These days, nearly every issue is somehow made "political" or affiliated with a political party. In the case of our only home, Planet Earth, I ask you to disregard which party you identify with and view the climate change debate with an open mind, free of politics, petty arguments, and hate. Rather, I ask you to consider the science behind the changes we are undergoing and how said changes will affect your life in the near future if we don't do something to stop what damage we have already created.
I was sitting in the Reitz Union, a gathering place to socialize, fuel up, and study on campus, when I overheard a girl talking about her views on the environment. She mentioned to her friend that she doesn't understand why she should care about the environment, recycle, or help reduce carbon dioxide emissions if "she's just going to be dead before any of the bad stuff happens anyway". Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but some opinions are built off of the wrong information. The "bad stuff" is currently beginning to happen, and will only increase exponentially within our lifetimes. It is time we all foster a sense of care and responsibility for the home that is our life-source.
The facts we've all heard are true; the sea levels are rising at increasingly alarming rates and the effects are already apparent. The king tides in Miami are a perfect example. The tides are a natural and annual occurrence, yet with rising seas, the damage of the floods greatly increases and spreads further into the city. "Climate change has already tipped the scale for more frequent and bigger floods", according to Climate Central (climatecentral.org). The "sunny day floods" are another prime example of the effects upon Miami; these are caused by the rushing of water into the city's streets due to rising seas, and they are predicted to become a regular occurrence. Within the 3,291 coastal floods in the United States from 2005-2014, 76% were produced by human causes. (Climate Central). Miami's current plan is to spend 400 million dollars on renovations to make their city more resistant to the effects of climate change, such as raising streets, installing water pumps, and elevating sea walls.
Nearly all of us have also heard of the depletion of the ozone layer. This depletion is due to the increase of carbon dioxide and other aerosols in the air. With a weakened ozone layer, thanks to humankind's innovations such as cars and factories, which are brilliant and grim all at once-our risks for sunburn, skin cancer, and cataracts are much greater than ever before. These facts are difficult to deny, as 95% of scientists around the world agree that our current climate change predicament is due to anthropogenic causes, also known as causes originating from environmental pollution due to human activities (Oxford Dictionaries).
Though climates naturally fluctuate, it is apparent that our activity is the primary cause of the dangers we are facing currently and will only be faced with all the more frequently in the future. The "bad stuff" is here to stay, and it is imperative for humankind to band together to help keep the earth a hospitable place to live and grow.