One thing that has baffled me for quite some time is some people’s inability to grasp or accept the fact that we are damaging our planet. Even President Elect Donald Trump has said on multiple ocassions that climate change is nothing but a hoax which is done for the benefit of China. I’m sorry Mr Trump but the facts are irrefutable. Climate change is happening and it is something that we all need to be conscious of.
That’s not to say I can’t understand his gripe. He’s a business man and not just an idiot like my former chemistry teacher who proudly stated that global warming was nothing more than a circular thing that was unrelated to anything we’re doing. Trump is looking at it from a business standpoint. China has the world’s largest carbon dioxide emissions which are nearly double that of the United States. But the reasons why China’s products are so cheap are not because they emit large amounts of carbon dioxide. As a country, China’s workforce have no guarantee of worker’s rights as highlighted by the International Trade Union confederation scoring a 5. Countries with the rating 5 are the worst countries in the world to work in. And while legislation may state that workers have rights, they actually have no access to them and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes or unfair working conditions. Remember that poor woman who was basically topless selling jewellery that I posted earlier? Well that’s the sort of rights workers have. Workers are also paid very low salaries. In fact, minimum wage in China is lower than the Republic of Congo. Employees also often work long hours and poor working conditions. So employers in China can already undercut costs unless Mr Trump wants to lower worker rights. China also has a large amount of raw materials that it can use to its advantage. China have also agreed to the Paris agreement and they are now too dedicated to lowering emissions. So that argument really doesn’t stack up.
Let me be clear about something, global warming and climate change is a significant problem that is going to affect our lives as well as the lives of our children. I want children someday and I don’t want them to have to live in a world destroyed by ignorance and nativity.
And the evidence behind climate change is staggering. We are talking evidence that was compiled by some of the smartest minds on the planet including NASA who put a man on the moon.
Sea level rise
Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.
Global temperature rise
All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880
All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.
The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969
Shrinking ice sheets
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.
Declining Arctic sea ice
Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades
Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world; including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.
The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent.This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year.
Deceased snow cover
Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier.
The effects of climate change are great. Indeed, they would too much to cover in just one post and I direct you to this excellent page from NASA.
Needless to say the results would be devasting. And for those that think it is unreal, I challenge you to find out from your local government what their thoughts are. For example, in the United Kingdom, parts of the country are designated as high risk flooding zones that would be deemed unsalvagable if waters rise. I kid you not.
Climate change will also lead to many speces extinction both on land and in the sea alike. Coral bleaching destroys habitats. Flooding would too. New temperatures would decimate local wildlife and could see the spread of diseases such as malaria and Zika virus. And animals found in the arctic and Antarctic would cease to be. I don’t want my children to only be able to look at pictures of these animals that once were. I don’t want to lose the beautiful wildlife that our countries have. We need to do more. It must happen.
As a final note, I give you 30 Seconds to Mars