It’s basic knowledge at this point – our world’s climate is changing at a rapid pace thanks to mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon from the burning of fossil fuels, methane from the cows we eat, and the destruction of habitat are all some of the ways that we are contributing to climate change.
And the effects will be seen within our lifetime. Sea levels are rising, storms are getting more intense, and water is becoming scarce in parts of the world.
In order for society to survive this, we will need to either MITIGATE or ADAPT to climate change.
Climate mitigation involves reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the effects of climate change from running out of control. We’ve already set into motion a changing world – there’s no stopping it. But we can determine the severity of this change.
In short, the climate is changing – but HOW MUCH it changes depends on what we do today.
Climate mitigation involves investing in offshore wind power instead of offshore oil. Investing in renewable energies like solar power for homes, and cleaner automobiles. And holding companies responsible for how much they are polluting our world’s air with their carbon emissions. It can even be something as simple as ensuring that coastal marshes, mangroves, and wetlands that buffer our cities from storms remain in-tact and healthy.
Climate mitigation doesn’t cost very much (comparatively speaking) and uses modern advancements in technology to create clean, dependable energy for nations all over the world.
Another option is to adapt to the inevitable. Sea levels will rise, and storms will get worse, so cities need to look into how they can ADAPT to this new world that we’ve created.
This means building sea walls to protect coastal cities from storm surges, and dredging tons upon tons of sand to build up dunes. It means putting homes on stilts and investing in massive infrastructure projects worth millions and millions of dollars.
New York alone, after Hurricane Sandy hit, invested billions of dollars into adapting to climate change. And New York is just one coastal city feeling this pressure. Look at the droughts in South Africa, or the Hurricane that hit Puerto Rico last year. Extreme climate events are only becoming more frequent and costlier.
Climate adaptation is very expensive, but necessary to an extent.
Climate change is real, it’s happening, and we need to do something about it to survive on Planet Earth.
We’ve already dumped so much greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and ocean that inevitably the world will change. So we will need to adapt to rising sea levels and more intense weather events (droughts, hurricanes).
But if we don’t mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions today – the problem will get significantly worse in the future, and we will need to spend billions and billions more to survive here.
By taking action TODAY to support clean energy, we can still turn the tide and save taxpayers and cities billions of dollars down the road. It’s simple – we need to invest in our future today before it becomes too late. Otherwise we will have a lot more adapting to do down the road.