There is a great poison eating away at our planet. An unhampered disease that has taken billions of lives in the past decade, all stemming from the cause of humans and our inability to feel empathy for life as a whole. Politics and greed, selfishness and laziness. Overall, there are many voices pushing against a tide of tanks rolling over the world like a blitzkrieg, but nowhere near enough to stop the storm.
The Great Barrier Reef, an ecosystem of over 25 million years old will likely reach the end of its life before the culmination of the decade. There could be children born today who will not understand the concept or scope of the Great Barrier Reef because it will never be a part of their thinking life.
While everyone was worried about the treat of a nuclear winter, we lost track of the mutually assured destruction that was rained upon us. Now, we have to live with the fallout from the greatest weapon of mass destruction mankind has ever created.
A lecturer at SIM University and National University of Singapore once told her class that she “believed climate change is real, but global warming is a hoax”, citing El Niño as the contributor to rapidly rising temperature. The above is not just an opinion, but a statement spoken by an educator during a class as if it was fact.
A quick check would revealEl Niño only contributes to 8-10% of the warming between 2014-2015. In fact, it is likely that man-made global warming has caused an increased in El Niño events over the years, from happening once every other decade down to a cycle of once every few years.
Of course, for global warming deniers, things such as facts and the sciences will only deter them for so long before they latch on to the next excuse that prevents others from dealing with widespread death, disease, migration, and destruction, even though the Great Barrier Reef is not the only reef formation threatened by global warming. The Belize Barrier Reef is also in danger, threatening entire ecosystems, fishing industries, and countless wildlife.
But beyond that, the threat of climate refugees is a real and ongoing thing. These are people who have had their lives uprooted due to rising sea level natural disasters due to global warming and reports come from everywhere in the world. From America, all the way to Bangladesh. Rising sea levels are expected to displace over 150 million people by 2050. And this terrifying spectacle can be simulated with the maps at climatecentral.org.
However, what is truly terrifying is that these resources were made readily available as early as the turn of the century. Meaning that for 16 years, people on Earth looked at the reports and studies made by thousands of scientists that all came to the overwhelmingly one sided conclusion that man made global warming is real and said, “I don’t believe it.”
There could be children born today who will not understand the concept or scope of the Great Barrier Reef because it will never be a part of their thinking life.
And there is absolutely nothing that can be done about those people. These are people so blatantly self-centred that they literally chose to have their own facts. Instead of looking at the world and taking intelligence gathered from a variably large number of experts from a pool of specialists, these people will look at you dead in the eye and say 2+2=17, because they are not a mathematicians, but all the mathematicians have sold-out to the “government”. But they will look for the one who agrees with them and set their foot down the dirt.
Soon, temperatures will be at a recorded high. Wildfires will be common. In fact, Southeast Asia is experiencing the effect of global warming first hand every year as we see the haze from Indonesia growing larger and longer. These haze were originally mostly attributed to illegal slash-and-burn operations by companies for varied farming and land selling purposes. To a certain extent, natural wildfires do happen as well. The slash-and-burn operations contributes vast amount of carbon into the air, which raises global temperature. With higher temperature, more natural wildfires occur and fires lasts longer and burns hotter, making the haze period extend year after year without giving the world time to cool off.
The result of the 2015 SEA Haze caused 29 deaths and half a million injuries in Indonesia alone. Tens of millions more were affected across SEA. Tens of thousands were affected by respiratory conditions. Babies were born with breathing difficulties like asthma. An additional 100,300 premature deaths were added on. The haze period used to occur at intervals of once every few years. Now, it’s a yearly crisis.
And that is growing to become the trend of global warming. So long as a few people are lazy, greedy, or selfish about their lifestyles, the world can expect the death toll to go up in crises that were once a rare devastation to become a yearly norm. While everyone was worried about the treat of a nuclear winter, we lost track of the mutually assured destruction that was rained upon us. Now, we have to live with the fallout from the greatest weapon of mass destruction mankind has ever created.
Header image by Dom Riccobene, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24397625
Coral reef image by Fascinating Universe – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16657833
Haze image by Jacklee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons