As climate scientists have long predicted, the world is experiencing a record amount of extreme weather events – droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, heatwaves, and extreme cold.
It’s hard to prove if any specific disaster is due to climate change, but that’s not important. The key point is the overall trend: climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and it’s happening really fast. This also creates climate refugees, political instability, and increases the risk of war. Basically, the world is becoming a less and less safe place to live.
This graph (source) is just for the US, but the pattern is worldwide:
The bad news is this will most likely keep getting worse over the next few decades – even if we were to completely eliminate all CO2 emissions right now. Climate change is like a huge flywheel that we’ve set in motion over the past century, and even when we stop spinning the wheel it will keep going for decades or more, due to inertia.
So then you might wonder – why bother? Why should I care about climate change, why should I carbon offset, why should I reduce my personal emissions, why should I fly less, switch to an electric car, get solar panels, eat less meat, and support carbon taxing initiatives?
The kids. Do it for your kids, and their kids. Or your future kids, or your nephews, or your friend’s kids.
To be blunt, this is not really about making the world better place. The stakes are a lot bigger than that. This is about actually keeping the world habitable to human beings! Because if we don’t radically reduce our emissions, the world our kids will inherit will be unrecognizable and quite possibly uninhabitable.
So, if you need some inspiration, stare a child in the eye (in a friendly way, not creepy…) think about the day they grow up and ask you what you did when you learned that we were destroying the climate.
Here are some starting points if you want to act:
- Friendly Guide to Climate Change – a “big picture” animated video summarizing the whole climate change thing, the cause, what you can do, etc.
- GoClimateNeutral.org – a service to help you become carbon neutral (= eliminate your own carbon footprint). Think of this as a minimum first step.
- DrawDown – a book that goes through 100+ concrete and well-researched solutions to climate change.
If you want to talk more about this kind of stuff then feel free to join our Climate Crisplet community.