Monday, May 5, 2014
Prople Around the World Need to Address Climate Change
By Jesus Santos
In recent decades humans are being reminded of the phrase “climate change” and how it can affect them. Climate change has the definition within itself; it is when the weather changes from how it used to be to how it is currently, except that for the world the change in climate is hotter than it has been in human history. With the weather getting hotter, causing ice glaciers to break and water to rise, climate change has caused severe effects in major parts of the world. From tsunami in Asia, earthquakes in the United States, and hurricanes in the Caribbean, the world is becoming a more dangerous place to live.
Take the Dominican Republic, for example; everyone takes the Dominican Republic for granted and uses the place to vacation. While this is good for the country, because it brings jobs to a poor economy, this is also really bad because the people who go on vacation use a large amount of gas traveling to the country and moving through the country. Using too much gas causes smoke from airplanes and cars when traveling and that causes damage to the air.
An article by Patricia Rey Mallén titled “Santo Domingo Is Among The Cities With The Biggest Risk Of Being Affected By Climate Change” states “the World Bank published a study on Thursday that listed Santo Domingo in the top five of cities that will experience serious climate-change damage by 2050.” This is because Dominican Republic is located on an island and since Santo Domingo is on the coast of the island the water will eventually rise and cover that part of the land.
The graph above shows the rainfall of Dominican Republic in the 1960’s through the 1990’s (in blue) and the temperature (linear red points). This graph is a brief example on how the world is becoming hotter and wetter, therefore if it continues to have such a heavy rainfall throughout the month of July and august this will only cause the country to be at more risk sooner. Therefore, such high temperatures and heavy rain causes more natural disaster such as the earthquake in Haiti, which left thousands dead. Dominican Republic, located next to Haiti, can experience these issues as well sooner or later.
On the other hand, take the United States, a first world country overpopulated with people trying to find the American Dream, and more children being brought to the country by residents of other nations. This country faces numerous climate change problems, mostly because this country is contributing to a lot of the problem.
Recently, the United States experienced in many parts of the country several natural disasters due to the change in weather. An article on Earth Observatory stated “But even as a warming climate might decrease the overall number of storms that form, it could increase the number of intense storms. As temperatures continue to rise, more and more water vapor could evaporate into the atmosphere, and water vapor is the fuel for storms,” which have led to storms such as Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed many homes in New Jersey, a state that is not known for having such big storms, and also Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
With the world getting hotter, places in the North Pole have ice glaciers falling off; this is a big issue because after the glaciers fall off, they land in water, once it lands in water it is going to turn into liquid, and once turn into liquid is going to cause more water to rise. When oceans are rising they are going to cover the land in which humans live, which will cause more dangers for humans.
An article about the United States and Climate change titled “Current Extreme Weather & Climate Change” stated that “from 1980 to 2010 there were 99 weather disasters in the U.S. in which damages exceeded $1 billion. Altogether those disasters cost $725 billion.16 In 2011, the costs of all weather-disaster damages so far has climbed past $35 billion, according to NOAA estimates,” (climatecommunication.com) which shows that not only is that the environmental hazard that humans are producing hurting the environment but it is also costing money.
What the United States does that most affects the world is that it produces so much energy to be used. For instance, so much electricity is wasted when lights are turned on, computers and appliances are left on after usage, and more recently with the rise of technology chargers for devices. The problem with too much energy being used is that greenhouse gases are spewed into the air as factories try to meet the high demands for energy and that gas causes a hole in the ozone layer as the ozone takes up the gas. When the ozone layer is opened it makes the Earth vulnerable to the heat of the sun and causes the planet to heat up.
This graph shows two lines, the left being a graph of how the temperature used to be and how long it used to last for, and the line on the right shows how late the cold weather begins now, how there is a slight increase on top of the line, and how there is hotter weather occurring more often. These are temperatures just in the United states, showing how the first world countries are the ones causing a vast amount of the damage in the world.
In conclusion, I decided to take two countries such as the Dominican Republic and the United States to show how a third world country and a first world country compare to each other with problems that the entire world is facing. I wanted to show a country that was on an island that is a lot more at risk of becoming flooded by water because of the damages that we are all doing, but most of all the people living in first world countries.
Climate change can be avoided by humans deciding to take public transportation, shutting off electricity and water when not in used, stopping the fast pace of merchandising which waste a lot of plastic and causes factories to work harder and longer at making these products, and most importantly, to take care of each other as we teach each other how to reduce, reuse and recycle. The reason why curing the environment is harder than finding a cure for anything else is because it requires all of us to help in order to make the planet better. Therefore, if more people are aware of how fast the world is diminishing then more people will take action.
Jesus Santos is a Senior at Ramapo College of New Jersey studying Communications with a concentration in Writing and a minor in Creative Writing. “I got accepted to Monmouth University to Study Student Affairs and College Counseling. Also, I will be working at Felician College as a Graduate Assistant for Program Coordinator. The part I enjoyed the most about this class is learning the news around the world in regards to the environmental topics and how we are all affected.”