Climate Change: Humanity’s Downfall

Gabriel Molina, Writer

Arctic wildlife losing their homes, the ever-growing destruction of the ozone layer, ocean acidification, and ferocious wildfires going haywire. What the heck is going on here? How is all of this devastation happening on our beautiful planet, Earth? Well, the answer is quite simple, as of right now climate change is going full swing and wreaking havoc across the globe. Climate change will only plunge Earth into more chaos and further terrorize animals, nature, and society unless we do something to stop it.

The recent Canadian wildfires that many residents of the east coast experienced two weeks ago have caused people to realize the true impact of climate change and how it’s a real threat to our world. Citizens in states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York were hit by a never ending wave of smoke thus polluting the air around them. New York City, which is home to almost 8.5 million US citizens, witnessed as their sky transformed into a fiery orange haze sparking fear and worry into the hearts of many New York City residents.

Despite living in Emerson, New Jersey, I also witnessed the sky become torched with a menacing orange tint. First-hand experience definitely alters one’s perspective and opinion and after experiencing this harrowing situation. Mankind’s greatest enemy is climate change. Throughout the plethora of obstacles and problems such as war and disease that humanity has encountered and pushed through, our greatest battle will be climate change. This destructive, life-altering force has caused a multitude of issues to transpire and harm everything and everyone on Earth.

For example, ocean acidification is one of the many problems that continues to hinder the health and stability of our planet. For those who don’t know what ocean acidification is, it is the process of the reduction in the pH level of the ocean throughout a period of time. Our oceans hold substantial amounts of carbon dioxide and other poisonous greenhouse gasses which heavily contribute as to why our oceans are becoming more acidic and hazardous towards aquatic wildlife.

“Ocean acidification is literally causing a sea change that is threatening the fundamental chemical balance of ocean and coastal waters from pole to pole. For good reason, ocean acidification is sometimes called “osteoporosis of the sea.” Ocean acidification can create conditions that eat away at the minerals used by oysters, clams, lobsters, shrimp, coral reefs, and other marine life to build their shells and skeletons” (NOAA Fisheries).

Our factories, cars, and power plants which constantly pump greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere as well as into our waters have to stop. By disrupting the growth of many young marine animals, this will only lead to dire consequences for us in the future as well as the biodiversity of the planet.

To add on, throughout the past couple of decades sea levels have started to rise due to global warming. The melting and eradication of this world’s glaciers and ice sheets have significantly affected the rate at which our sea levels rise. “Sea level rise poses a serious threat to coastal life around the world. Consequences include increased intensity of storm surges, flooding, and damage to coastal areas. In many cases, this is where large population centers are located, in addition to fragile wildlife habitats. Therefore, people may become displaced and will need to seek safer homes. Even life farther inland is threatened because rising seas can contaminate soil and groundwater with salt” (National Geographic).

By burning more and more fossil fuels, we will only accelerate the effects of global warming and its crippling consequences. We are literally drowning coastal communities and allowing natural disasters to increase in their destruction and intensity. Remember Hurricane Katrina in 2005, if you do then you know how many lives were lost and how the city of New Orleans practically became a swimming pool with debris floating about. If we continue to fuel the intensity of these natural disasters, imagine what nightmarish events could unfold in the future.

This doesn’t have to be our fate for humanity. We have survived bloody, atrocious wars and raging pandemics throughout history. If we were able to overcome these obstacles, than we can certainly prevent climate change from destroying our only home. Earth has blessed us with the gift of nature and its many aspects that come with it. Sparkling clean waters, a wide variety of wildlife, blooming colorful flowers, and trees that allow us to breathe peacefully.

We all as one must realize that the only way that we can resolve this issue is if we work together and fully comprehend the magnitude of the situation. As of right now we have a choice and that choice is to either stand united as one or die together as one. What will you choose?