See this planet? That’s our home. A pale blue dot suspended among the cosmos. Sadly, we think it’s ours to do with as we please. Because of that misguided attitude, things are beginning to change. NASA reports that by 2020 the Antarctic ice shelf that has been there for over 10,000 years will be gone. By gone I mean, it’s not there anymore and may never come back. Are we so blind and so ignorant to allow our stupidity to destroy this beautiful gem called Earth?
Imagine for a moment that a friend has invited you to stay at one of their condos in Florida for your summer vacation. And during that stay you do things that end up making that condo uninhabitable. Well, you simply would walk out the door, apologize to your friend and find another place to stay. Pretty simple right? In the case of our planet, our home, the answer is a resounding no. Because we have no other place to go – we lack the ability to travel to other places in our galaxy and create new colonies on distant worlds. So the situation is, we’re making our planet uninhabitable and we will have nowhere to go once it’s been ruined by our selfishness and inability to change the way we do things.
Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere are the highest ever recorded. Sea levels are rising because of the glaciers and ice shelves melting around the world, most especially Greenland and Antarctica where the bulk of our world’s ice and glaciers lie. Coastal towns and cities will be flooded within the next 5-10 years. And as I mentioned above, the 10,000 year old ice shelf in Antarctica will be gone in 2020, that’s FIVE YEARS from now. Not forty or fifty years, FIVE! The situation with our planet is accelerating.
Now I am not saying I support the global warming thing. Rather I support the theory than mankind is contributing to an already existing, and natural, warm-up period of our planet. You see there are a lot of things in nature that have cycles, not just the seasons. Our planet warms up and cools down over millions of years. In my opinion, the earth started a warm-up period just recently (over 100 years ago), and when humans began driving cars and pumping pollutants into the atmosphere, it made the natural planetary warm-up worse than it should be. Our planet is going to fight back as best it can, but not before we lose some very precious things, such as the Antarctic ice shelf. It won’t be the first time we have lost a piece of Antarctica, ice shelves have been disappearing since 1995. This one is just one of the big ones and really sends up a flare that something isn’t right with our planet.
We need to stop using fossil fuels. Drilling in the Arctic isn’t the answer either. This all needs to stop and we need to focus on alternatives. If we just take the half-ass approach we’ve been taking for the past half-century, things are only going to get worse. Deserts will replace lands that were once green and fertile, the sea levels will rise until every ounce of ice is gone, leaving cities flooded and where there were once beaches, will be water. The climate will change, winter will slowly fade away to be replaced by spring-time temperatures in January. The atmosphere will become saturated with more and more pollutants and the sun will vanish behind clouds. Plant life will begin to wither and die, the animals that rely on those plants to live will pass away and the animals that hunted those animals will die. The chain reaction will slowly work its way upward to the top, when we humans will then starve. A runaway greenhouse will take over the planet and our home will cease to be the big blue marble, rather it will look something like Venus.
Scientific evidence shows that at one point in time, Venus was much like earth. It had water on its surface and a habitable atmosphere. But unfortunately it was too close to the sun and eventually the world was transformed into something straight out of hell. I think Venus is there for a reason, we need to learn from that planet’s fate so we don’t share it. While our Earth is in the perfect location in orbit around the sun to support life, if we continue this irresponsible path we’re on, it won’t matter where it lies in the solar system. We will be the method by which our planet becomes uninhabitable. Then where do we go?
The answer is…nowhere. We become extinct…