1. Poison Ivy. Poison ivy leaves have gotten bigger and their toxic oils more potent because the plants are thriving in hotter conditions. As climate change increases, it will be easier to get poison ivy and harder to get rid of the rash once it occurs.
2. Asthma. In a hotter environment, plants produce more pollen, which makes it more difficult for people with asthma and other respiratory problems to breathe. If you have trouble breathing now, catching your breath in the future could be a real challenge if the planet continues to warm.
3. Malaria and Dengue Fever. These deadly illnesses, once restricted to the tropics, are creeping into northern latitudes as disease-bearing mosquitoes migrate north into increasingly warm regions. In this country, states like Florida and Texas are on alert.
4. Drought. As rain patterns change, many unexpected cities — like Atlanta! — find themselves running out of water. Climate change has jeopardized one of our most basic rights – being able to quench our thirst with a cool drink of H20.
5. Starvation. People in less developed countries are starving as their agricultural systems shrivel up due to lack of rain. We feel the effects in this country, maybe not in starvation, but certainly in food shortages that result from extreme climate events.
7. Hurricanes. Just two words: Hurricane Katrina. Need I say more?
8. Money. It is costing the global economy trillions of dollars to “fix” the problems caused by climate change. You’ll feel the impact on higher taxes that need to be charged to cover these costs as well as in higher prices on the consumer goods you buy.
9. National Security. A nation that faces drought, starvation, hurricane damage, food shortages, and a variety of human health problems is at risk for civil unrest and international instability. Don’t like the idea of going to war? Support global efforts to control climate change.
10. Our Kids. Virtually every generation since the beginning of time has left the world better off for the generations that followed. Will we be able to same the same thing about our generation? Not if we leave behind a severely altered global climate that weakens the natural systems upon which all life depends.