Top Ten Reasons to Take Climate Change Seriously

Still on the fence about whether climate change matters to you? Here are ten reasons why it should:

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.

6. Polar Bears. As arctic ice melts, polar bears are losing the habitat they need to reproduce. They're not the only species endangered by climate change. Here are more.

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.

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5 Responses to Top Ten Reasons to Take Climate Change Seriously

  1. Green Fundraising October 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    I know it is horrible, but I can’t even think about #6. It upsets me everytime it comes into my radar! I know that is more reason to learn more about what I can do to remedy it, but it just upsets me too much!

  2. Diane MacEachern October 27, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    Don’t be paralyzed by worry! Start with one action a day to use less energy, and go from there. And tell your elected officials to support local, state, national and international efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels worldwide. Thanks!

  3. Gia October 28, 2009 at 8:24 am #

    Great post, Diane! I am going to post this on our Facebook fan page and tweet it too!
    Gia Machlin

  4. Ash Sud October 29, 2009 at 12:43 am #

    Thanks for putting together a great list Diane and waking up America. People need to know the devastation climate change can cause in our world. As you’ve pointed out in your list, the reach of climate change is not limited to just weather related issues.

  5. Diane MacEachern October 29, 2009 at 5:35 am #

    Thanks for the feedback. It’s heartening to know that so many of us do take climate change seriously, and are helping to educate others.

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