For decades, we have been consuming non-stop, believing that our actions have no consequences and that the resources in this Earth are infinite, but they are not. We use so much energy and release so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that greenhouse gases have been making the climate change drastically. For some, this has no effect and might be seen as a positive impact, but for those that live under the poverty line it has tremendous negative impacts. Climate change is a moral issue that has many effects, impacts some people more than others, involves many factors, and has viable solutions. In order to put an end to it, people must understand that this is a matter of doing what is right, since it is people’s values that lead to this dramatic change.
Climate change affects people, plants, animals, crops, and even the economy. Extreme hot climate, leads to more evaporation and more precipitation, which alters the quantity of water sources in Earth. This causes droughts and flooding that force people to relocate, species to migrate, and crops to die. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, extreme climate can also lead to hurricanes or storms, which can kill or injure humans, as well as animals and ecosystems (IPCC). This process continues as the temperature continues to rise, along with the sea level and ice sheets melting. Helping people adjust to these climates costs money, and losing crops too, which impact the economy negatively. In fact, the number of failing states is growing due to the increase of oil shortages, food shortages, and climate change (Plan B).
Although we are globally affected by this drastic change in climate, those who are affected the most are the third world countries, poor, women and children. This makes sense because usually the ones most affected by hurricanes and natural chaos, which are caused by climate change, are the poor (most are blacks) that do not have a good infrastructure that can protect them from these disasters. In countries like Africa, when there are droughts it is very bad since people depend on getting water from rivers or streams to complete their daily needs and survive (Black Lives Matter). Another good example is during Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans the poor blacks were the ones who suffered the most and were left abandoned instead of receiving the aid they deserved (Black Lives Matter). This is unjust, since climate change affects the poor more than anyone else, and they had basically nothing to do with it (Climate Justice).
There are many factors involved in why there continues to be climate change, despite all its negative impacts. The main one is racism; the rich and policymakers do not care about the lives of others, instead they believe that their economic growth is worth the damage done to the poor and blacks. The rich are in pursuit of short-term economic gain and do not care about despoliation the environment either (Pope’s Vow). Along with racism, comes selfishness that is what causes most people to contribute to pollution. Market economics have taught us that the world is for us to make gain out of it and that it all has to be about economic growth. Consumerism has made us blind between what we want and what we need (Pope’s Vow). We believe that the Earth is here to take care of us, yet we don’t take care of it, and instead use it to dispose of all our waste. We buy the most expensive lights, fridges, heaters and A/C for our homes but don’t think of the effects that the energy we use has on the environment (Plan B).
Climate change may seem like the end of the world, but there are many viable solutions that can be implemented to save our Earth, one step at a time. It is necessary for us to “adapt, plan, and implement” (Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change). Some believe that a birth control program would help, but according to Pope Francis the key solution is for the rich to implement a 10% cut in emissions (Pope’s Vow). To do so, we must adapt and change from coal and gas to renewable energy (Plan B). Environmental activists claim that 80% of the fossil fuels left must remain underground to prevent more damage to occur (Climate Justice). Other solutions are economic and technological investments in poor countries to bring improved services, increase democracy, food and job security, and take more action to help the poor and stop neglecting the poor black communities.
We must all ask ourselves this question, is it fair and justified to destroy our planet for the profit of a few and economic growth? This makes the issue of climate change a moral issue, just like any other civil rights movement. The destruction caused by climate change affects many species, including our own, yet we don’t care because we are selfish. As human beings we must be able to identify between right and wrong, and climate change is wrong. It is wrong that we allow the poor, who are innocent people that have nothing to do with the change in climate, to suffer from our actions. We must identify our wants and needs, and limit our wants for a greater good, to help stabilize our planet and conserve our resources.
This issue is well known to plenty of people, yet nothing is done because the government is the only one that can solve this since they have the ultimate decision. Their decision, unfortunately, is not do anything about it, because oil companies, which gain profit from using oil and other non-renewable resources, usually finance the political parties in power. Therefore, addressing climate change would negatively affect the relationship between the government and the oil companies. This goes back to the issue of why there are so many bad things happening throughout the world, the reason is because the power is in the hands of the wrong people, who care only about economic growth.
