In The Year of the Flood, we can read about the many consequences of global warming. Obvious examples would be the widespread droughts, coral bleaching, and the rise of sea levels. In our world, the effects of global warming are not as advanced as in the book but we are well on our way there.
During the United Nations conference on climate change in 2015, an agreement was made that the ideal limit would be a rise of 1.5C and that 2C rise would be the absolute limit. (Robertson, 2016)
Unfortunately, these limits will be reached much sooner than anticipated. According to some experts, this preferred limit of 1.5C would be reached as soon as 2020! It gets even worse: the rise of 2C should be expected by 2030!
Despite scientific evidence proving that global warming is, in fact, a real issue, many (like Donald Trump) still seem to believe that global warming is “an expensive hoax”. More recently, the President of the United States signed an executive order to challenge the Clean Power Plan. This is a dangerous setback for the US and for the environment. Before signing it, he said:“The action I’m taking today will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom and allow our workers and companies to thrive and compete on a level playing field for the first time in a long time.” (Smith, 2017) While the workers and the companies may thrive, Planet Earth will not. The problem here is that these people don’t seem to think about the consequences of such decisions on the long-term. Yes, some people may benefit from this decision, but we are all ultimately taking a great hit along with the environment.
This is not to say that this decision alone will be our downfall. However, if other nations start to ignore environmental issues to profit their economies and if this form of denial becomes widespread, we can bid our beautiful planet goodbye.
Stopping global warming is a collective effort. What can be done to reduce our carbon footprint as a nation in the long-term, but also on a personal day-to-day basis?
Robertson, J. (2016). Dangerous Global Warming Will Happen Sooner Than Thought – Study . The Guardian.
Smith, D. (2017). Trump Moves to Dismantle Obama’s Climate Legacy With Executive Order . The Guardian.