This world we share is a wild and wonderful place. The natural forces that drive weather on our planet are both awe-inspiring and dangerous. For example, the power and beauty of the sea is something that’s always existed since hydrogen and oxygen molecules came together to form water on Earth. It is true that the conditions which create our atmosphere and drive our weather patterns are ever-changing. The fact that humans have affected our climate and continue to affect it, is also true. One truth does not negate the other.
Climate Change is here, now
The effects of climate change, driven by global warming, are clear and present. The evidence of global warming and the problems it causes is apparent. The time for debate about that fact is over. Now is the time for action.
September 2018 was one of the only times in recorded history we had major hurricanes form in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. Recovery from the impact of the flooding caused by Hurricane Florence on the Atlantic seaboard will take years. Besides the 47 lives lost thousands have lost their homes and property to flooding. Millions of farm animals (4.1 million so far) have perished in those same flood waters. The widespread destruction throughout North Carolina and South Carolina has affected impoverished and minority communities disproportionately and they are the communities that have the least resources to put toward recovery. It’s a mess – and one that seems to be on repeat.
Time After Time
After the devastation wreaked by Maria and Harvey last year – here we are again. Another hurricane season, another superstorm. When will we wake up? How many people have to die? What will be the event that motivates us to action?
California saw its biggest wildfire EVER this summer and fire danger continues. The drought conditions that were present coupled with extremely hot and windy conditions, created a fire season that charred over 1 million acres and killed over a dozen people. Six of the 10 largest wildfires in the state’s history have occurred in the last decade. The increasing prevalence of wildfires can be directly correlated to heat. July 2018 was the hottest month ever recorded in California.
So with a warming planet we get larger more frequent hurricanes and wildfires, sea level rise and flooding, smothering heat waves and drought, as well as extreme cold snaps. Climate change caused by global warming does NOT mean every day will be hotter – it simply means much more extreme weather in all seasons.
So what do we do?
There really ARE actions you can take as an individual to lessen emissions, pull carbon from the atmosphere, and reverse global warming. Quite a few of them are listed in Project Drawdown – a comprehensive plan for doing just that – reversing global warming. You can listen to Project Drawdown’s Executive Director Paul Hawken discuss the plan on our podcast from April of this year.
Vote Like Your Life Depends on It
But perhaps one of the easiest and most impactful things you can do as an individual is vote. If you care about the planet and its inhabitants, then the most important thing you can do is vote that way. Make sure the leaders you’re voting for understand global warming and want to take action to reverse it. We have to vote like our lives depend on it, because they do.
Meredith Lipscomb is a former professional in the software industry and has come to the Mrs. Green’s World team through an unlikely journey that took her through the world of non-profit management and on to becoming a part of MGW. Helping people understand climate change and what we can do about it – is very near and dear to her heart. She lives in Tucson with her family and too many pets.