I missed this when it came out a couple of months ago, but the topic of course, is still timely.
…climate change caused by humans—is well-established science. The evidence is overwhelming, and attempted rebuttals are incomplete, flawed, or fabricated.
When I read this, I wondered if this is still a contested issue - and, yes, it is. Fourteen percent of American adults don’t agree that global warming is happening and about that same number are unsure. Source: Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2021
I don’t believe that any one article changes a person’s opinion. Going in, either the reader agrees with the premise, or they don’t. And when they exit the material, their viewpoint is largely unchanged. So for simplicity, I’ll assume that you agree climate change is real.
We can see the effects happening around us, with warmer winters and hotter summers than ever before.
We’re seeing statistically measurable increases in severe weather events. We’re talking more hurricanes on average, more droughts and fires on average.
Year after year, even though they’re can be little variations from year to year, when we chart this over the course of years to decades, we see a statistically significant increase, which is what we expect with a warmer world, because there’s more energy available to drive these extreme events.
Along with that, we’re seeing more broken records. More of the hottest days ever, or hottest years ever, or warmest winters ever. We’re seeing it again and again across the globe.
We’re seeing an increased rise in sea levels, a measurable statistically significant rise in sea levels. That’s because the oceans themselves are getting warmer, and they’re hotter, and hotter things take up more volume. Our oceans are getting physically larger, and that is rising the sea levels.
Along with that, we’re seeing a consistent loss in Arctic ice. The poles are suffering the most from this climate change, and we are seeing glaciers retreat, measurably. We are seeing Arctic ice sheets retreat year after year, measurably.
It is all here, and it all points to the same conclusion, a warmer world.
Since we can measure that the world is getting hotter, and we can see the effects throughout the world in ocean rise, melting glaciers, and ultra hot summers in India. The question then, is what can we do about it?
So what can we really do about this? Well, there are two main strategies.
One is to reduce emissions, to find new manufacturing techniques, and agricultural processes, and modes of transportation, so that we don’t pump out so much greenhouse gases into our atmosphere as we have over the past a hundred years. But we can also explore new technological ways to sequester that carbon, to pull the existing carbon out of the atmosphere, by planting trees or, or developing new technologies. And we can also explore alternative energy. So much of our energy relies on burning fossil fuels, which is a major contributor to emissions of carbon dioxide, and the more we can lean on other sources of energy, the better off we’ll be.
And the other thing we can do is to prepare to mitigate the harm of climate change on human societies. So we can migrate vulnerable human populations to areas that are more stable, or where they can continue agricultural practices. We might have to build a lot of sea walls to protect our largest cities. We might have to change our architectural practices, so that we’re more robust against hurricanes, and tornadoes, and fires, and we have to prepare for the damage that is going to come based on our past actions.
Individually, it’s very difficult to change the trajectory of global warming. But individual action builds to collective change.
The good news is it’s not too late. It’s not too late to change. It took a hundred years of human activity to get to where we are now. And it might take another hundred years to reduce those impacts, or to even potentially reverse them.
But a hundred years isn’t infinity years. A hundred years is two or three generations. We can do that. Humanity has the capability to enact change over the course of generations, to come to a consensus.
We cannot completely solve climate change in our generation, but we can take positive steps in that direction, and it really is just honestly, one step at a time.