February worldwide temperature data are in and the results aren’t as pleasant: global warming is going into overdrive.
The temperature is currently about 0.2 degrees above last month’s average. This might seem like a small margin on a daily basis; however, this number is quite hazardous when we consider the long-term implications.
We all know that something called “climate change” exists but not everyone actually cares to dig deeper into it and learn more about it. A survey conducted by researchers from Yale University School of Forestry reports that 18% (or 1 in 5 Americans) think that global warming is not happening. The worst part is that only 11% are actually worried about this problematic issue.
You see, the problem is that we’re not taking the whole issue of global warming seriously. We are likely to be interested in economy, politics and fashion but we chuckle sarcastically if we hear anything about our environment (which is the most important factor of keeping us alive if we wish to indulge in other interests). And if we do understand the dire effects of global warming on our planet in 50 years or so, we say, “Who cares? I’ll probably be dead in 50 years.”
I came across plenty of blogs the past few days that have expressed their gratitude to Leonardo DiCaprio for tackling global warming during the Oscars. I felt sad, however, when I read the associated comments that proved to me how little concern we have toward this issue. Most people claimed that Leonardo doesn’t really care about global warming; he will ride his jets and go home to enjoy his award.
Well I’m not really concerned about what DiCaprio did after the Oscars or how true he feels about global warming. What I’m grateful for is that at least he mentioned it and tried to raise the awareness which is much needed right now.
And so, we ponder the question of why we shouldn’t take global warming for granted?
If the earth’s temperature continues to rise, the Antarctic icecaps will melt and cause a major sea-level rising. Cities like New York, Miami and New Orleans would be flooded and entire nations could simply disappear.
Additionally, global warming will have major effects on our health, causing asthma and allergies because of the pollution that will increase in cities. Heat waves in France, North America and India are killing people almost every year.
Not to forget the extinction of the most important species in the wild. Some polar bears are drowning because they have to swim longer distances to reach ice flows.
And if we claim that we can’t personally see these changes that result from global warming, we can at least behold the changes in the weather where we live. So many countries are turning to a desert-like weather where the temperature is increasing above what has existed before.
If we don’t do something about global warming, we will cease to know our planet the way we do now. Cities will vanish, people will die of poor health and wildlife will exist no more. We shouldn’t in any way claim that “we don’t care about it because we won’t be alive in one-hundred years”.
To start off, nobody’s sure about that estimation anymore. If temperatures surprisingly increased by 0.2 degrees this month, it might increase even more next month and so, what we fear the most might happen in thirty years instead of one-hundred. Moreover, we should take responsibility for the next generation, most of which will be our children and younger cousins.
If we would like to start making an extensive change, we should take steps that will reduce global warming, like using less hot water, recycling organic waste, reducing waste and starting a carpool.
It might seem like hard work to take on these steps but we should keep in mind that these steps are our only chance of surviving. If we start on an individual level, we will contribute to decreasing climate change. The truth is, when people see other people who are working toward growing a better environment, they too, will start doing the same. We are the change that we expect to see in the world. We are the world. We are the society and we are the system. It all starts with ourselves.
Finally, we should be quite concerned about the issues of global warming because this planet is the only planet that is habitable. We plan to make more money, to chase more dreams, and to become more auspicious, but the truth is we are missing the most pivotal factor of all: we are destroying the place where we can achieve all these dreams. This planet is our bigger home and I’m most certain that no one would like to destroy the bed where he sleeps or crash the ceiling that covers his head at night.
Almost everyone was exhilarated that NASA found water on Mars, but why? Are we planning on screwing another planet? Global warming is man-made, it is our responsibility. Just like we started it, we can put an end to it.
As Leonardo Dicaprio said, “let’s not take this planet for granted.” Let’s not.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Dominik QN/Unsplash