To conclude, climate change is a process that has been caused by humans, affects humans along with other species, and can be solved by humans if we come together to do what is right. As humans, we have our set of values that make us who we are, but unfortunately the lack of morality that the rich have has caused the poor blacks to suffer from the chaos caused by climate change. The government and the rich do not care about the poor; they just see them as people using space in this world. This is why we have not addressed the issue of climate change, but if we continue to follow this path of ignorance and destruction we will all suffer from this issue. In order to solve this issue we must cut the amount of carbon emissions, improve the infrastructure and facilities in poor countries, invest in and promote the use of renewable energy, and shift the perspective of people who are racist, so that they understand that the poor blacks who are suffering from our actions were created equally to us and deserve to live in peace. We all can and should act to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. We all can sit down for a moment, and think about what we want and what we really need. If we would spend less, there would be less products produced and less raw materials being used, leading to the prevalence of resources and less pollution. We have been brainwashed that the good thing to do is “Go spend money” just like Bush said. But the truth is we can all live happily ever after with what we have, and feeling better about ourselves knowing that we are saving the lives and many, including our families and future generations (Climate change – what it means).
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Ever since three and a half billion years ago, when the first single celled organisms were created through a series of chemical reactions, there has been evolution. Evolution is the basis for everything we see around us. All the different species on the earth, whether outside your window or sitting by a hydrothermal vent at the bottom of the ocean, have been the product of billions of years of evolution. Humans have made dramatic impacts on the world at a frightening pace that mimics events that have only happened a few times before in our world’s history. The rate at humans are changing global climate and ecosystems are far faster than any species can adapt to. This leaves evolution lagging behind as humans race to finish what they have started. This includes the sixth mass extinction to ever occur since our planet started out, and unfortunately, not even humans will be able live through it unscathed.
Evolution, simply put, is the genetic modifications of a species over time. The reason that all the life forms on earth are so vastly different is because of evolution. We are all descendants of single celled organisms that first formed billions of years ago. Evolutions can happen on a small scale, such as the change in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next, from larger scale evolution, different species all deriving from the same ancestor, known as macroevolution. All forms of life on earth have a common distant ancestor, from bees to elephants, whales to cauliflower. What causes all these different species to occur are speciation events. A speciation event is something that forces a previous species to evolve into another species or even split into two completely different species. Evolution occurs in three primary ways: artificial selection, natural selection, and random processes. Artificial selection is cause occurs when humans determine which individuals breed based on a set of traits that want to be shown in the offspring. Natural selection is influenced by the environment. Species are naturally varied in traits and the ones with the traits that allow for easier survival end up reproducing more and continuing life. This is how natural selection occurs. For example, the whale’s ancestors used to be land animals. Slowly whales began to move into water because that is where food was, but because it used to be a land animal its nose was still on the front of its face. Eventually an offspring with a nose higher up was born and reproduced. This strain of breed continued on for so long until the whale’s nose moved all the way onto its back to where we see it today. Because of more food in the water, the land animals moved into the ocean and one random mutation made it easier for survival so the rest of the species could adapt to the environmental conditions. Random processes can further be broken up into mutation, genetic drift, and founder effects. None of these processes are based on adaption and all have to do with the separation of populations that in effect change the phenotypes of the new population.
Climate change that occurs over a significant duration of time is very likely to cause speciation. For example the mid-Miocene climate optimum lasted for millions of years, approximately from 18 million to 14 million years ago. This period had very large speciation impacts on mammals. When the climate starts changing, species often tend to try and follow the climate that they are genetically adapted to. Sometimes populations get stuck and are unable to stay in a climate that they are suited for. In this case the animals would either adapt and evolve or go extinct. These changes in species occur regularly throughout history, and are easily identifiable by using fossils. The fossils show us large portions of time and how the earth has changed during those times, as well as the new species that have emerged due to the earth’s changes. 1
Climate change that has recently been caused by humans is moving at an alarmingly fast rate. The fossil records show that speciation is prone to happen over millions of years, giving the animals plenty of time and generations to fully adapt to their new climate. This new climate change that is human caused, is operating on hundred year scales. The amount of selective pressures that we have placed on animals is just too strong. There is no way for animals to adapt as fast as necessary, and thus will eventually go extinct.2
Climate change isn’t the only things humans have been tampering with that are causing species to possibly go extinct. The human effect on ecosystems and habitats are largely destroying animal’s previous way of life. For example, the United States-Mexican border causes disruptions in the large migratory path of many animals such as Jaguars. It is still possible for Jaguars to pass through the border but if plans to ramp up the border for better security and easier transport persist, then it may be the end of the migratory path of those Jaguars.3 Losing the presence of these Jaguars below or above the equator may not seem like such a big deal at first. So what there will be less Jaguars in Texas, not a big deal right? This couldn’t be more wrong. Large animals, named mega fauna, are being hit with the fastest rate of decline from human caused changes. The loss of these larger animals have a huge effect on how ecosystem dynamics run smoothly. Previous experiments in Kenya have isolated large areas of land from mega fauna, such as zebras, giraffes, and elephants, to see how the ecosystem would respond. Not surprisingly the absence of mega fauna allowed shrubbery to grow freely which allowed for rodent populations to explode. These areas were soon over run with rodents that could easily carry diseases.4 The loss of mega fauna resulted in a higher level and easier transmission of diseases. But it is not only mega fauna that are being effected by habitat loss. During the last 35 years human population has doubled. Over the same amount of time, the population of invertebrate animals, such as butterflies, beetles, worms, and spiders, has decreased by 45%. The effects of this could have a much larger impact on human life. 75% of pollination of the world’s food crops are done by insects, and besides that, insects play an integral role in the productivity of ecosystems.5 With the loss of so many, how can ecosystems continue to prosper and survive? And how soon until all of the environmental repercussions are too much for humans and we start to become part of the world’s sixth mass extinction.
