oh, gen x, a resounding ‘meh’?
Generation X: They’re the Americans who “grew up with MTV, Nirvana, and the dot-com bubble,” says The Atlantic. These individuals are better educated than their parents and work longer hours. They sit on their children’s school boards and are often active in their communities. “But, when it comes to climate change, Gen Xers voice a resounding ‘meh.’”
In a recent survey, just 16 percent of polled Gen Xers said they followed the issue of climate change “very” or “moderately closely,” which is a 22 percent drop from 2009. People who said they did “not closely” follow the issue in 2009 were at 45 percent; in the most recent results that percentage climbed to 51 percent. So not only do fewer Gen Xers pay attention to climate change, but more and more are completely indifferent to the issue.
Gen X, speak up. Do you relate to this? Is this how you feel?
Each summer, Arctic sea ice melts and recedes to a certain degree due to higher temperatures. But over the past few decades, the melting has gotten faster and more severe (the 2011 melt was a record low). Don’t believe me? Check out this video from NASA showing the change in summer ice from the past 32 years.
Climate change models have predicted the complete loss of summer ice in the Arctic by 2070 or so. But as this years melt begins, hot and fast, 2030 is looking like a real possibility for an ice-free Arctic. That means that in as little as 20 years, this photo could be a look into the past instead of the present.
(via Smart News)
At the same time the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center has released a report noting that this spring in the United States has been the warmest since record-keeping began in 1895, a group of scientists has published a paper in the journal Nature warning that the planet is approaching a critical tipping point because of climate and other factors.
Rampant population growth and changes to the environment caused by humans, including the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of nearly 43% of the planet’s land to farms or cities, threaten to cause an abrupt and unpredictable shift in the global ecosystem, 22 scientists from five countries said in their paper.
— excerpted from “More Record Warmth as Scientists Warn of Global Tipping Point”, by Michael Pearson and Phil Gast in CNN.com (June 8, 2012)
Welcome to the Anthropocene
Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, our species has affected sweeping and immeasurable change on Earth. No other creature, living or extinct, has made such a significant mark on the very core physical nature of our home planet. Many believe that our influence is on the scale of those seen in major geological eras, and have taken to calling this era the Anthropocene (although there is debate as to how appropriate that is).
Beyond those arguments among geologists, we can’t deny that our role on Earth is significant, as our our actions. Climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion … we are a planet-changer. The Anthropocene may not be used to describe fossils one day by some unknown species of alien paleontologists, but it does describe the planetary influence of a certain race of naked apes.
This video chronicles that change, from 1750 to the present. I watched the vertical axis label change throughout, demonstrating that our exponential growth has not just occurred in population, but in a myriad of effects (and many negative).
It’s a beautiful view of our planet full of reminders of changes past and opportunities future. A call to action and a source of hope lies within.
The tragic irony of the island nations that are struggling against encroaching seas is that most of them don’t have much of a carbon footprint. Many residents live without cars or electricity and subsist on food they catch or grow themselves. In fact, countries at the greatest risk from rising seas, such as Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives, account for less than 0.1 percent of the total output of carbon dioxide emissions. (Combined, the U.S. and China account for nearly half.) Still, some of these nations are leading the world in reducing carbon emissions.
How nations are coping with rising seas