Monday, September 12, 2011

Life After People

AP Photo/The Texarkana Gazette, Adam Sacasa
Wildfires.  Floods.  Hurricanes.  Heatwaves.  Earthquakes.  All have affected the U.S. within the last 30 days, taking lives and damaging property.

Texas just finished the hottest June to August on record in the United States.  We're also in the worst drought the state has experienced since the 1950's. 

So when The History Channel's Life After People show came on this weekend, I wasn't too shocked when the show stated that climate change, according to scientists, is the biggest threat to the human population. 

According to the EPA,

"The Earth’s climate is changing. In most places, average temperatures are rising. Scientists have observed a warming trend beginning around the late 1800s. The most rapid warming has occurred in recent decades. Most of this recent warming is very likely the result of human activities."

Human activities increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide traps heat in our atmosphere and without it, the earth would be too cold for life.

The fact that the climate is changing is no longer in debate.  The debate centers around how our activities are impacting the change.  Burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil; cutting down trees; generating waste and farming - all produce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. 

This climate change means more natural disasters; crops are affected by droughts and pests; more energy must be used to cool homes, schools, and workplaces; sea levels rise; and wildlife dies.

Now I'm not trying to turn into Al Gore on you, but this topic interests me (might be why the hero and heroine have to battle natural disasters in my book, Entangled) and I'm curious to know how you feel about it.  Is climate change inevitable?  Are we causing it or are we just speeding the inevitable change along?