Countdown to the Earth’s endNov 13th, 2013 | By Will Lewis
| Category: 2013-11-14, Editorial, Fall 2013, Opinion, Top Headlines
Written by: Will Lewis
Florida is no longer in existence, and with it most of the Eastern Seaboard has also sank into the abyss. Great cities such as London and Venice have been reclaimed by the sea, and an area in China that is the current home of 600 million people is gone.
The National Geographic Society released a map in September that showed the earth’s future landscape should global warming be allowed to progress unchecked. The map said that if humanity continues to rely on fossil fuels for energy, the average temperature of the planet could increase from 58 to 80 degrees, making large swaths of the planet uninhabitable.
A report submitted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the “warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.”
The IPCC also stated with 95 percent certainty that greenhouse gasses produced by humans are the driving cause behind climate change since 1950, a theory that the majority of the scientific community has agreed on.
The staff of the Spectator also agrees that the current trend in climate change is alarming and that the impact of humans is undeniable. With sea levels expected to rise up to 23 inches by the end of the century and fossil fuels supplying approximately 75 percent of the world’s energy demands, humanity’s current path is not sustainable.
By continuing to support and burn fossil fuels humanity is essentially signing its own death warrant. The IPCC report says that “all of the effects seen in the report look ‘virtually certain’ to continue in the future as long as emissions continue.”
“Virtually certain” means there is a 99-100 percent certainty that what they are asserting is correct. This judgment by the scientific community can’t be ignored. Change can, and already has, begun at VSU.
Organizations such as the Students Against Violating the Environment meet weekly to inform students about their impact on the environment and how they can help. Simple actions such as recycling, composting and even only running the dishwasher when it is full can make a huge difference in the footprint that humanity leaves behind.