You Don’t Know What You Got Till It’s Gone
For the first time in human history it has become undeniably apparent that our lifestyle has finally come full circle. The bi-partisan argument between political parties has ceased and it is evident our world will never be the same. Just like the course of action that has been taken in the past, the human race silently awaits the unavoidable reality of destruction and decimation through the increased emissions of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. As an environmental geographer it is my duty to attempt to understand what went wrong, and why we could not come together as one and stop this terrible crisis that has slowly but surely changed life, as we know it. Global warming has destroyed nearly 40% of the worlds species, melted all the ice caps in the arctic leading to increase sea levels and dangerous threats towards coastal cities. Hurricanes and typhoons pummel wet, hot climates such as the U.S. Gulf coast, the eastern seaboard and parts of Southeast Asia. The cities and infrastructures that we built in the past are deteriorating, clearly not created for the purpose of survival in this foreign climate. It is too little too late for the political sphere to attempt to make changes. They have ignored the warnings my colleagues and me have been begging them to give due attention to for decades; caught up in the greed of wealth and power rather than the sustainability of the one world we have. As nature and subsequently our society slips through our fingers in front of our eyes, I sit back and think about everything that could have been done. How did our political, economical, and social culture halt the movement for policies to be passed through the governmental system? How could a society so focused on our future look past the evidence right in front of our eyes and refuse to come together as one? After months of research, I have the scientific facts that were ignored, I know the system that was unable to succeed in passing these policies, and I know our culture that stimulated this horrific destruction of our world. It’s 2114, my name is Mason Paul, and this is a first hand account on how our world has sadly become the wasteland it is today. Over the past century the biggest problem the human race had with environmental policy was execution. After storms such as hurricane Katrina and Sandy, the mayors, governors and also the president all spoke on the behalf of the changing climate. National attention towards climate change grew. The call to action was in their sentences. Yet the environmental movement became one of all talk and no action. This stalemate that occurred within our governmental system can greatly be blamed on the bi-partisan split between conservative and liberals in the house and senate. But the numbers never lie and over, “the past 200 years CO2 has risen by 40%” and since the industrial era to the year 2014 the human race had increased the worlds temperature by 2 degrees Celsius (The Royal Society). Although that number is relatively small, the consequences it had on the world’s ecosystems, wildlife, and agricultural productions were enormous. The increase in temperature has much more severe consequences that one would assume. In the year 2012, the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, “projected that Category 4 and 5 hurricanes will become more frequent as warming continues,” this shift in climate increased the number of mega storms per year by 31 percent, equivalent to at least four more mega storms per year (Hertsgaard, 53). As more storms just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than hurricane Katrina and Sandy bashed into coastal cities around the world, the damages were unendurable. The UN’s coordinator of emergency disaster relief reported, “in 2008, nine out of ten major disasters were weather-related, causing up to $200 billion of damage” (Hertsgaard, 53). To put things in perspective, in 2008 the cost of damages was $200...
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Cicerone, J. Ralph, Nurse Sir Paul. “Climate Change: An Overview from the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences (2014).” Accessed April 3rd, 2014
EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). “Future of Climate Change.” Last updated March 4, 2014. Accessed April 3rd, 2014. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/future.html.
Hertsgaard, Mark. Hot. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2011.
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