Climate change is upon us. Winter without snow? We know what that feels like now. The hottest August ever recorded? Just happened. Wildfires are bigger than ever, and in California, fire season lasts all year. Droughts, dust, fire, and deluge are becoming part of our new normal.
Scientists have studied the effect of increased carbon in the air for over 100 years. It’s a matter of physics and chemistry. The amount of carbon recorded in the atmosphere every month now exceeds 400 parts per million. Scientists tell us that any amount over 350 ppm is not conducive to life and civilization as we know it. We already see more extreme weather events, ocean warming and acidification, and record-breaking temperatures. To prevent climate chaos, we must promote low-carbon economies with renewable energies like solar, wind, water, geothermal, and others.
At the UN Climate Summit 2014 in NYC, over 125 world leaders met to discuss a more coordinated response to this global crisis. The World Meterological Organization (WMO) displayed imaginary Weather Reports for the Future, depicting likely local impacts of global climate change. According to the WMO, average global temperatures in the year 2050 could rise more than 4°C (7.2°F) if greenhouse gas emissions are not stemmed. Are you ready for a new normal of unbearable heat waves, mega-droughts, massive flooding, super storms, dying coral reefs, less diverse marine life, and the drowning of coasts and islands due to rising sea-levels?
Climate change is a disturbing subject, but it should not be a controversial one. The science is in. We may disagree about how to transition from a fossil fuel economy or which solutions to prioritize, but we must heed scientific warnings about dangerous tipping points. We can and should make changes in our personal lives, choosing sustainable practices such as reducing, reusing, and recycling and making voluntary simplicity a way of life. We must also support social, economic, and political changes to address the costs of climate chaos now and in the future. People with a clue need to promote and protect our Big Four values: clean air and water, healthy food, and renewable energy. For a more livable future, we must reduce carbon emissions now! Make climate action part of your new normal. Be the clue!