Our planet is in crisis. We can hear it trying to tell us that if we listen carefully. Over the past month we have seen images of historic flooding in Belgium and Germany, record heat in the Pacific …
Our planet is in crisis. We can hear it trying to tell us that if we listen carefully. Over the past month we have seen images of historic flooding in Belgium and Germany, record heat in the Pacific Northwest and Canada and a devastating drought that stretches across the western United States.
The effects of climate change are already here and being felt. Unless we do more to recognize our impact on a fragile ecosystem and change the way we live, we will continue to see these extreme weather events with increasing frequency.
It’s no secret that the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 2005. Increasing temperatures disrupt the Earth’s natural cycles and we see the result. There is an overwhelming consensus within the scientific community on what is causing this.
“Based on well-established evidence, about 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening," says the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“Scientists have known for some time, from multiple lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate, primarily through greenhouse gas emissions," says the National Academy of Sciences.
We must be doing more to recognize this issue that will only become worse overtime. This is not a partisan issue. It is an existential issue. It affects each one of us whether we know it or accept it.
On a small scale at least, there are those in our state who recognize the problem and are attempting to address it. As reported in the Democrat last week, New York state is more than halfway to its goal of producing six gigawatts of solar energy by 2025. The largest solar field in the Mid Hudson region is right here in Sullivan County, producing green energy for local homes and businesses, not to mention saving money and creating jobs in the process.
We’re proud of these accomplishments, but it’s not nearly enough. Climate scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) say that even if all greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans ended today then the climate would still continue to warm for decades. But we still have a chance, and an obligation, to minimize some of the worst effects of climate change.
Prioritizing short-term profits over the long-term health and security of our society is not only wrong but highly immoral. We must collaborate with the international community to adopt common sense and sustainable solutions to address this crisis.
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