Evolution has ways of protecting the world’s species by adaptation and genetic enhancement. However, evolution is unable to save species from the terror that is mankind. All ecosystems are connected and it cannot be expected that the loss of one part an ecosystem would not have detrimental impacts on all the other species around it. Humans have changed the world in ways that do not support the life of many pre-existing species, and thus is plunging the world into the sixth mass extinction. All of the species that have gone extinct or will go extinct due to human impacts will not just mean the end of that one species but will instead take countless others with them. A clock can’t tick if it missing a single cog, just as ecosystems rely on every aspect of the duties that species provide. Losing one will affect all, and humans can’t dare think that effects against them won’t be as critical as the effects on every other species in the world.
1 Barnosky AD. 2006. Climate Change and Speciation of Mammals. Action BioSience [Internet]. [cited 2014 Oct 25]. Available from: http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/barnosky.html
3 Whitty J. 2007. Gone: Mass Extinciton and the Hazards of the Earth's vanashing Biodiversity . Mother Jones [Internet]. [cited 2014 Oct 21]. Available from: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2007/05/gone
4 Carey B. 2014. Stanford biologist warns of early stages of Earth's 6th mass extinction event. Stanford News Service [Internet]. [cited 2014 Oct 26]. Available from: http://news.stanford.edu/pr/2014/pr-sixth-mass-extinction-072414.html
Climate change has impact the environment over years by bringing dryness, Greenhouse Gasses, and pollution do to the human activities that raise carbon-dioxide to the atmosphere .Over the past 30 years the environment has suffered a lot of disasters such as fires,dryness, hurricanes, tornadoes Earthquakes and other different disasters do to the changes in temperature. Some people care about the environment but there are also people that do not really care about what is going around them. People has asked themselves What is climate change? while Climate change means a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time. We do not really know how we can be helpful or what are we doing to make it worse. Climate change has affected the water, greenhouse gasses , the cause of pollution and also has brought controversies between people.
In the First place, Climate change has been debated to be part of the human activities. Will that be true or not? Well as Marcia Clemmitt stated in the article Climate Change in mentions that “the climate is changing, and the rate of change as projected exceeds anything seen in nature in the past 10,000 years”(75). This means that if the temperature keeps raising and lowering it could be the beginning of more disasters to the environment. Also Climate change is not only affected by the temperature but also by the greenhouse gas. As Hurrell said “ Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are now higher than at any time in the last 750,000 years”(75). This is just making the planet more sick and least likely to survive in the future. Climate change will never end up do to impact in the earth. Even if the government want to do something as Sen. James Inhofe said “ THe united states senate is standing on firmer ground than ever against mandatory reduction of carbon-dioxide, which could effectively throw our nation into an economic depression”(77).They are not doing anything because the want to help out but because that's their job. Also they do not want to take the risk of bringing the economy down but if you do not do anything later on you will need more money and more resources. The debate between to Senator on whether the U.S should join an international treaty on climate change. Sen.James Jeffords stated that “Global warming will result in more extreme weather, increased flooding and drought, disruption of agricultural and water system, threats to human health and loss of sensitive species and ecosystems. We must take action now to minimize these effects,for our children, our grandchildren, and future generations” (89). Unlike Sen.James Inhofe stated that “Much of the debate over global warming is predicated on fear rather than science……...there is no fear of massive future flooding as claimed in most global warming scenarios” (89). This debate just leads to more controversy and difference between each senators on whether they agree with Sen.Jeffords or Sen. Inhofe.
