Did you know Cape Town in South Africa almost ran out of water?
Three years of poor rain and an ever increasing population brought the metropolis down to its knees. Capetonians were (and are still) being urged to limit their water usage as much as possible in ways such as two-minute showers and flushing the toilet only when extremely necessary. Government officials are citing Climate change but are more eager to pin the problem down to corruption and inefficiencies in management.
Not convinced? That’s ok.
Do you remember the heat wave in California last year? It was said to have been part of the hottest summer on record for California. LA Times reported that six people died from heat-related illnesses and in downtown San Francisco records reached 106 degrees F (41.1 degrees C). It was also reported that the heat put a strain on the State’s power grid which intermittently left thousands without electricity.
Do you remember Hurricane Irma that devastated the Caribbean and put Florida in a state of emergency? Well, scientific analysis has shown at no point in history dating up to the 1800s has seen the emergence of two category five hurricanes in the region. Last year we had Irma and Maria fit the bill.
And what about the 80 or so wildfires burning across nine western U.S. states causing $1.75 billion being spent on fire suppression?
Did you know all of these catastrophes (and many others) have been due to climate change? Do you even know what I am talking about?
The President of the United States seems to think Climate change isn’t real even though most of the effects are happening in his own backyard. But if we don’t start educating ourselves and making serious alternations to our lifestyles – things are only going to get worse.
I know most people think the changes that we will need to bring about will reverse the lifestyle we are accustomed to. But no, nobody is asking you to not drive your car to work and back, we are just asking you to consider purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle, or consider carpooling with your colleagues.
Consider using less heat and air conditioning. Nope, not asking you to die of a heat stroke or contract hypothermia. Just wear more layers or less as the occasion calls for it. I personally liked to crank up the air conditioning in the summer and then sleep with a duvet and I know I am not alone in this. Now, after reading about the effects of climate change, I don’t think I can justify my habit. At home, instead of having the heating on all the time, I wear more layers and move around a lot more then I used to.
Fact: did you know setting your thermostat two degrees lower in winter or higher in summer could potentially save up to 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year?
Consider saving electricity and water. Not only will you teach your kids to be less wasteful but you will also save a few bucks. Do you really need that 45-minute long shower? Does the water need to be running while you brush your teeth? I am sure you can switch the light off when you leave the room.
Human beings are parasites. There I said it. We will live through the climate change and we will survive. But the ride is not going to be easy and it is not going to be remotely pleasant. Lives are already being lost due to the damage we are doing to Mother Earth, people are already suffering. It may be unpleasant in the developing world, it is truly catastrophic in developing countries. There we don’t have resources to tackle the effects of climate change as well we do here.
If you take anything from this article let it be this: climate change is real. It is disastrous and you can do your part by making small changes to your lifestyle.