Since the very first historical evidence, there has been only one constant in human beings’ development: change. The more time passes, the more humans evolve, improve their lifestyle, and adopt new habits. Nowadays, technology is probably the most influencing reason leading progress and change. Nevertheless, there is another factor which affects our daily life and our relationship with mother nature. And the cause of this frightening phenomenon is nothing but human beings. Yes, we are talking about climate change, a growing menace having no intention to pull back if we don’t act.
In order to encourage people to change their lifestyle, it is important to raise awareness about how climate change and pollution will actually affect daily life. Long-term and large-scale changes predicted by scientists will take place in some decades, showing once and for all that human beings are the veritable enemies of the Earth.
According to Paul Brown, an environment correspondent for The Guardian, “The destruction of 70% of the natural world in 30 years, mass extinction of species, and the collapse of human society in many countries is forecast in a bleak report by 1,100 scientists published yesterday. Unless the world changes its current “markets first” approach, the increase in building of roads, power lines, airports and other infrastructure will disrupt wildlife breeding patterns and wipe out species, particularly in coastal areas where most human settlement is concentrated. Forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate and 10% of land on which to grow food is lost because of soil degradation.”
As we can deduce, forests will be soon composed of dead trees. The main cause is directly related to climate change: due to warm winters, beetles won’t die, destroying entire areas of vegetation. Negative effects can be seen even today: some populations of mountain pine beetles have started producing two generations per year instead of one. Climate change will be also responsible for a drastic reduction of coffee production. Considering the increase of temperatures in coffee-growing regions, coffee-growers have to find cooler places up on the mountains. Therefore, we will lose almost 50% of land suitable for growing coffee by 2050.
Dry lakes won’t shock people, as this phenomenon will become soon an ordinary aspect of our daily life. According to the World Preservation Foundation, this fact will affect the water supplies for 3 billion people. Nevertheless, some lakes have already dried up: just think of Bolivia’s second-largest lake, Iran’s largest lake, and Lake Chad, in Africa.
The effects of climate change and pollution will affect markets and food prices as well. Global agricultural supply is one of the victims of the increasing temperatures: costs of food and cereal drastically increased from 2007 to 2014. Africa and Central America will be the first areas to be affected by shortage of food. Despite their economic power, Europe, Asia, and the U.S. will inevitably come next.
In addition, climate change is threatening the main ingredients of beer: water, barley and hops. Due to the lack of clean water, heavy rains destroying crops fields, and drought affecting hops production, beer is seriously in danger. Breweries have already reduced their environmental impact, promoting campaigns in order to save the planet.
Storms are also a real menace to human beings. Since they are more and more frequent, insurers have curtailed homeowner policies. According to “Journal of Insurance Regulation”, almost 3 million American households lost coverage between 2003 and 2007. For instance, Farmers Insurance stopped granting homeowners policies in North Carolina.
Hopes are not all lost, though. Several organisations are working in order to save our planet and reduce the level of pollution. Driving pollution down can be done also at home, being careful of the amount of energy we use, recycling our rubbish, and using means of transportation or bikes whenever it is possible.
The Earth gave us an ultimatum: now it’s time to actively protect what we have. Nature will develop also without human beings: it will evolve another time, as it did before, creating new living conditions. Humans, on the other hand, do need nature to evolve, to survive. Rescuing our planet will help both nature and people.