But now it's hot. And humid.
This truly disgusting weather has had me feeling all of three things:
I am in a bad mood as soon as I step out the front door. To quote John Mulaney: "I am damp... constantly."
This weather is horrible.
Some of it is natural heating of the Earth as it goes through one of it's "phases" (gross). BUT, part of this is humanity's fault.
Carbon emissions become trapped in the atmosphere, creating kind of a "bubble." The heat then cycles through this bubble, making weather more intense. This is known as the "greenhouse effect" and is the main issue the world faces.
Due to this phenomenon, there have been more fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and record heat. 50 people in Canada recently died due to extreme heat. For those of us who live in Houston, Hurricane Harvey wrecked our hometown. Hurricane Maria killed approximately 1,600 in Puerto Rico, and they still don't have power. There are horrible fires in Greece that have destroyed homes and lives. All of this is due to our emissions.
For exactly one decade, humanity had the issue of climate change under control. In the editorial "Losing Earth," a special report is written about how humanity "settled the science" of climate change and decided to act on it.
So what happened?
There are conspiracy theories penned over how the "Big Oil" companies are preventing the switch to a more Eco-friendly living arrangement, thus fueling the fire for corporations to decide the public opinion on whether or not we, the people, should care about our earth. While this may be true today. the oil companies did not begin to act this way until around 1989, after our designated ten-year span.
It was not a partisan issue either. Republicans, known to be notoriously against environmentalism, actually crossed party lines to work with the Democratic Party in order to try to "fix" our planet.
Agreements were made for a global treaty to be written up and enacted as soon as possible. The world agreed that the United States would have to lead the way in this vast, sans-fossil fuel environment.
So what happened?
Scientists fought with the White House, and it was declared that, simply, the issue of saving our planet is not a political problem.
That attitude towards environmentalism still stands today.
Take the proposed straw reduction: some see it as a way to reduce their carbon footprint, just a little bit (except Starbucks). Others see it as another right the government is trying to take away from them.
Humanity was on the brink of solving this issue, and now, in this bipartisan America that we currently live in, it is likely that we will not unite like we did back in the 1980's. It is not fathomable.
Deniability is an option. However, the Earth's core temperature is rising, and that is due to our carbon emissions.
The 2015 Paris agreement was drafted with the goal in mind to reduce emissions in order to "keep earth's warming trend to under 2 degrees Celsius by 2100." The United States was part of this program until June 1, 2017, when President Trump announced that the United States would no longer be participating in this program.
So, hypothetically, what would happen if the Earth became only two degrees hotter?
1. Sea levels would rise by approximately 1.6 feet. Coastal cities would be underwater, and subtropical regions would lose up to a third of their fresh water supply.
2. Heat waves would intensify. That plus the lack of water could result in a higher increase in deaths, like in Canada this summer (But worse. Way worse).
3. Due to a lack of water and an increase in heat, certain staple crops, such as corn, would not be able to grow at the rate they used to, if at all.
4. Warmer oceans would kill 99% of coral reefs, disrupting ecosystems for up to nine million different species.
This is with only 2 degrees.
In 2017, a group of scientists conducted a study showing that the Earth will likely heat by more than two degrees by the end of the century.
An increase of five degrees would wipe out humanity.
Yes, the Earth does have natural heat cycles (it's why the Ice Age happened, after all). However, even if the Earth is shifting toward the hotter end of the spectrum, humanity has definitely given it a little nudge.
If there was a time for environmental reform policy that favored the environment, now would be a more than perfect time to pass that. It was long overdue in the 1980s.
However, it's not a political thing, right?
Be prepared, the end of the world might be coming a little bit faster than you think.