English Open Hood Essay
ENG 2150 – Hoodology
Humans are arguably the most resilient species around. As living beings, humans have constantly adapted to meet the needs of our constantly changing world. We have accomplished a lot and have not shown any definitive signs of slowing down in terms of moving forward. However, despite the prosperity and ambition of our species there are upcoming problems we must tackle. One of the major issues we must face is climate change. The definition of climate change, according to Google is “: a change in global or regional climate patterns, a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced using fossil fuels.” Climate change is steadily increasing in pace, yet world leaders continue to ignore it as a serious issue. Studies proving the effects of climate change to be real are extensive. Governments would rather disperse their funds towards other aspects of their country rather than focus on an issue that affects the whole world and threatens the entirety of humanity. There are a series of key events occurring around the world that indicate to us that the time for action is now. The more we wait, the more our world dissipates. Change for some may look like a farfetched idea, but as mentioned before, humankind is a very resilient species that can address any problem if we combine our efforts into one. When faced with great adversity, we unite. We have done it many times, before. Global warming is undoubtedly a serious issue taxing the world we call home and we must act now, despite the naysayers whom believe it to be a hoax or myth.
Climate change affects many aspects of our infrastructure that we are not aware of. The stability of our environment isn’t the only facet affected. Our economy takes a lot of hits as well from a climate that is not regulated. Examples of this include forced relocations, asset destruction, droughts, extinctions, as well as many more factors that all add to global economic costs. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that the U.S. Climate Disruption Budget for natural occurrences like droughts, storms and growing climate disruptions, was amounted to nearly $100 billion. That is such a large sum of money that it is humanly impossible to visualize. And that’s only the beginning. By 2030, climate change costs are projected to cost the global economy $700 billion annually, according to the Climate Vulnerability Monitor. 50 billion tons of methane released from melting Arctic ice will advance global warming by 15-35 years and in turn cost the global economy $60 trillion. Putting a halt to all the damage will come at a very expensive cost. Paving a new path towards sustainable energy can cost $53 trillion (International Energy Agency’s World Energy Investment Outlook). These numbers are tremendous and will only increase if these issues are ignored. Political figures now have an initiative for acting against climate change. Investing now will save funds further down the line. The best way to view things is in the long term, so we can establish a better future for the generations to come.
Aside from the loss of trillions of dollars from the world economy, climate change will also deplete a lot of natural resources we need to survive. The lack of resources is something that can be critical to the existence of human life. Since humans have walked this earth we have been using resources non-stop without thinking twice about the consequences. This has brought us very far throughout our history and we are advancing at the fastest pace ever seen. Technological, medical, and other advancements have made life as we know it very convenient. Yet with climate change on the horizon, a very large portion of the human population will suffer from scarcity of crucial resources needed to survive. One of these resources is water. Water as we know is required for many daily functions such as bathing, drinking, and cooking. Its importance is ranked as one of the most important factors for sustaining life. In 2013, about 1.3 billion people lived in water scarce regions, according to one study. 8% of the population will enter a state of “new or aggravated water scarcity,” solely due to climate change with a temperature increase of 3.6 degrees F by 2100. Depleted water resources due to heat and drought will account for more than $10 billion in direct losses to agriculture alone. The lack of water will place the world on a cycle of disarray and cause a great threat towards human life.
Like water, shelter is something all living creatures need to live their lives. The comfort of our homes is one of the greatest feelings there is. Many of us never conceive the thought of losing something so important in our lives. In our world today, homelessness is common even in major cities. In countries that are less developed, the amount of people who lack a home is drastically greater. Those people who are fortunate to have a home since birth often take for granted how satisfying it is to arrive back to the warmth of your home from a long day. In 2008, 36 million people were displaced by natural disasters. At least 20 million of those people were driven from their homes by disasters related to climate change like drought and rising sea level. Even more alarming, a 2014 study published in Environmental Research Letters predicted that sea level rise created by a temperature increase of 3 degrees C would force more than 600 million people to find new homes. The Internal Organization for Migration estimates that 200 million people by 2050 could be forced to leave due to environmental changes. Additionally, large wealth gaps in many modern countries, including America means that those who have less money will be affected the most. That means that climate change will affect the average middle-class citizen significantly and those with less money to their name even more so. The only people who might avoid the consequences of climate change, including loss of property, are those with significant wealth; typically, the top percentage of the upper class. We see numbers so often that we get desensitized towards large numbers.
Numbers are something we see everywhere. Our lives revolve around numbers and we are constantly seeing new ones every day. The numbers from the studies given previously are so substantial that the human brain can’t grasp the thought of so much of a certain thing sufficiently enough. We can’t wrap our heads around or envision millions, billions, or trillions of something. We can only read the number and interpret it to the best of our abilities. The truth is we will never be able to visualize such large quantities. However, we can relate to one person. We ourselves know the importance of life through our own. We see how complex it is, how many different qualities of life there are to experience and feel. All these millions of lives are just like ours and just as important. The problems arising from climate change affect people the most. That is why we should place a great deal of emphasis on acting immediately to save as many lives as possible because we can empathize with these people as human beings.
“22 Devastating Effects of Climate Change.” Business Insider. Accessed May 12, 2017.