Climate Change: Is Global Warming really bad?
If the planet has been continuously warming and cooling anyway, why would today’s global warming be worrisome, even if the climate change is due to human activity, you may wonder.
The question is easy to answer.
Human beings may become extinct.
The only times in the past when the planet has been as hot as scientists think it is likely to become within the next fifty years, and when the atmosphere contained as much Carbon Dioxide as it does today, were long before mankind even existed on the planet. At that time conditions simply were not appropriate for the development of living human beings. The earliest human beings on earth which resembled present day humans appeared about two hundred thousand years ago. Data from the study of shells of tiny marine organisms has shown that the last time Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere were sustained at similar levels to today’s, was twenty million years ago. At that time Antarctica did not have an icecap and sea levels were about twenty five to forty meters higher than today.
This has led to the conclusion that there is a real possibility of the extinction of the human race. You may still argue that that would not be such a bad thing for the planet and you would probably be right. You would also not be the only one to argue that Global Warming and climate change is actually not that bad at all.
Why is it not necessary to stop Global Warming?
Those who have money invested in areas which will be financially disadvantaged by laws limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions will do anything to show that the planet isn’t warming all that fast, that our emissions don’t have such a great effect on the environment and they may even argue that it is not necessary to stop Global Warming.
Some will even go so far as to claim that climate change will be to our benefit. This is true to a certain extent, depending on where you live. One of the greenhouse gases responsible for Global Warming is carbon dioxide. But carbon dioxide is not all bad, it also makes plants grow. The more of this gas there is in the atmosphere, the faster they will grow. With warmer temperatures in high latitude countries the growing season for crops will also be extended.
Because of these two factors increased crop yields can be expected in higher latitude countries and their agricultural sector will greatly benefit.
Furthermore, with no more than 2C increase in temperature, fewer people will die from cold and fewer expensive machines will be needed to clear the snow off our roads in winter time. So for those who are living in the colder regions of our planet things may improve with climate change.
Why is it necessary to stop Global Warming?
As global temperatures increase, those who live in the tropics will see their death rate increase due to malaria, dengue fever, diarrhea and malnutrition.
Underdeveloped countries will see most of their crops destroyed by extreme weather conditions such as droughts, hurricanes and heat waves which accompany climate change. They will suffer from floods due to rising sea levels, which will also cause salt water to seep into their surface and groundwater, making many coastal areas unfertile.
They will suffer declines in crop yield with even a slight amount of warming.
Even developed countries will suffer from global warming, despite the above mentioned advantages.
More people will die from heatwaves. Thawing of the permafrost will cause buildings to fall and roads to be damaged. Because climate change is also likely to cause a higher frequency of major storms, expensive infrastructure will be damaged with greater frequency. Research has shown that the global number of ‘Great Natural Catastrophe’ events increased from twenty nine to seventy four events between 1970 and 1990 alone, leading to a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.
Although the extinction of human beings might proof to be a good thing for the planet, it will not be good for us. The trouble is that such extinction would not happen overnight. Many troublesome years would pass. Years of floods and drought, increased severity of storms and damage to infrastructure, war over food and many other calamities will precede such extinction. Do we really want to leave such a world to our children?
If there’s even the slightest possibility that we can prevent these troubles we should take action. When economists predict that taking action will also benefit our economy and help combat the economic recession it’s all the more reason to listen.
Click here to read more about how taking action to stop Global Warming will benefit our economy.
What can we do?
It’s about time our governments start listening to the people rather than large businesses; to those who suffer from the greediness of a few, rather than listening to the money of those few.
The global ‘Occupy’ movement was a good indication of how fed up people really are with those who profit from others without ever giving anything back. Let’s join our voices to theirs.
Let it be known to governments all over the world that we no longer wish to be governed by large companies which only have their own interest in mind. Let it be known that we wish to make a change, that we wish to stop Global Warming and that we are willing to pay the price now, rather than wait until it’s too late.