Global warming is a reality that needs to be stopped

Hopefully, you have accepted that global warming is real. It is heating our oceans and lands and threatens hundreds of millions of people who live in coastal regions and whose eventual migrations will pose a major threat to everyone living inland.

Hopefully, you’re aware of these facts. What you might not know, however, is the steady increase in dangerous droughts coinciding with intense climate change.

From 1995 until 2009, Australia experienced a once-in-a-thousand years drought, significantly depleting reservoir levels and crop production.

In Northeastern Spain, drought became so constant and dire by 2008 that the region was forced to import water from France.

According to NASA, India has lost so much groundwater and become so reliant on irrigation that if drastic measures to ensure sustainable groundwater usage are not taken soon, there may be a major collapse of the agriculture industry there and other areas sustained by Indian agriculture.

In 2012, 71 percent of the U.S. experienced a major drought, and 81 percent experienced abnormally dry conditions.

In 2012 and 2013, Texas and California experienced their driest respective years ever. Droughts kill livestock and destroy crops; they threaten water supplies and decrease food supplies. Droughts and intense heat have also contributed to wildfires globally devastating millions of acres, and thousands of homes. Drought is estimated to cost the U.S. yearly losses of $9 billion.

Due to rising global temperatures, droughts are expected to increase in frequency and duration. Warmer temperatures increase the prevalence of droughts and amplify their intensity by increasing evaporation from soil, which further suppresses rainfall. 

Further, higher temperatures lead to more precipitation as rain, rather than snow. Rainwater evaporates much more quickly than snowmelt. Moreover, changes in the timing and quantity of snowmelts lead to water supply shortages and an inability to meet water demands.

Droughts not only negatively impact the quality of life and economic prosperity of millions of people, but they also affect their safety. Recent research clearly reflects that global warming caused years of drought in Syria, which in turn helped cause the current conflict there. A study published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” identified warmer and drier conditions in Syria as the cause for extreme drought in Syria from 2006-2009.

Ill-informed governmental policies led to major crop failures and the migration of nearly two million from rural to urban areas. This destabilization in Syria contributed to the unrest leading to the catastrophic civil war there.

When you walk outside and it’s unbearably hot, you shouldn’t just ignore it as an irksome, yet isolated moment. The world isn’t one-dimensional; it’s interconnected.

One hot day may well signify the approach of many more hot days. Those hot days don’t just mean an uptick in sweat on your way to class but possibly a permanent change in our weather, our safety and our quality of life.

  • Bart_R

    So, support the Whitehouse-Schatz American Opportunity Carbon Fee Bill.

    But more than that, take back what is yours. CO2 is removed from air by the action of water and air on stone, called weathering, returning fossil carbon to fossil form, a sort of natural fossil waste disposal.

    When anyone dumps fossil wastes into your air as a GHG like CO2 or CH4 or CO, that’s your air, your water and your land that dispose of it for them. They are using fruits of your land, and you are due Market rents from them.

    Why would you buy from someone who steals fruits of your lands, until they settle accounts with you? Let merchants know you will buy from carbon neutral or carbon negative suppliers in preference. Let your elected officials know you want your rent money.

    And tell fossil waste dumpers to pay what they owe.

  • jfreed27

    Nobel Laureates urge a carbon price with a rebate to the public. Why even bother with the paid deniers and front groups who thrive creating the delay of a false debate?

    A revenue neutral carbon fee with a dividend, makes enormous sense! !
    Economists and scientists say it is the most powerful solution to the threat of our carbon emissions.

    It is not a tax. This way citizens would RECEIVE the carbon fees as a monthly check, for example. That would protect us from price spikes in dirty energy.

Polluters PAY the fees, so it holds fossil fuel corporations responsible for the damages. or externalitites, they cause, hundreds of billions of dollars per year (Harvard School of Medicine).

    It would more rapidly lower emissions than regulations alone, as happened in BC Canada with a similar, popular policy. BC lowered both emissions and taxes with their fees.

    A study by respected non-partisan Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. found the dividends would help to create 2.9 million additional jobs in 20 years, while reducing emissions 50% in that time. http://citizensclimatelobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/REMI-National-SUMMARY.pdf

    To those who reject the science: perhaps nothing will change your mind. But what have you got against cleaner air, less asthma in our kids, fewer heart attacks, and more money (the dividend) in your pockets?

    To those accepting the science: Any effort to
 limit the problem of climate change is worth it. For example: the cost of sea level rise ALONE is so great that no effort to prevent it is unwarranted.

    Elon Musk was asked “what can we do? ” Musk: “I would say whenever you have the opportunity, talk to the politicians.,,,,. We have to fix the unpriced externality [social cost]. I would talk to your friends about it and fight the propaganda from the carbon industry.”