Floods and Fires and Droughts: Oh My!

Climate Change and its Detrimental Effects

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The fuming wildfires in California that are decimating the lands.

Flames lick the air, and its hot breath sweeps the soil, frying everything until the scenery is crisp and withered. The leaves softly crackle. Burnt debris sputters, the loose embers sparking a nearby bush to life — and death. All because of a party. The reveal of a child’s gender was supposed to be its introduction to the world, but the prelude was marked with ashes and a dash of blue.

CO2 Emissions per Capita

Climate change is an ever-pressing concern, and reckless events only accelerate the process. The California wildfires destroyed the trees necessary to replace carbon dioxide, and smoke from the burning is impacting nearby environments. Without the technology people use to find a safe passage, the fleeing animals did not know where the danger lay, and some may have run straight into a wall of flames. Homes were also invaded and taken by the fire. It did not discriminate between humans and wildlife, forever altering the lives of both groups, but only one is allowed to call itself innocent.

Recently, Australia faced a similar issue. It occurred before the events in California, and this time, there wasn’t a small group to blame. Everyone played a role. People release too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, be it from factories or cars most use daily. Greenhouse gases like CO2 blanket the earth, trapping heat and forbidding it from leaving. This increase in temperature does nothing to suppress the fires. It only dries up the lands, making it perfect for burning.

Glaciers are melting, and floods are everywhere, condemning cities to the same fate as Atlantis. Hurricanes reveal their faces and build their energy from the warm, deep waters. Imelda, a tropical depression, did not hold itself back when pouring rain on the state of Texas, submerging it in the process.

Stretching across the United States, parched lands in the Great Plains have devastating impacts on nearby life. Weeds shrivel, and animals have nothing to drink or eat. This changing climate can affect everything, even places that seem unlikely to warm.

There are estimates that polar bears will be extinct by the end of the century. The thawing ice caps cripple their way of living, and polar bears can’t thrive when the specks of white they have become accustomed to are gone. No polar bear will be able to travel long distances without their ride, and hunting options become limited, for where can they find openings to catch prey when there is no ice for holes or even the surrounding land? All wildlife adapt to their surroundings — it is a crucial aspect of their lives and all they know.

Most importantly, it is their home, and it is melting.

If the earth is to be salvaged, it has to be now. The deadline is fast approaching. Ten years are left to limit the rash changes in temperature. The world may not end, but there is a chance to avoid the greatest impacts of climate change. The earth will never be the same again, but if everybody unites, perhaps there will be something left for the generations to come. Something left for the children to play in and mess up in and cry in and live in. Anything.

While tempests beat us like ragdolls and blazes try to eat us alive, people should work to make a difference. Pollution needs to be quelled if there will ever be a chance to stop climate change and the detrimental effects it has on this world and its inhabitants.