Sea Change

Emily Fego

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The blankets of ice that once covered the entire Arctic ocean in winter are shrinking. Vibrant forests countless animals once called home are bare. Landfills containing much of the world’s unwanted garbage are growing. Cumulative data that tracks weather patterns point to an even more destructive future.

We don’t live in a forest or remotely near any glaciers. When our garbage reaches the curb it is no longer our problem. Earth has experienced temperature change over the course of history. We are safe.

But, soon we will not have enough efficient fuel to run our cars. Soon we will not have enough oxygen to fill our lungs. Soon we will accumulate so much waste that our backyards will become landfills.
Temperature change has happened in the past, but it is now accelerating at a rate that is statistically undocumented.

Though it may seem insignificant, even the slightest temperature change will cause glaciers to melt. As the glaciers melt, the sea levels rise and decrease in salinity. With decreased salinity, the ocean cannot circulate heat and nutrients throughout the world.
As the glaciers melt, the sea levels rise and increase the rate of erosion. To compensate for the loss of sand that has eroded on the coast of places like Florida and New Jersey, sand within about a mile radius is pumped from the ocean onto the beach. But, as a result of rising sea levels, the redistributed sand moved even farther out into the open ocean, taking it too far out of reach to pump it onto the shores. Vacation destinations will lose serious beach-front property, reduced to little more than randomly salvaged patches of sand and the open ocean.

Global warming doesn’t necessarily mean that the world gets hotter. Global warming may have catastrophic effects that go beyond the scope of just the changing temperature. Everything environmental is connected; the changes to our environment will directly affect large populations of people, no matter the location.

Finger pointing is futile – the direct cause of climate change no longer matters. Now is the time to come together and act, now is the time to plan for a more sustainable future.
We are intelligent and we are capable. Our generation has experienced more innovation than anyone ever thought probable. What we need is the motivation to want to make a difference, no matter how big or small.

This is more than whether or not your grandchildren will see polar bears before their extinction. This is about coming up with a plan to slow down the clock ticking down to the extinction of life on Earth as we know it.

The ice is still melting, sea levels are still rising and the forests are still being destroyed. Acknowledging whether climate change exists is no longer the question. The question is, are you willing to do something about it?

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