What is happening to our planet today?
Our planet is home to roughly 7 billion people who engage with the abiotic and biotic spheres of the earth every day, and who thus impact the ecological systems that sustain human life. Our lifestyles are rapidly evolving, and humankind has been groomed to become polluters. The rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) within our atmosphere, as well as an increase in ozone within our troposphere, and the destruction of our ozone layer with the emissions of Chlorofluorocarbons within the stratosphere has put a hefty dent in our earth’s vital signs. Humanity’s dependence on burning fossil fuels, and the mass production of standard goods out of materials that are harmful to our health and the environment have left us as unethical global citizens who are destroying the planet that we live on.
The number one threat to national security is global climate change due to anthropogenic causes. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has reported that “today, we stand on the threshold of a new geologic era, which some term the ‘Anthropocene,’ one where the climate is very different to the one our ancestors knew” (https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/24/). The increase in greenhouse gasses such as CO2 has caused Earth temperatures to surge, thus impacting negatively the climate and ecological systems that promote and sustain human life. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that:
Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gasses produced by human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century (https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/).
The increasing global temperatures will significantly impact the quality of life on the planet Earth, and will undoubtedly lead to “increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages” (https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/us/pentagon-says-global-warming-presents-immediate-security-threat.html?_r=0).
What can we do?
The first step in preserving our planet is to accept and admit that global climate change is real and ongoing, and that humans are causing the unprecedented amount of damage that is occurring within our physical environment. Climate change is not a hoax. As a nation we need to:
- Identify and eliminate critical anthropogenic activities such as the burning of crude oil, natural gas, and coal
- Invest in alternative forms of sustainable energy such as solar, wind, and hydrogen processes that are less harmful to our environment and are just as effective.
- Not only talk about what we need to do but also do what we need to do—setting an example for the rest of the world, which will undoubtedly follow.
- Decrease and ultimately eliminate the emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gasses.
- Uphold the Paris agreement, and work to form further policy that will protect our planet.
- Read the Department of Defense, NASA, and the IPCC reports on global climate change, which have outlined in great detail the damage our planet has sustained and continues to sustain due to anthropogenic causes.
Link to IPCC >>> http://www.ipcc.ch/
Link to DOD>>> https://www.defense.gov/
Link to NASA>>> https://www.nasa.gov/