Point of View: We can’t afford to treat climate change as if it’s a hoax

    5:49 p.m Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 Opinion

More than one one smart person has posited the idea that if we make efforts to stall climate change, and it proves to be a hoax, we’ll have lost nothing and will have improved areas of the planet, saved species and created new technologies and jobs.

But if we treat climate change as a hoax, and it turns out not to be a hoax, we’ll have sat by too long to save Earth and our children’s futures. The last snowball will have melted.

Observable changes include the melting of glaciers and polar caps, more powerful storm systems, dissipation of subterranean aquifers, more drought-driven fires of greater intensity, storm-related flooding, ocean-rising flooding and pollution (via particulates as well as rising temperatures). Our diminishing atmosphere protects each of us from frying from the heat of the sun. Deforestation and pollution are detrimental to atmospheric health.

For eons, Earth’s climate has changed in cycles. Animals and plants died off and others adapted. But this is the first time modern humans have faced Earth’s natural cycle approaching a future Ice Age. With our big brains, we should have been able to slow the process rather than accelerate it. And no one knows if the acceleration we are observing will compound the acceleration rate.

Most scientists believe there is a tipping point, and some still hold out hope that we can perhaps turn events around, but only if nations unite and act quickly.

The Earth remains in danger of being buried alive by mounds of garbage, including dangerous discarded chemicals. Our oceans have “islands” comprised entirely of garbage. Both rich and poor nations are guilty of consuming too much stuff, and then consequently discarding more stuff.

People today are like Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper. Grasshopper preferred to put off what he should do today, until he ran out of todays. Ant, however, worked every day to achieve goals of good sense because she knew how resources and climate worked. If you put off necessary work, you will miss a lot of deadlines. Some deadlines are unforgivable.

We can’t blame our leaders because they answer to us. We are the nonchalant, self-centered, lazy citizens who are possibly going to bear the blame for the end of the world. We can either devote our voices and energy to saving the world, or we can fail our children and future generations.

When things heat up, our eulogies will not be kind.

KAREN COODY COOPER, Lake Worth