Climate change is a pressing issue that affects every corner of the world. There are obvious reasons to care about stopping this trend. As global temperatures rise, the effects are becoming more clear.
When something is so scary that it threatens our very existence, one strategy is to try and ignore it, deny it. This doesn’t make the issue disappear; it often worsens. So, we’ll want to examine why people deny this environmental reality and why we should care about it. We think it is crucial to take a serious look at the effects of this trend and how we can reduce or stop it.
Reasons to Care About Climate Change
If we understand the effects of a problem, it can motivate us to do something about it. So, what are the effects of a climate with increasing temperatures?
1. Save the planet and all living beings
As the climate changes, global temperatures rise. These changes cause an increase in natural disasters. They increase the number and severity of wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. And these adverse events devastate homes, businesses, and entire communities.
The ocean levels are rising, causing the displacement of people and animals alike. By acting now, we can protect the planet from further damage. Acting now ensures the longevity of essentials like clean air, water, and food.
The World Health Organization estimates this will lead to 250,000 deaths annually. This only includes estimates of health from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress. The estimated damages of these health crises are $ 2–4 billion annually by 2030. Developing countries along the equator will be the least able to cope.
2. Protect our health
Climate change can negatively affect our health in many ways. Water and air pollution trigger asthma and have long-term respiratory and cardiovascular effects. Heatwaves can increase malaria-infected rates, and floods can lead to malnourishment and diseases. We can guarantee that our health is not jeopardized by reversing these trends.
We know the changing climate exacerbates the problems of clean air and water. There are many sources of pollution. The World Health Organization tells us most people do not live where they have healthy air. 99% of people live where air quality does not meet the minimum guidelines. That means you likely are affected by some form of air pollution. (1) 2 Billion people, or about 50% of the world, use water with unacceptable pollutants. (2) These global changes in climate will increase the demand for clean water. At the same time, it is diminishing or being polluted.
3. Conserve monetary resources
Global warming has a significant economic impact on the world. The destruction of homes, farms, businesses, and infrastructure costs billions to repair. By preventing natural disasters, we will save resources. These resources can be invested in other areas.
4. Create new job opportunities
Fighting environmental change comes with innovative job opportunities. Renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and green construction create new opportunities. It is an opportunity to launch green businesses, creating employment for millions worldwide.
5. Create a positive legacy
Stopping climate change is not just about the present. It’s about the future, both for us and future generations. It’s about a legacy of ecological stewardship. By acting now, we are laying down a stronger foundation. We can create the trajectory for a healthy and sustainable present and future. Think about all the things we could leave behind for future generations. Our actions today make the planet healthier. Don’t you want to leave a legacy of clean air and water, abundant food, and green living and working spaces?
Summary: Reasons to Care About Climate Change
There are many reasons we all need to be involved in the solution. If we work together, we can save the planet. We can create a positive, sustainable legacy for the future. On the way, we create jobs and save money. It’s a call to action to make informed and constructive changes. If there are many great reasons to save our planet, why aren’t we already doing something?
The Reasons People Deny Climate Change
Have you ever found yourself in a debate with someone about the reality of the changing climate? Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence, individuals still deny its existence. Let’s look at some common reasons people support their denial.
1. “The Earth’s climate has always been changing.”
The Earth’s climate has indeed gone through natural cycles. However, the current rapid, intense changes are inconsistent with natural patterns. Science tells us the magnitude of human activities has altered its natural course. Therefore, suggesting that the impact of human activity is negligible is incorrect. It is a misguided oversimplification.
2. “It’s just a natural variation in weather patterns.”
Natural variations may account for some fluctuations in weather patterns. But it does not account for the rapid global temperature increases in the last century. This increase is not the result of natural weather patterns. The fossil fuels industry conducted extensive tests in the 1950s. (3) They have known that emissions increase the greenhouse effect for decades. Gas emissions trap more heat in the atmosphere and lead to global warming.
3. “Scientists are not unanimous about climate change.”
This assertion isn’t true. The overwhelming consensus among legitimate scientists is that the climate is changing. And these changes are a direct result of human activities. Continuing to abuse the environment is a significant threat to the planet itself. In 2016 John Cook, a University of Queensland social scientist, conducted a survey. He confirmed 97% of climate scientists agree. (4) Humans are causing climate change.
4. “It’s a government conspiracy theory to control the population.”
This argument has been around for years and has been debunked repeatedly. It is dangerous to dismiss the scientific evidence. It is worse to attribute it to a conspiracy theory. The global response to the changing climate involves many international organizations and governments. It requires the private sector and government working together to find sustainable solutions. The bottom line is don’t dismiss the critical impact due to unfounded theories.
Summary of Climate Denial
People may use various reasons to deny the climate is changing. None of them stand up to scientific scrutiny. But there are many good reasons to care about climate change.
By denying the facts, we increase the severity of the consequences. We also increase the investment needed to mitigate them. It’s high time we acknowledge the problem. We need to work together towards sustainable solutions to reduce its impact.
We must face the fact that human decisions and actions are driving these changes. To protect our planet, it needs to be a priority over profit. We must take action to mitigate their impacts.
