By Jen SifferlenEDITORIAL EDITOR
Well, everyone, it’s time to tighten our belts. We are seriously over-budget.
Not financially. As a planet, we have been exceeding our carbon budget. This kind of scaling back is going to take more than ramen noodles and Easy Mac.
On Nov. 2, The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its most explicit report yet on the escalating condition of the planet. If we don’t start to reverse carbon pollution, reported Justin Gillis for the New York Times, our planet will no longer be able to sustain human life.
At a certain point, if we continue to burn gas, coal and oil at the rate we have been, we will no longer be able to reverse the damage we have done. The year 2040, according to calculations done for the report, is the point of no return.
Voters across the country took to the polls on Nov. 4 to decide who will represent us locally and nationally for the next two, four or six years. These midterm elections were the most expensive in history at $4 billion, according to CNN. Yet, none of the ads that those billions purchased covered environmental policy.
Our planet’s clock is ticking; while the year 2040 is the deadline for damage control, the report was clear that the effects of climate change are here today.
According to the report, land ice has been melting all over the world, causing sea levels to rise and flood coastal areas. The report also attributes climate change to a series of heat waves that have destroyed crops and led to a number of devastating forest fires in California.
We can no longer afford to ignore or deny global climate change. We must address these issues as a country and as a global community.
Reducing our impact on the planet is going to be a difficult change to make. Finding green alternatives to replace harmful technologies will be expensive. But these are sacrifices we have to make. We are no longer preserving the planet for future generations; we are preserving it for us.
We have a political and moral responsibility to address these issues as a society and get back on budget. Everyday we don’t work toward a solution, the planet grows evermore uninhabitable.
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