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The Impending Danger that Awaits Us
by Genel
December 16, 2008

 

March 2004, the month in which my dream of arriving to Canada was fulfilled, was also the month when I first heard about global warming. Being stuck in my auntie’s house for two weeks, CNN news became my getaway out of boredom. One day, I encountered one part of their show showing Albert Arnold Gore, the former US vice president, demonstrating the future effects of global warming on lowland areas. I was deeply shocked upon seeing my home country, the Philippines, and even New York City being eaten slowly by the water upon the rise of sea level.

However, for some reason, Al Gore’s message did not sink in my mind right away. I even questioned him and ignorantly said to myself, “How is global warming possible when it’s cold up here?” It is indeed a laughable and stupid question—a question which only shows my lack of knowledge and self-awareness on what really is happening in this world.

Global warming has been one of the hottest issues today. Scientists, environmentalists and corporations have been debating for decades upon the truth behind this so-called “climate change." The majority of scientists and environmentalists agree that the world is in peril and needs quick solution to ensure that the next generation will have a habitable environment.

However, some people, such as those who handle big corporation, refuse to believe and even oppose the threat of global warming. ExxonMobil, one of the largest oil and gas corporations, is one example who heavily opposed the scientific opinion that burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming. They even funded an organization called Global Climate Coalitions, which is one of the early skeptic groups dedicated in criticizing and debunking the pure intent of Kyoto Protocol. It is obvious that their interest is simply the welfare of their company which contributes too little in improving the environment. So who should we believe more? I believe the answer is very much in front of us. (Democracy Now Report)

The danger of climate change is true and real. Many scientists have been greatly alarmed because of its calamitous effects. One of these is the increase in global surface temperature, which can range from 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius.  Because of this, drought will be more widespread; which now is strongly felt in Africa, Australia and even in the regions where rainforests are abundant. Drought means food shortages in African nations. Moreover, forests will also be in great danger. One good example of this is the scary scenario of British Columbia’s forests and animals becoming extinct because of the outbreak of mountain pine beetles. Because -30 degrees Celsius is becoming scarcer in the region, these beetles will remain active and destroy the forests. If we do not act fast enough, someday we may see our pristine forests and diverse animals erased on the face of the earth. (Wikipedia: Global Warming)

But who can argue that the scariest and most devastating effect to us is the impending rise of sea level. Scientists attested that for the past century, sea level has risen 1.8 millimeters per year. Moreover, they also predicted that by 2100, sea level will have risen 9 to 88 centimeters. This might be a small figure to others, but we should understand that for every increase of 20 centimeters in sea level, hundreds of thousands of people will become homeless. This still does not include its secondary effects, which are the devastation of living in many lowland areas and island nations, rampant spread of diseases and hunger in many places. (Wikipedia: Current Sea Level Rise)

We may already have the knowledge regarding climate change and its dangerous effects. However, we must choose the right thing: that is to practice what we know and change ourselves from being apathetic to being sympathetic, especially to the next generation. Warning signs are unequivocal and are obviously seen and felt by many of us. There is no doubt that global warming is true and real.

Surely, we do not want our generation to be recorded in history as being stubborn. Who would want that? Who would want to be branded as a complete fiasco for not taking a simple advice from the scientists? This is an urgent call; surely, we do not want the next generation to suffer and blame us for our misdeeds. –731 words

Reference:

Democracy Now Report: ExxonMobil Spends Millions Funding Global Warming Skeptics