You may be feeling very comfortable in your current position. You have aspirations: a career dream, family ideals, relationship goals. In terms of your children, I’m sure you’d want them to have the same opportunities as you. What if I was to tell you that climate change could impact the way your children and their children live their lives? One of the main contenders that isn’t talked about enough is global flooding.
We have a small stream of media presenting climate change issue every day. We all read it, but do we ever take action upon our own lives to help aid the issue? Nine times out of ten, the answer is no. Our generation is a media consumption group. We consume and read and read but do we ever take action on the things we have learned? You read the article talking about how the global temperature is rising, yet you sit on your sofa and tut at the powerful manufacturing countries and blame them. There is nothing you can do? Wrong.
If I were to tell you that if the global temperate keeps rising at the rate is it currently, by the end of the century the sea levels have been predicted to rise by up to 2 meters. It doesn’t sound like much, does it? Let me put it into perspective for you.
Here is a map of New York City today, with very little sea level rise. The land is hardly affected and there are no disruptions.
Here is the same city with only 5 meters of sea level rise. The majority of the East Village and Financial District are flooded. 5 meters is enough to flood the entire ground level and some of the second stories in buildings. Remember, New York is mainly flat, so entire blocks and streets will be flooded in.
Here is a 5-meter sea level rise Europe map, which is shocking. Just above where it says ‘Italy’ is Venice, a city famous for flooding during high tide in the wintertime. Although locals are prepared for the flooding, 5 meters would cause the entire city to be submerged. 60,000 people would have to evacuate their homes and live elsewhere.
Because of the increase of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels for energy, the ice caps are melting at a faster rate than scientists can predict.
If the entire Greenland ice-caps melted, the sea level would rise by 7 meters. An additional 8-meter sea level rise would occur if the West Antarctic ice sheet melted. That is 15 meters of sea level rise.
So what can we do to slow down this inevitable process? Here are some ideas to help you reduce your carbon footprint and possibly help reduce the amount of energy and plastics produced.
- Go Waste Free – try to buy things with less packaging, and if things have packaging, try to buy recyclable plastics so you can recycle them after you have used them.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – The 3 R’s should be a daily mantra for you. Reduce the amount of unnecessary products you buy. Only buy stuff you actually need. Reuse as much as you can. Buy one good quality water bottle and refill it instead of buying bottled water from the shop. Recycle everything you can, if you have a collection in your area, use it, or if you don’t, take your trash to a recycling site.
- Use Less Transport – Cycle or walk to places that are within short distance. Use city hire bikes. If you have to travel far, try car shares or public transport to reduce the amount of vehicles on the road and pollution.
Interested in the topic? A good documentary to watch on global flooding is Evacuate Earth: Flooded Earth.