Climate change deniers threaten lives


Rochita Ghosh

Blue skies allow the sun to shine down on the earth, illuminating the day. It is not too warm outside — it’s cold enough just for a light jacket, perhaps. The color green peppers the ground everywhere, and in the plants as well. Flowers just start to bloom, showing off their multiple hues. A small wind caresses anything in its way, cooling the air down for just a split second.
If nothing changes, such idyllic days may never happen again, thanks to climate change.
Climate change is “any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time”, according to Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. This can include changes in temperature, wind patterns, precipitation and other weather events. Global warming is another term used in regards to climate change, which refers to the growing warmth Earth experiences right now.
Many people believe climate change does not exist, calling it a lie with nothing to worry about. Humans aren’t inputting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and they’re definitely not giving off other substances known as the greenhouse gases.
Wait a second. Humans are emitting more greenhouse gases, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA.
All of these greenhouse gases also act as heat trappers. When sunlight breaks through the atmosphere to Earth’s surface, some heat radiates back into space, according to NASA. These gases catch the outgoing heat in our atmosphere and keep it in, which warms the planet.
Since the heat remains within Earth’s atmosphere, it cannot just float above the surface. It spreads across the earth, increasing its average temperature as a result. The average temperature for Earth is predicted to increase by 2-11.5°F over this century if Earth as a whole does nothing to prevent this from occurring, according to the EPA.
As a result of the temperature increase, the ice caps up north and down south show their suffering by melting. When they dissipate, the water produced must go somewhere, so it fuses into the oceans, making the seas rise. The extra water spills into lands that humans occupy, for there is nowhere else it can go.
Wait, none of this is happening, right? Isn’t this just all theory?
No, it’s not, according to NASA. Earth sees its sea levels rising already. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today is 40% more than the highest natural levels of the gas over the past 800,000 years, according to the Environment Defense Fund. The ice sheets thaw more and more with each warmer day. The globe’s average temperature already started increasing, with all of Earth’s recorded hottest years occurring in the past 12 years.
What else could happen? Residents of the Midwest know its summers tend to attempt scorching people alive with its high temperatures, but with climate change, these temperatures will climb to unbearable measures, increasing the amount of heat-related deaths, according to the EPA. This also presents a risk for drought, which would harm the  region’s agriculture as plants need water to thrive. In turn, this hurts humanity as they need the plants to live.
A weak drizzling may transform into intense downpours, which raises the flooding risk, which impacts agriculture, infrastructure, air and water quality and human health, among others, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Climate change isn’t a problem that will occur in the future. Earth feels its effects right now, and if no one acts, the consequences will worsen.
Among those who don’t believe in climate change are political figures, who influence society more than some want to admit. Their stance does not stem from ignorance, but instead from greed. According to Huffington Post, groups like the Koch Brothers funneled money to groups who deny climate change and to other groups to encourage them to oppose the occurrence as well. They own Koch Industries, which focuses primarily on fossil fuel energy sources. Burning fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases, so were the company to stop creating these energy sources, they can kiss their fortune goodbye.
Enough people doubting the phenomenon lets the Koch Brothers and similar groups to retain their fortune, as there is no one pressuring them to turn over a new leaf.
What’s better? Money or an unpolluted world?
The best way to start addressing a problem is to admit one exists. Become aware of the issue, know what occurs and what will occur if no one starts doing something.
Start small. To pump and heat water takes a great deal of energy, so conserve water wherever possible. Recycle and reuse what can be. Find ways to use renewable sources of energy wherever possible. Perhaps this will not tackle climate change at its core, but these acts help the environment and that impacts the world by making it a cleaner place.
Let’s make the world a better place for everyone, together.