The Planet’s Report Card: Why climate action has never been more urgent.Read More - The Planet’s Report Card: Why climate action has never been more urgent. Read More
Put down those protest signs and turn the frown upside down! Here are 6 reasons to enjoy climate change.
Vacation in the Arctic!
We’ve always loved going to new places on holiday. But the Northwest Passage through the Arctic has been too clogged up with ice for big boats to pass. Finally, that frosty mess has been cleared up by climate change, and Arctic cruises are on offer! In recent years, Arctic sea ice has been setting new records for the speed and extent that it’s melting. So much that this past winter, ice coverage was the lowest since records of it were first taken. Baked Alaska, anyone? And if Greenland completely melts, we’ll see around 23 feet of sea level rise. Then there’s the permafrost, frozen soil with 1,500 gigatons of ancient carbon locked into it. Maybe we’re better off keeping the ice frozen after all.
Cheap Winter Sports Equipment!
We all love winter recreation, but the cost of all that gear is just out of hand. Now, with climate change’s impact on the $12.2 billion U.S. ski and snowmobile winter sports industry, those prices are going to drop faster than you can say “powder”. Nationally, our winters warmed .16 degrees Fahrenheit each decade between 1895 and 1970, and that warming has tripled to .55 degrees Fahrenheit per decade ever since. If we don’t curb carbon emissions, half of the ski areas in the Northeast will likely close in the next 30 years, and, the West Coast could be totally snowless. Bargains will abound! But, if you’re living in one of those states where 75% of the economy relies on winter tourism, you may not have any dough to spend. Wait, you’re not too into crazy forest fires and record-breaking droughts, either? Maybe we should have left the snow up in the mountains so it could hydrate the West Coast like usual.
Expanded Oceanfront Properties!
Everyone loves a holiday on the seashore, but who can afford one of those fancy timeshares? With climate change, the oceans will just come to you! Depending on how much fossil fuel we keep burning, we could see anywhere from 1.3 to 3.9 feet more water on the coasts. How can you plan on gaining waterfront property? This cool map shows sea level rise and flooding potential across the US. Yes, flooding is just part of that melting arctic deal — we can’t control where all that water goes! In fact, up to 217 million people will have their homes submerged or regularly flooded by 2100. Maybe it’s not such a good deal after all...in fact, it’s going to cost around a trillion dollars a year if coastal cities can’t adapt. Really, it would just be cheaper to stop climate change.
Animals Get to Play Musical Habitats!
We know that animals do some crazy things, like flying and swimming tens of thousands of miles to mate and enjoy warmer climes. But it’s usually the same places each year, which must be so boring! Now with climate change, animals are playing a game of musical habitats—tropical fish are already causing problems in northern ecosystems as they migrate away from acidifying and too-hot waters in the south. Turns out that even if they spent a good amount of time commuting, most critters are well adapted to their local environments. In fact, species that can’t just pick up and run, like the polar bear, penguin and coral reefs, are really going to feel the burn as their local climates shift and food sources dwindle. In fact, this may just be the worse thing we could force on animals, leading to a record-breaking die-off of species— a potential sixth mass extinction. Who’s the dinosaur now?
We Get to Try Out Those Cool Geoengineering Ideas, Finally!
If you’re addicted to science fiction novels, you’ve likely read about terraforming. That’s where future generations use various means of high technology and engineering to transform an atmosphere-less space rock into a verdant, oxygenated Eden perfect for human habitation. Geoengineering is like the caveman equivalent of terraforming, where instead of experimenting on far off, already dead planetoids, scientists use untested methods right here on Earth to “hack” climate change. The most popular version involves spraying particles into the Earth’s atmosphere that will reflect sunlight and tip the climatic thermostat cooler. No surprise, most scientists think the risks involved make geoengineering just plain crazy, not to mention it won’t actually solve the problem of climate change (looking at you, fossil fuels). And that science fiction Eden utopia? Hello, we’re living on the only one we know of, right here!
Weather Won’t Be So BORING Anymore!
Depending where you live (ahem, Vermont), weather is the main topic of conversation. If, after a few centuries, you run out of ways to squeak “cumulonimbus” into the daily gossip, don’t worry: climate change is already causing extreme weather, with more on the way! Turns out that all that melting in the arctic is inundating the oceans with a lot more cold water than usual, messing with the gulf streams and jet streams that produce the relatively normal weather we’re used to. The result is extreme weather that we may not really even want to talk about, except with a therapist— record heat waves, record rainfalls, record hot years, and a wild uptick in hurricanes and typhoons are all on the menu already. Extreme weather is predicted to have a major impact on human health, unless we curb carbon emissions, now.
In all seriousness, we know that we’re already on the way to more bad things happening if we don’t kick the fossil fuels habit, starting now. That’s why we’re supporting the push for 100% renewable energy by 2050. It may be tough to squeeze a laugh out of this topic, but we all need one. So have a chuckle, then get on board and get involved!
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