Ice caps are melting. Sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing. Water supplies are coming under stress. Heat waves and heavy rains are getting worse. Coral reefs are dying. Fish and many other creatures are, in some cases, going extinct.
The oceans are rising to threaten coastal communities. They are becoming more acidic. This threatens sea creatures or stunts their growth. Matter frozen in Arctic soil since before civilization is now melting.
Parts of the Mediterranean region are drying out. The mountain snowpack is declining in the American West. This threatens the water supply.
Scientists say the worst is yet to come. The chairman of a U.N. panel said, “Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.”
And, as usual, poor people and poor nations will be the most affected. Scientists say the world’s food supply is at risk. The biggest danger is in the food supply of poor countries.
Greenhouse emissions send heat trapped in the atmosphere. The heat is mostly from carbon dioxide and methane (coal, natural gas and oil). They cause about 94 percent of the greenhouse gases.
Many countries are doing something about it. Greenhouse gases have begun to decline in the U.S. The gains are being swamped by emissions from countries such as China and India.
President Obama is trying use his executive power under the clean air act. He is trying to limit greenhouse emissions. Republicans in Congress are opposed.
Everyone agrees the path to a solution is paved by money. Who will supply the money and how it will be spent are the greatest questions before us.
The fate of the planet and its people hang in the balance.
Source: The New York Times March 31, 2014