| By Darby Sullivan
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group of scientists that are put in place to persuade leaders on environmental issues, issued a report detailing that climate change was worse than what was previously imagined. This report described the world we may come to know as soon as 2040; food shortages, wildfires, and no more coral reefs.
This came to quite a shock to many leaders and citizens around the world. Just a few years ago this situation wasn’t the case. Prior to this report, many people previously believed that it wouldn’t affect them personally as they would be deceased before climate change would greatly impact the world – yet now this projection of detrimental climate change effects is only 22 years away when many people that are alive currently will still be alive.
The report claims that the atmosphere will likely warm up 2.7 degrees above the pre-industrial levels; levels recorded prior to the noticeable change in climate warming. Previously it was believed that the most damage would come at 3.6 degrees, which this current report refutes. Though it is possible to combat this increase in 2.7 degrees, politically it may be nearly impossible. Raising taxes on carbon dioxide emissions may be of best interest, yet for the United States, this would be near impossible due to the economy and the number of emissions the United States puts out.
World Coal Association is still stating that coal will be around for a lot longer. The current United States President also believes that coal mines have nothing to do with global warming and that humans, themselves, aren’t the cause of global warming. President Trump withdrew from The Paris Agreement; a global agreement among 125 countries that agrees to action towards global change against climate change. National Geographic is launching a documentary called Paris to Pittsburgh that highlights America pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement and NGOs such as IDEAS for Us, and the Fleet Farming program who are working towards climate action.
An interesting tool to see how climate change is currently impacting cities across the world is this interactive website from the New York Times. This website allows one to put in their hometown and birth year to learn about the difference in climate relevant to their area, and how many days per year their hometown is experiencing an increase in heat.
Experts urge that the longer societies put off taking action against climate change, the more drastic the options will become to save our planet. A step in the progressive direction could be to learn about political candidate’s position on climate action and to vote for the change we want to see in the world. In the November midterm election, it is vital for those interested in voting to support climate action to make sure to get out and make their vote count. Now more than ever is the time to push for policies that ensure that in 22 years our world will still livable.