According to the Met Office, 2013 will be one of the warmest years we’ve ever had. It has already been so warm that West Antarctica is melting away twice as fast as scientists had once predicted, and snow cover in Europe and Asia was at its lowest in nearly fifty years. Global warming’s not going anywhere—it’s getting worse. This summer saw drought all over the United States, and in the fall we experienced Superstorm Sandy, which was the biggest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history.
Climate change is in full swing, and as we continue to release greenhouse gases, deforest the rainforest, and consume nonrenewable resources, we only make it worse. We’ve known it was coming for decades; we just never did enough to stop it.
And we should expect that the melting of the poles will only contribute to more warmth, as we’ll have far less ice reflecting light and more heat being absorbed by dark ocean waters. Not to mention that if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts, London, New York, Shanghai, and other major coastal cities will be submerged in enough water to make them uninhabitable.
World citizens and politicians are, in general, far more concerned with the state of the economy than with global warming. Obviously, we need to stabilize the economy to survive, but if we continue ravaging our planet and putting off dealing with these problems then we won’t have a place to live at all.
Many Americans are aware of these problems and think the government should take significant steps to address them, but for some reason our politicians still see it as a second priority. The consequences of continuing to ignore the dangers of climate change are grave.