We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors — we borrow it from our children.
Native American Chief Seattle
Environment & Conservation
“Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” states the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading global authority on climate change. 2016 was the warmest year on record, the arctic is projected to be ice-free by mid-century, and sea levels will rise from one to four feet by 2100.
Psychologically, we have a finite pool of worry, we tend to focus on the most pressing, stressful issues confronting our family or our community. Basically, we look at what’s happening closest to home and what’s coming up quickly on the horizon.
If we continue to abstract climate change into a long-off, global, inevitable problem, no one will take action.
While, this is a natural human tendency, this outlook is catastrophic to the way we approach climate change. The effects of climate change are seeping in incrementally, but as these effects begin to snowball with time the long-term damages become monumental. If we continue to abstract climate change into a long-off, global, inevitable problem, no one will take action.
Political and theological affiliations notwithstanding, the best minds in climate science are unequivocal about the dangers that climate change poses to the long term survival of the human race and the capacity of humans to affect the outcome. Empirical correlations between our activities and all the multitude of weather disasters may not be easy to comprehend, but the real world evidence of devastation wrought by these events is there for all to see. According to NASA, we will see the effects of climate change worsen over time. This includes more dangerous droughts and heat waves in the southwest U.S. while precipitation and flooding increase in the northern U.S., hurricanes become more intense, and sea levels rise leaving coastal cities like Miami uninhabitable.
Some scientists even project that 30% to 50% of all species could go extinct by the middle of this century.
While we might adore and spoil the pets living in our homes, there are so many creatures in the wild facing even more significant challenges with the consequences of climate change. In what is referred to the Anthropocene era, we are living through one of the worst extinction events since the dinosaurs. Scientists at the Center for Health and the Global Environment estimate that we are losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate. Some scientists even project that 30% to 50% of all species could go extinct by the middle of this century, as published in a 2004 Nature study. The charities working to remedy the consequences of hundreds of years of environmental degradation are doing incredible, scientifically-based work. Conservation organizations work to support the most critical species from extinction, prevent invasive species from pushing out healthy native ones, and preserve the ecosystems necessary to sustain the lives of plants, animals, and ourselves.
We live in the country with the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions and amongst the highest per capita incomes in the world. We therefore have not only the responsibility, but also the privilege to be in a position to remedy our damage and stave off some of the most costly, deadly, and devastating consequences of environmental destruction.
This issue is not the future, it is now. These consequences will kick into full gear in our lifetimes, and the consequences for our children and grandchildren could be dire. The fate of civilization, our future generations, and the vast and incredible array of life forms that our earth uniquely supports is dependent upon our decisions today. By donating to organizations in the “Environment & Conservation’ category, you are helping to fight climate change, protect endangered environments, save both plant and animal species from extinction. Help make a better tomorrow, today.