Earth Matters: Climate Reality Project
One year after Superstorm Sandy caused $80 billion in damage, there have been raging forest fires induced by extreme drought conditions burning thousands of acres of pristine forest, killing dozens of people, and destroying hundreds of homes. More recently, an extreme flood event in Boulder, Colorado, provoked by 17 inches of rainfall between September 12 and 17, 2013, left at least eight dead and caused possibly millions of dollars of property damage
In the last 12 years, 98% of the world’s peer-reviewed scientific studies about climate change concur that human activities are the “smoking gun” for global warming. Building upon this knowledge, the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report produced by over 800 experts representing 85 countries has concluded with a 95% percent certainty that man-made climate change is a reality and is happening now. The magnitude of a society’s vulnerability to climate change depends on its objective and subjective exposure to potential impacts.
So if you had a life threatening disease and 95 out of 100 doctors say that if you take action to address the problem you will live and only 5 doctors say you will live if you do nothing, what would you do? Do you trust the expert knowledge of 95% of the doctors or the 5%? Are you willing to take the risk?
In spite of the cold, hard facts, climate deniers like the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry have spent over $120 million last year to spread misinformation about the reality of climate change. The reason for their campaign of lies rests on their fears that climate change regulations could potentially decrease their profit margins if they continue with their antiquated “business-as-usual” approach. Simply put, they are unwilling to invest in long-term sustainability for future generations.
According the 2012 DARA “Climate Vulnerability Monitor” report, climate change and carbon-intensive forms of energy use have caused the death of 4,975,000 people world-wide due to factors such as air pollution, hunger, and disease in 2010. In addition, global climate change and carbon-intensive energy system cost the world economy about $1,238 trillion in damages in 2010.
In response, non-profit environmental and human rights advocacy organizations such as 350.org, The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and The Climate Reality Project have taken action to tell the truth about the devastating present and future impacts caused by climate change.
A recently implemented innovative outreach initiative that promotes sharing information on social networks to stimulate public support for climate change planning is the “Reality Drop” launched in 2013 by The Climate Reality Project. The objective of the “Reality Drop” initiative centers upon exposing the deception of climate deniers by awarding participants points of prestige when they share articles and science-based comments on their social networks that debunk news stories promoting climate myths.
Other highly effective initiatives implemented by The Climate Reality Project include the Climate Leadership Corps, I AM PRO SNOW, 24 Hours of Reality, and the What I Love programs.
To participate in any of these programs and help solve the global climate change problem please visit The Climate Reality Project website.
The future of humanity rests in our hands. We have the technology and resources to solve the human-induced climate change problem but we need a global effort at the local level to reduce risk, build resilience, and create new opportunities.
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