By Tayte Barbieri
15,000 scientist have recently issued a dire warning to humanity. According to The Guardian, 2017 is the second hottest year only behind El Nino amplified in 2016. The temperatures this year have been 0.94 C above the 1950-1980 average according to NASA. About 25 years ago, 1,500 scientists signed a letter stating that humanity needed to change its ways in order to save the planet.
According to Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, “There is only one major political party in the world that denies the existence of climate change. And it happens to be in charge of the most important political body in the world.”
The Republican party has been a blockade in the advancement of CO2 reduction, only 50 of republicans even believe that global warming exists. A recent study done by the New York Times shows that the more education Republicans have, they tend to believe less in global warming. It is no surprise that in the last 3 elections, the oil and gas industry directed 90% of its campaign contributions to Republicans. The coal industry channeled 96% of their contributions toward them in 2014 and 2016.
Pope Francis recently shared his thoughts on climate change, blasting global warming skeptics as having “perverse attitudes.” According to an article by FOX News, during climate change talks in Germany, the pontiff stated that climate change is “one of the most worrisome phenomena that humanity is facing.”
Oddly enough, the person who is the most skeptical of climate change is our own president Donald Trump. President Trump has made some claims that are just shocking, such as, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make the US manufacturing non-competitive.” This is from his Twitter account, however he blatantly denies ever tweeting any of that.
Among liberal Democrats, 79% believe that humans are to blame for global warming, while 85% of conservative Republicans believe that humans are not to blame. A 2008 report from the PEW Research Centre found that only 19% of university-educated Republicans believed that humans were the main cause of global warming.
Animals are also directly impacted by global warming, especially polar bears and animals at the south and north pole where icecaps are melting at an alarming rate.
A report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) finds that many life-forms are moving progressively north into deeper and deeper waters to survive as their habitats shift.
These animals are also being forced to change their behaviors. Birds are beginning to nest, breed, and migrate sooner. Most invasive species such as the Green Crab are able to survive by adapting, however animals native to the south and north poles unfortunately won’t be that lucky.
The only way that we can slow global warming is to make drastic changes. In order to spare thousands of species, people need to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, it has to be immediate. There has already been an irreversible amount of damage done to our ecosystem, and there isn't much time to save it.