There should be no argument that climate change is the result of man’s abuse of the environment, but there is. Doubters cannot ignore the extremes in weather, some of which are the most severe in history or a first time occurrence. Now a United Nations panel issued a report stating that climate change will soon be irreversible.
Okay, admittedly the panel did not say they were 100 percent certain that climate change is the result of human caused greenhouse gases; they were only 95 percent positive.
There is irrefutable proof that the temperature of the oceans and the atmosphere have risen, and that the ice caps are melting, causing the seas to rise. The panel of scientists said that we can expect extended heat waves as well as heavier and longer duration of snow and ice storms. There will be increased numbers of hurricanes and tornados, and their ‘seasons’ will be longer.
Some of the more dire consequences of the destruction caused by climate change involve the poorest and most disadvantaged citizens of the world. Lack of fresh water and healthy food may cause violent uprisings in some areas; a battle of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.’
Can it be stopped? If the wealthiest nations of the world begin immediately to reduce carbon emissions, it can be slowed. To stop it entirely would require a worldwide effort involving governments, corporations, small businesses, and every day citizens.
Do we have a choice? The effects of climate change increase with each new calendar. Droughts in the west and Midwest are resulting in fewer crops and higher prices. Heavy snows, ice storms, and even unheard of tornados in the eastern part of the country have resulted in increased costs of heating oil and electricity.
Those who will suffer most will be our grandchildren. The rising seas will eliminate the possibility of sustainable life on many of our present shorelines. The air they breathe will be of poor quality and during certain weather conditions unbreathable. Drinking water will require multiple filters to make it safe to drink.
As of this date the biggest polluters, China and the United States, have shown little if any concern, while scientists claim that as early as 2020 the quality of life on our planet will greatly diminish.
Commentary by James Turnage