By Abigail Wu
A venn diagram depicting environmental intersection
Clear solutions exist for climate change, and some have long been established. However, whether governments across the world are taking action is the main question. When solutions exist but no action is taken, there is no hope. Hope cannot exist alone. According to Christina Nunez, a National Geographic writer for climate, innovation, and science, measures such as blocking deforestation, placing charges on the use of carbon, improving the “vehicle fuel economy” and efficiency of energy, expanding on wind and solar power, and extracting biofuels from organic wastes can all hinder the deterioration of climate change by decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide and heat in the planet. These are examples of solutions that can be implemented in real life right now. If action is not taken to prevent or restore the damage of climate change, the geographical impact will continue to worsen and harm future generations. Given the unnerving effects and in consideration for future generations, working towards climate change solutions should be required of governments.
The planet has already been affected by climate change in the form of increased natural disasters and other events. According to Anthony Leiserowitz et al., researchers from Yale University and George Mason University studying climate change and related topics, the money required for protection from financial loss due to uncertain situations is rising in specific locations exposed to climate change. Some locations have even lost the opportunity to be protected by insurance. Unintentional fires in the wild, that normally start later in the spring,are now starting earlier due to the expedited “snowmelt” and torrid weather. These fires also end later, elongating the period of the fires and burning more area. Also, cities in the interior of a country, such as the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States, facemore frequent floods if the cities are near major rivers(Leiserowitz et al.). . Cities with residents living near the shoreline witness recurrent and cyclical inundations in streets due to inflowing tide and increases in tempests. As extreme wind and rain during the fall disturb the arctic region in Alaska, the land area is starting to wear away quickly. The coasts of the Alaska Arctic area that were originally guarded by summer sea ice are now left vulnerable as the sea ice retreated. Both situations are coeval.This circumstance is intimidating multiple population groups as itmay result in the requirement to move away for many people (Leiserowitz et al.). Due to climate change, weather and climate are starting to lean towards the extremes. What used to be rain is now frequently turned into floods, the wind that used to blow in the Alaska Arctic area is now causing the land area to erode, etc. Sea ice retreating is also a serious problem because the irrevocable retreat signifies the worsening of global warming. The data collected by Leiserowitz et. alshow that climate change is already affecting a substantial part of the planet. If there is no action taken by the governments, the various geographical impacts will severely worsen, causing living conditions for future generations to incessantly crumbleGovernments have an important role to play in this scenario.The longer the world waits to take action, the harder it will be to stabilize and restore the undeniable damage.. If no action is taken, future generations will be forced to live in a destroyed world with no other choice, because Earth might have already reached a point where everything is completely irreversible.
Not only is climate change affecting the planet in the form of natural disasters and significant geographical changes right now, but itis also predicted to rapidly increase. Climatologists have triedto predict the future circumstances of the planet if nothing is doneto prevent climate change from escalating. As stated by the United Nations Children’s Fund, an organization established to protect child rights, climate change will result in abject weather events. including prolonged intervals of low rainfall resulting in dry spells, wild storms, extreme surges of rainfall, and harsh periods of torrid episodes. More than half of all species on the planet, whether residing on sea or land, are at risk of becoming extinct. Furthermore, sea levels are estimated to rise more than 6 inches, or 15 cm, every ten years after 2100. It is predicted that the sea level will rise approximately 30.48 cm or 1 foot before 2050, followed by a rise ranging from 3–6 feet or 0.91m–1.82m before 2100 (“The Challenges”). The rise of sea levels only adds to Earth’s destruction. Sea levels rising will result in land area reduction, destruction of coastal areas and habitats, and ultimately harm areas not near the ocean as well due to the salt in ocean water. Part of mankind’s roleis to ensure the Earth prospers; undeniably, their role is far from fulfilled. The examples given above are the visibleconsequences of humanity’s actions.
Governments are a carefully assembled group of the influential people of a certain country, and many possess the most authority. In order to restore current damages caused by climate change, governments across the world need to utilize their power properly. Rather than focusing on short-term political interests, their centers of interest and activity need to be directed towards raising awareness for climate change and establishing laws to work towards feasible solutions. Considering that climate change has already damaged geographical conditions and is only anticipated to worsen, governments need to take action. The examples explained above should be more than enough to signify the seriousness and destructive power of climate change.
Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that individual citizens cannot take actions to protect the environment themselves.When the little differences they make are added together, there will be hope to change the living conditions of the world. However, the most crucial movement would be for more solutions to be developed that will prevent climate change issues from developing in substantial ways.
Nunez, Christina. “Global Warming Solutions, Explained.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 25 Jan. 2019. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/global-warming-solutions. Accessed 14 Oct. 2021.
“The Challenges of Climate Change: Children on the Front Line.” UNICEF Office of Research- Innocenti, United Nations Children’s Fund. 2014. www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/ccc_final_2014.pdf. Accessed 14 Oct. 2021.
Leiserowitz, Anthony, et al. “Climate Change in the Latino Mind.” Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. 27 Sept. 2017. https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/climate-change-latino-mind-may-2017/. Accessed 14 Oct. 2021.