Additionally, water has become a crisis in the west do to the climate change. How has climate change affect the water and how is bringing controversies between people? Well as is stated in the article Water crisis in the West there are many countries that are in a drought situation. As John Wesley Powell stated “There is no sufficient water to supply the land”. Most of the people are against and some are in favor do to different circumstances. For example, people need water to plant and have crops, other people need water to feed their farm animals and finally other just need it to survive. Water is an element that we need in order to survive. Also, some of the people are fighting over water and making conflicts between each other as Powell stated in the article “you are pilling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water”. He stated that many people are making ideas about the water issues but there is no support from the people do to the amount of water they want to used and do not want to share with the other people. Climate change has really affect not only the environment but the people because all living things can not leave without water.Although,there has been some pro/cons between Thomas Birmingham(pro) and Michael L. Connor(con) do to the question Do federal water-management policies aimed at protecting fish species in the California Delta hurt farmers? Thomas Birmingham(pro) stated that “We are living under a federal regulatory regime that has made droughts more frequent and their impacts more severe. And those same regulations are reducing many of the natural benefits we used to derive from periods of high precipitation.” He is just trying to make people see the consequences but he is also looking at what the federal thinks about the protection of fish species and how it will hurt farmers. Instead, Michael (con) stated that “.....water exports through the Delta have been modified to protect at-risk fish species and the overall aquatic ecosystem, which affects water deliveries to urban and agricultural water users? He is making more and more people angry at the situation because they want to survive and also protect the different species of fishes. Many people are against what Randy McMillan stated “ If your water resource is declining, with more and senior water-right holders injured, eventually you're going to be like other aquifers — [in] a race to the bottom,” This issue will just bring people against each other and will end up losing and tier. Climate change has affected the water for bad, its just bringing up trouble and people are beginning to fight.
Furthermore, how the people impact the climate change and how it affect us.There are different forms on how the people affect the world.The climate scientist Dana Nuccitelli stated in the article that “We cause global warming by increasing the greenhouse effect, and our greenhouse gas emissions just keep accelerating,” The people need to be carefull with each thing they used in order to keep greenhouse gasses lowering in order to stop the increasing of climate change. Also, the climate change is affecting everyone in the oceans, glaciers, etc.. as it was stated in the article by Jennifer weeks that “ Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts…… Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting.” scientist already started looking at the changes that the temperature is causing to the environment. Also they started to see that the higher the climate change the dangerous it becomes for everyone. One thing that many people has ask is should the united states adopt a carbon tax? William G.Gale(pro) stated that “A carbon tax could also reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy and create better market incentives for energy conservation, the use of renewable energy sources and the production of energy-efficient goods….” Unlike Kenneth P.Green(con) stated that “Taxing carbon gets you virtually no climate or health benefit unless it exists within some binding, international carbon control regime, which is unlikely.” they have two different point of view but they want the best to lower the climate change. In addition, the general Ban Ki-moon said that the“Climate change is a “clear and present danger … to our development plans and objectives and the health of economies large and small in all regions”. It's not only affecting the big cities but also the small towns.
Under those circumstance, climate change is increasing more and more over the years and it will affect us every second . As it was stated in the article by Boehlert “ Climate change will have potentially significant effects on freshwater quality due to increases in river and lakes temperatures,changes in the magnitude and seasonality of rivers runoff and more frequent and severe extreme events”(1326). This is leading to the end of freshwater and how it will affect the U.S. without having freshwater. Also In the article Boehlert mentions that “these physical impacts on water will also have potentially substantial economics impact s,since water quality is valued for a number of recreational and commercial activities including river and lake visits, boating,swimming, and fishing, among other” (1326). It says that due to the visits and the use of water they need to be able to make some arranges and try to contain a more sustainable freshwater. The world in which they live will not have enough freshwater for everyone. It will bring us to a dangerous situation in which everyone will fight just to get water, they need to be able to stop climate change and lowering it because if they do not do it, then it will dry up everything.
As shown above, Climate change is increasing faster and no one is able to stop it if they do not count on everyone. If the people do not stop causing greenhouse gasses going into the atmosphere. Everything will be changed. they will loose freshwater,homes if there are fires and roughness, also they are not going to be able to gain nothing if they do not stop the climate change. As Bloomberg said “Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week's devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”
MLA Cite Pages
1) Katel, Peter. "Water Crisis in the West." CQ Researcher 9 Dec. 2011: 1025-48. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.
2) Clemmitt, Marcia. "Climate Change." CQ Researcher 27 Jan. 2006: 73-96. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.
3) Boehlert, Brent, et al. "Climate Change Impacts And Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Effects On U.S. Water Quality." Journal Of Advances In Modeling Earth Systems 7.3 (2015): 1326-1338. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.
4) Weeks, Jennifer. "Climate Change." CQ Researcher 14 June 2013: 521-44. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.