The Ways We Can Stop Climate Change
We can each do some small things to help stop the harmful effects of a changing climate. Ultimately, industry and government will need to work together. It will take a unified effort to make the necessary changes. We can’t procrastinate any longer. This isn’t a problem we can kick down the road for others to deal with. Future generations depend on us to act now. What can we do?
#1. Vote and Support Progressive Candidates
One of the best ways we can stop climate change is to vote for those who support a healthy environment. Environmental protection needs to be a priority over profit. You must research the background of the candidates. Find out where they stand on climate issues. What is their position on clean energy, carbon taxes, and greenhouse gas emissions? Pro-environment candidates are more likely to support policies that address the big picture. Voting for environmentally conscious candidates ensures the environment is a priority.
Those who provide financial support for their campaign influence a candidate’s decisions. Whomever a candidate takes donations from will influence their choices. So, one critical aspect of candidate research is “follow the money.” One of the best ways we can stop climate change is to support those who can make environmental decisions. Make sure they will not make decisions because of their obligation to some industry.
Open Secrets (5) and Follow the Money (6) are non-profit organizations. They show the money given by industry to all elected officials. You can track the money to the budgetary and legislative activities. The numbers are scary. One side of the political aisle is rampant with corruption. It is obvious for candidates to take money to get elected and then provide favors in return. It makes me red mad.
Local and Federal governments have the most power to make changes with the most impact. We need policies to reduce emissions and misuse of natural resources. Otherwise, we will remain on a collision course with disaster.
What are the main issues? The oil and gas industry must be restrained in “fracking” for natural gas and oil. Fracking destroys the water table on which we depend for life. The cigarette industry knew for years about what its product did. It’s the same with fossil fuels and agricultural sectors. They have known for decades what long-term damages their emissions cause. The tobacco, fossil fuels, and agricultural industries value profit above all else. They will not stop on their own. They must be restrained by government regulation.
#2. Become a Part-Time Environmental Activist
Another one of the ways we can stop climate change is to become more active. An environmental activist is someone who attends protests, rallies, and marches. Spread the word about our changing climate and ways we can protect the environment. You don’t have to devote all of your time to this cause, but by doing just a little, you can help to create real change.
There are many ways to get involved in environmental activism. It can be as simple as signing petitions to volunteering with environmental organizations. You can join online communities dedicated to stopping the climate from changing. Connecting with like-minded individuals will provide new ideas and motivation.
#3. Switch to Renewable Energy sources
Burning fossil fuels is of the biggest contributors to our changing climate. Burning fossil fuels leads to increased carbon dioxide emissions. We need to transition to renewable energy sources. Wind, solar, and hydroelectric power will reduce our carbon footprint. These sources are clean, sustainable, and have no carbon emissions. Many countries have already made significant progress. We can, too, if we insist on switching to renewable energy sources. By using renewable energy, we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We know fossil fuels are the primary culprit behind greenhouse gas emissions.
#4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Another one of the practical ways we can stop climate change is to follow the three r’s. Reduce our waste, reuse items, and recycle whenever possible. Landfills emit a lot of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Throwing away less reduces the amount going into the landfill.
#5. Eat Less Meat
Agriculture is responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. We can reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our meat consumption. Switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet makes a difference in the world.
#6. Use Public Transportation
Instead of driving alone, opt for public transportation or carpooling. This can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
#7. Plant Trees, not Grass
Did you know there is a simple and effective way to combat climate change right in your backyard? Planting trees, rather than grass, is the way to go! While grass does offer some benefits, planting trees is a better option. Trees provide a multitude of advantages that have a positive effect on the climate.
Trees shield the Earth’s surface from sunlight. Their shade lowers the temperature of the ground. This cooling effect helps to reduce the urban heat island effect. Major metropolitan areas tend to be warmer than surrounding rural areas. Trees minimize the need for air conditioning. When we reduce energy use, this reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
As larger plants, trees absorb more carbon dioxide (CO2) than grass. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. Keeping CO2 levels low and manageable helps to combat global warming. Similarly, trees release more oxygen into the atmosphere than grass does. Trees help to prevent soil erosion and help to keep the soil stable. Healthy soil anchors carbon in the ground and helps to maintain healthy ecosystems.
Best of all, trees provide wildlife habitat. Trees offer shelter, food, and nesting sites to various wildlife. A diverse ecosystem is essential for maintaining a stable climate. Planting trees is a better alternative than grass for combating climate change.
The greater the number of solutions we adopt, the greater our impact. We increase the chances of stopping and even reversing the effects of a changing climate. We can help prevent these catastrophic scenarios. At the same time, we can create a more sustainable and prosperous future.
Saving the planet is a huge legacy. It’s a call to action. We can make constructive changes today that will positively impact the future. Remember, it’s never too late to start!
(1) Ambient (outdoor) air pollution
(2) Drinking-water Supply
(3) Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago. Scientific America.
(4) Consensus on consensus: 97% of experts agree. People are changing the climate. University of Queensland, Australia.
(5) Open Secrets
(6) Follow the Money