Though 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the phenomenon of global warming is real, many citizens and leaders around the globe deny its existence. US President Donald Trump, for instance, has stated that he believes climate change is a “hoax” designed by the Chinese.
Denial of the fact that unsustainable habits are releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the environment which, in effect, is propelling the “greenhouse gas” effect, isn’t just frustrating — it is also deadly. Leading experts agree that the recent natural events — including destructive Category 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes, heartbreaking earthquakes in Mexico, and torrential rains and flooding in SE Asia — have been exacerbated by climate change. If nations refuse to “go green” and invest in sustainable initiatives, disasters such as these will only become more common.
Long-time environmental advocate Leonardo DiCaprio acknowledges this reality, which is why he recently urged citizens to vote for “candidates for admit climate change is real.” Fox News reports that DiCaprio was giving a speech on climate change at Yale University.
Flanked by Secretary of State John Kerry, he said:
“Vote in next year’s midterm elections for politicians and candidates who admit climate change is real. Make sure the next administration believes in the science of climate change.”
Though DiCaprio has received criticism for injecting his voice into politics, he is not wrong according to mounds of data on the subject. NASA reports that the current warming trend has a greater than 95 percent probability to be the “result of human activity since the mid-20th century.” Though the Earth does go through cycles, the one we are in now is proceeding at an “unprecedented” rate.
Other factors offer irrefutable evidence, such as rising sea levels, the declining Arctic sea ice, a reduction in snow cover, shrinking ice sheets and warming oceans. In the last century, global sea levels rose about 8 inches. In the last two decades, however, sea levels have increased by nearly 16 inches. And, both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined over the few decades. According to satellite observations, the amount of snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased substantially; snow is also melting earlier than usual. Pretty much everywhere around the world, glaciers are retreating — including in the Alps, Andes, Rockies, Alaska, and the Himalayas. And last — but definitely not least, ocean temperatures have increased as a result of absorbing the extra heat in the environment. NASA reports that the top 700 meters ( ~2,300 feet) of ocean shows warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
The information provided is just the tip of the iceberg. However, it affirms DiCaprio’s message. The United States and Syria are the last two countries to agree to sign the Paris Accord, which outlines environmental goals each nation must meet in order to prevent climate change from worsening. Though it will be several years before a new President will be elected in the United States, citizens elsewhere have the opportunity to appoint informed and progressive individuals to lead the way to a greener future. States in the US, as well, can elect local leaders who are intent on implementing clean energy solutions.