When The Levee Breaks

via NASA
via NASA

No matter your thoughts on the  topic of climate change, the past few weeks have made it a little hard to deny that something very wrong is happening in nature. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the almost nationwide wildfires in the United States, the massive floodings in South Asia, and the recent earthquake in Mexico City seem almost-surreal because they are occurring at the same time.

Mother Nature isn’t asking us to change, she’s telling us. 

If perhaps you’ve only heard the term “climate change” thrown about like SPF 70 sunblock at a suburban pool party, then here is NASA (that’s right NASA has some stuff to say about climate change cuz, you know, they can see it from outer space) with a simple explanation of the subject, written specifically for grades 5-8. In fact, if you type in “climate change” in your Google search bar, 4 of the 5 first results are from NASA.

The world is getting warmer, and that means more droughts, more famines, and more hurricanes. There’s many speculations as to why by both scientists and not-scientists, but I think we can all agree on one thing: these events are f***ing terrifying. This issue is important, more than ever, because of warnings like this:

The group, led by former United Nations climate chief and Paris Agreementarchitect Christiana Figueres, warns in a piece published in the journal Naturethat the planet could face unsafe — and irreversible – levels of temperature increases if greenhouse gas emissions do not begin to fall by 2020. The piece calls on energy policymakers to implement policies to move the world to 30% renewable energy by 2020 and stop approving new coal-fired power plants, among other initiatives. –TIME Magazine

Irma and Harvey have terrified us. The floodings in South Asia have saddened us. The wildfires have plagued us. These aren’t the signs of the end-times, these are slaps in the face designed as a a call to action. Perhaps we should start listening.

So what can we do?

We can learn. We can read information from NASA and other scientific agencies (the lovely Canadian government has an entire page devoted to this topic). We can help those affected by these natural disasters. And we can take care of this planet, our home.