in the global efforts being undertaken. The agreement, “Is a landmark in the multilateral climate change process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.”
But as Kerry points out, it seems the Paris initiates might not be enough for the unprecedented scale of this current climate crisis.
“Even if we did everything that we said we were going to do when we signed up in Paris, we would see a rise in the Earth’s temperature to somewhere around 3.7 degrees or more, which is catastrophic,” Kerry said.
The time to act on our current climate crisis is certainly now. Organizations need to adopt more sustainable practices both internally and with the products they offer to consumers. As for consumers, they need to be more demanding of organizations for sustainable alternatives, while limiting their insatiable appetite for material and disposable possessions which often find their way into landfills.
Change is ALWAYS possible. That is if we’re willing to be a part of it.
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