We elect political leaders who still reject the idea that anthropogenic global climate change is a threat, when there is overwhelming evidence supporting the fact that humans are drastically changing the climate of Earth.
A recent consensus from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration showed that “97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”
Furthermore, most of the leading scientific organizations such as the International Panel on Climate Change, the American Medical Association, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program publicly supported this position.
The problem, according to the Pew Research Center, is that though almost everyone agrees that humans cause climate change, only 40 percent of Americans see climate change as an actual threat.
Not a threat? Let’s look at some facts.
The Nature Conservancy (Nov. 27, 2011) states, “The five hottest years on record have all occurred since 1997.”
Higher temperatures cause a chain reaction of other dangers that directly affect our planet, including humans. Higher atmospheric temperatures cause higher ocean temperatures. Most scientists agree that longer, stronger and more devastating storms similar to Sandy and Katrina are a direct result of higher ocean temperatures.
According to National Geographic, scientists agree that sea levels have been steadily rising at about 0.14 inches per year since 1990. Predictions show that sea level will rise at least 2.5 meters, enough to submerge thousands of coastal cities like Venice, New York, and even island communities.
If deadly storms and drowning cities aren’t enough of threat, The Guardian (Sept. 25, 2012) asserts the global economy is also at risk because of global climate change. The global GDP is decreasing by about 1.6 percent, costing about $1.2 trillion each year, because of the effects of climate change.
With climate change negatively affecting air temperature, deadly storms and global economy, we should be worried about ourselves and future generations. As citizens we have the power to make a change to improve the health of our planet.
We Americans need to vote for politicians who are intent on taking action preventing further anthropogenic climate change.