As far back as 2003, the World Meteorological Organization “highlighted record extremes in weather and climate occurring all over the world in recent weeks and linked them to climate change”. But even with the evidence and consensus, we environmentalists often hear “The earth has warmed before” and “It’s a natural cycle” as from people in denial who think that everything is going to be just fine. OK, I will play along – let’s imagine for a split second that everything is going to be just dandy, that seas are not going to rise, that animals the world over are not going extinct, winter and summer aren’t just a tad weird as of late, and that tornadoes are not happening in the strangest places – now what? Because global warming is *not* happening, should we continue to treat our planet the way we have been treating it? Shall we continue to use up all the resources so future generations don’t have anything left? If we are not in danger of warming the planet beyond repair as some believe, should be just keep with the status quo of pumping CO2 and pollutants into the atmosphere? If it doesn’t matter what we do, should we even care about the health of the earth and our environment? Absolutely. And here is why:
No one wants their grandchildren to live on a planet where the water is so polluted there is nothing to drink.
No one wants their grandchildren to live on a planet where about 50-100 different species continue to go extinct on a daily basis, which is 1000 times faster than their natural rate.
No one wants their grandchildren to live on a planet where the air is so dirty that everyone has asthma.
No one wants their grandchildren to live on a planet where the food has to be genetically modified because we cannot grow it naturally anymore.
No one wants their grandchildren to live on a planet where cancer cases are expected to rise to 15 million cases a year by 2020.
No one wants their grandchildren to live on a planet where there is an island of plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean that is even bigger than the United States.
No matter what your political leanings, no matter if you believe in global warming or not, no matter if you are 15 years old or 95 years old – what we are doing to the earth is affecting not only us but also every single generation to follow… and why would we want to leave this place worse off than when we got here? I am 38 years old – I know I should have quite some time left here, and I don’t want to live out my life in a dirty, polluted, dangerous world. But even more so than that, I don’t want to leave my mess behind for future inhabitants of h a planet in a constant state of fighting back against what the last 100 years of human development has caused.
So no matter what you believe, believe in this — we need to help make the earth a cleaner place for ourselves and future generations. Period. Forget all the catch phrases we get caught up in… the political wrangling… the he-said/she-said nonsense we come up with to fight each other with. Enough is enough, we should all be on the same side at this point, regardless of whether you believe climate change is natural, man-made, or a myth. Can’t we at least agree that we want to clean up (and keep clean) our only home — and work on solutions that benefit all of us alike?
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