During the industrial revolution we began rebuilding our entire society on fossil fuels and became increasingly dependent on our natural resources. This rapid industrialization exposed us to our first experience with pollution, where soot covered the buildings and streets of large European cities. The increased standard of living caused us to focus on the positives industrialization brought. Hundreds of years ago when industrialization first began these inventors and innovators were oblivious to the consequences of aggressively extracting fossil fuels. Today we are not graced with that same ignorance, and we are knowingly pillaging our global ecosystem. This mass scale change left us to be completely dependent on fossil fuels, where we’ve been ignoring the environmental problems we’ve been causing for decades. Climate change is the most important issue of our time because if we do not address this crisis we will see the devastation of irregular weather patters, the disappearance of countless species, and the possibility of being witnesses to the extinction of the human race.
The change of global climate patterns has been caused by increased green house gas emissions from the industries that allow our society to function. The constant depletion of our resources is contributing to changes in global weather patterns, and this problem is only getting worse. The increased greenhouse effect that is caused by the escalation of atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide leads to a noticeable increase in temperature. Even the optimistic prediction of just an increase of 2C will lead to polar ice caps melting, sea levels rising, floods, droughts, wild fires, and the extinction of endangered species. Already we have caused extreme damage to the atmosphere and are seeing the affects of climate change though recent dangerous weather conditions. This mass industrialization has caused the first 6 months of 2016 to set the record for the warmest months globally since we began keeping temperature records back in 1880. Our planet has multiple Carbon sinks such as the oceans and forests, but these sinks cannot keep up with the mass output of carbon dioxide. Trees, one of the most valuable resource that can be used to absorb carbon dioxide are being clear cut all around the world. Boreal forests in Canada are being destroyed to expand oil extraction operations, rainforests in the Amazon and in Indonesia are being cut for palm oil plantations and farm land. Many of these rainforests are being burned as quick ways to clear the land which release massive amounts of CO2, this pollution is destroying the local native communities as well as contributing to climate change. These companies responsible for the destruction of the health and culture of the people living near these operations do not care nor take responsibility for their actions. The people responsible for the pollution and release of green house gases do not care for the lives they damage as they are turning a substantial profit from committing these destructive operations.
We have become a society of greed, where the individuals who can create real positive change refuse to as they benefit more from supporting fossil fuel corporations. Many governments and corporations have chosen to delay addressing the issue of climate change as it is not yet affecting them. Commitment to clean energy would cost them trillions, so prominent figures capable of creating progress have chosen to ignore the issue as they are not the ones being directly affected. To become a civilization truly only reliant on green energy we would need to change everything about our society. This change will be slow and costly, and not enough is being done as misinformation is still being deliberately spread about climate change throughout the media. It is no longer the case where doing small tasks such as taking showers instead of baths, and turning off your lights when there not in use will drastically improve the current state of our environment. The facts are that not only are we drastically changing our climate, we are turning to risky resources to sustain our energy needs such as hydraulic fracturing, tar sands, and offshore drilling. The change to alternative energy such as solar and wind must begin right now, with the most powerful and influential nations leading the way to converting to these alternative energy sources as well as supporting developing nations to make the change as well. But countries such as the United States, who can do the most to influence the world are controlled by politicians and fossil fuel interests who deny climate change is happening. America is a superpower which can lead the entire world into global change. But has politicians such as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mary Landrieu, Donald Trump the president elect, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and James Inhofe who openly spread misinformation about climate change and repeatedly call it a hoax. Many of these politicians are bought by fossil fuel interests such as BP, Shell, and Koch Industries who fund climate change denialism. These prominent climate change deniers do not need facts, but only need to convince the public to further their own agendas. These industries do not have the public’s best interests; they are run by the worlds elite whose only concern is how they can further expand their empire and will buy or silence whoever necessary to achieve this.
Many of the consequences of climate change have already become irreversible. The world must face the facts and realize that this is no longer a debate to see if climate change is real or not, it’s a debate of how we correct our mistakes. We must stop the spread of misinformation in the media and recognize that this is the most important issue of our time. The individuals responsible for climate change must be held accountable, and people all around the world must push their governments to inforce this accountability. Share you voice, protest, and vote because Climate change is no longer something we can ignore, as the consequences of our selfish actions have caught up with us.