How the Most Comprehensive Report on Climate Change Impacts Your Family
The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) has been released. Over 1500 journals and reports were examined to “assesses the physical science of climate change.” It has presented findings stating – unequivocally – that human activity is a dominant cause of global warming.
Here are the top reasons your family is at risk:
- There was an increase of approximately 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in global surface air temperature over the past 115 years. The period of 1901-2016 marks the warmest years in “modern civilization.”
- The leading factor in warming beginning, in the 1950s, is “human activity” — particularly greenhouse gas emissions.
- Other consequences of “human activity” are evidenced in the impact on the oceans (acidification) and rising sea levels. Diminishing snow cover has ensued, along with melting glaciers and shrinking sea ice.
- Since the beginning of the 20th century, there has been a 7 to 8-inch increase in sea levels. 50 percent of that activity has occurred since 1993.
- By 2100, there may be a 1 to 4-foot rise in sea levels. The amount could increase beyond that figure, depending on what happens with Antarctica.
- On the East and Gulf Coasts of America, the sea level rise will be higher than the global average.
- “Extreme weather” events such as heatwaves, droughts and intense rainfalls will be more frequent and severe. Risk factors increase exponentially as events may occur in tandem.
There are plenty more stats, and they all confirm that we are at a tipping point. The big issue is what can we do about it?
What can we do?
- Without doubt, politics is a challenge. Too many representatives are tied in to the donor dollars coming from the fossil fuel industry. But a new election cycle has begun, and 2018 could be the year that politicians willing to sacrifice clean air and water are sent packing by the people they work for, disgusted constituents.
- The public draft will be open for comment until January 3, 2018. It is essential that parents weigh in to express their concerns.
- The public needs to demand accountability from all elected officials, starting at the hyperlocal level, issuing an ultimatum to promote solutions and proactive policies.
- Engagement also needs to take place on a peer-to-peer basis. Moms Clean Air Force has been mobilizing parents to reach out to other parents — to explain what is at stake. Please share our resources.
Begin by commenting on the report. Talk to friends about the challenge future generations will be facing if we don’t act aggressively. Explain how children, older people, and frontline communities are endangered.
There is hope if we seize the opportunity to avert the risks of irreversible damage. So, as the planet continues to warm, to achieve a real shot at communicating how your children’s health will be affected, we need you to use your voices to speak out about the issues that concern your family.