Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Japan, Chile, Indonesia, New Zealand, Haiti, Guatemala, Bangladesh, Pakistan.  I could fill the page with country after country whose people have recently experienced some of the worst natural disasters ever recorded.  Stephen King would be hard pressed to write a novel that compares to the horror that mother nature has unleashed on humankind in recent years.

But is nature random? Earthquakes are difficult to predict but are not random in the sense that one is completely unexpected.  We know where the trouble spots are.

What about climate change? Not random either.  Naysayers suggest we are just in one of those warming cycles, but the science proves otherwise.  Skeptics point to colder winters and increased snowfall as evidence that global warming is a scam.  However, these extreme weather patterns suggest something even more sinister – climate change.  These are not random events, but are all connected.

Global warming has been accelerated due to human action – the burning of fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas, the cutting down of forests, and the use of fertilizers in agricultural practices, all actions that produce greenhouse gasses.   As a result of elevated levels of these radiation absorbing gasses in the atmosphere, we’ve witnessed a rise in average temperatures, the melting of the polar ice-caps, a rise in sea levels, heavier rainfall, more extreme weather events, including hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones and the like causing all manner of catastrophes including flooding, mudslides, drought, and wildfires.

Unless governments and people commit to reducing carbon footprints, we are likely to witness more horrific disasters in our lifetimes, and our children may inherit a planet dramatically different from what we know now.  It is a sobering thought, but worth remembering.

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