Welcome to 2016,
Where the temperatures are rising, ice caps are melting, and it snows in April. APRIL.
Kinda sounds like the opening sequence to the next “Doomsday” installment doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s not, it’s our reality and by the year 2050 —
Okay let’s stop you right there.
It’s a proven fact that younger generations tend to care more about issues that’ll affect their future; and obviously for Millennials, climate change is a huge issue. However, it can be hard to take action on something like climate change when the impact seems so far away. The fact of the matter is, climate change isn’t something we’ll confront only in 2050 – it’s happening right here and right now. Here’s a quick look at how climate change is affecting us today and what Millennials are doing to stop it.
I’m sure you’ve heard of California’s historic drought (hopefully you’ve heard of California’s historic drought). Weather patterns like this are caused by a rise in temperatures followed by an increase in moisture evaporating from land and water. That means there’s less water left behind for things like watering crops, brushing your teeth, or water parks. Climate change is also to blame for more sporadic weather patterns; meaning areas where we used to expect steady rainfall are now experiencing more extreme forms of precipitation.
Usually, wildfires and droughts go hand in hand. See, droughts dry out land which kills plant life; creating the perfect storm for, you guessed it, a wildfire. Take the recent string of wildfires in Alberta, Canada. Due to rising temps and little rainfall these fires have grew into literal monsters, forcing more than 80,000 people to evacuate their homes!
But wait- how does rising temps, wildfires, and droughts, lead to floods?
I know, it sounds counterintuitive at first, but flooding has a lot to do with the previous effects of climate change. Think of it this way, us millennials are busy and unorganized humans who don’t always have time for 5 meals a day. So when we can sneak in a short break, those 5 meals can turn into one main course. Same goes for the environment – sorta. When the earth is parched for long periods of time, the soil can’t absorb sudden downpours if/when they finally happen. With stronger unpredictable weather patterns, gentle spring showers are a thing of the past; now, more frequent extreme storms are leading to massive downpours, and flooded roads.
Nelly got one thing right: it’s getting hot in here, but maybe keep on your clothes. All jokes aside, a rise in temperatures mean more heat waves. In fact, the past 15 years have had the highest recorded temperatures in history! In turn, leading to a whole new set of natural disasters including:
Stronger hurricanes and typhoons
A big problem with educating people about climate change is trying to convey every big natural disaster is connected in some way. The wildfires in Canada, the earthquakes in Ecuador, and even the massive flooding in Texas are all intertwined with our changing climate. The same goes for hurricanes and typhoons; hurricanes feed on warmer waters and absorb rising sea temps to use it for energy. While the number of hurricanes have not increased, the severity of them have. Stronger hurricanes have produced stronger winds and storm surges, resulting in devastating damages and a higher loss of life.
But luckily for us, climate change isn’t just some old hippie’s issue anymore; it’s quickly becoming the issue of the century.
Or at the very least, the focus of an ENTIRE generation.
Millennials especially have taken a keen interest in the lasting effects of climate change. I’d like to believe it’s because we grew up watching shows like “Captain Planet”, but unsurprisingly science says I’m dead wrong. In fact, studies show Millennials are more likely to trade in big mansions and foreign cars for a more sustainable way of life — hence growing eco-friendly trends: tiny houses, Air BnB, and Uber. Because climate change is such a long term problem and because Millennials are tomorrow’s policy makers, it’s super important our generation understands the importance of stopping it now.
Fortunately, we do!
According to science, (are you sensing a theme here…) more and more Millennials lean towards businesses who’re proven to be environmentally conscious. Whether they use all organic recyclable materials or donate half their profit to charitable organizations, Millennials are more likely to invest in businesses promising a change. This is because younger generations normally focus on issues that’ll directly affect their future.
Don’t believe me, ask your parents. Chances are they’ll tell you what issues were relevant to them back then, and how they participated in making a change themselves.
Now knowing all this, you’re probably thinking climate change just isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. I mean, based off statistics alone we’ve made some pretty serious strides towards making a difference.
While all that may be true, we still have a long ways to go.
Although, Millennials are extremely educated in the environmental front, we rarely take action on all that knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not saying we don’t want too. It’s just less likely to see us volunteering for green causes on a weekend when we could be doing other things, like road tripping across the US or binge watching shows on Netflix. That being said, when it comes to changing climate change, Millennials understand the why, but the how is a little bit more challenging. Come on, taking on 7 billion problems can be a pretty daunting job for just one person!
But can you imagine what an entire generation could do??
From recycling and installing energy, efficient lightbulbs to using reusable bags and conserving water, there are so many ways to contribute in the fight against climate change and actually win. Millennials especially have the power to make a difference, by sharing this vault of unused knowledge with our siblings, cousins, or that one annoying kid who says swaggy and loves Minecraft. Making a difference doesn’t always mean changing the world, but changing the world’s perception. Guys, It’s time we finally invested in our earth, more importantly in our future, besides it’s never too late to make a difference. Just please, don’t wait for a whole other generation to finally make it happen.