|POLAR CAPS MELTING|
WE OPT FOR CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION
POLITICS RULE ABOVE SCIENCE
By Bob Weaver
Much of the United States remains politically polarized against climate change, claiming it has nothing to do with human activity related to fossil fuel, blaming it on a cyclical weather pattern.
Even if the administrations position against climate change related to human activity is true, the cyclical argument is equally devastating.
The United Nations' weather agency says extreme weather last has hit 60 million people worldwide and forced 2 million people to relocate, as man-made climate change worsened.
The World Meteorological Organization's annual state of global climate report says Earth is nearly 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) warmer than when the industrial age started. World leaders are trying to limit warming to 3.6 degrees (2 degrees Celsius).
Emissions from burning fuels such as coal, gasoline and diesel for electricity and transportation are contributing to global warming that in turn brings more intense storms, floods and droughts.
"We have seen a growing amount of disasters because of climate change," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. He said since 1998, about 4.5 billion around the world have been hurt by extreme weather.
The past five years were the warmest on record, according the to the report.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said climate change is a security and health issue for the world.
"The impact on public health is escalating," Guterres said. "The combination of extreme heat and air pollution is proving increasingly dangerous."
Last year, a 44-page report says:
âFloods affected 35 million people.
âDrought hit another 9 million people, adding to the problem of growing enough food to feed the world.
- Ocean heat reached a record high, and oceans are getting more acidic and losing oxygen.
- With some exceptions, glaciers are melting and ice in the polar oceans is shrinking.
- The level of carbon dioxide in the air hit record highs.
Carbon dioxide is the major problem here, the gas stays in the air for hundreds of years.