With the tremendous loss of life related to the tumultuous weather and natural disasters that have struck around the world over the last two weeks, I feel the need to take a moment to just let it all sink in. In the last couple of weeks the world has experienced:
- An earthquake that registered 7.9 in Eastern Sichuan, China, and has resulted in an estimated death toll of 50,000 (AP News)
- A tidal surge from Cyclone Nargis, with winds that reached as high as 121 mph, hit Myanmar, killing 62,000 to 100,000 people and leaving more than 1 million people homeless
- A tornado that blazed through Missouri and Oklahoma at 170 mph and killed 23 people, adding to the abnormally high annual death rate due to tornadoes (AP News)
Naturally, the world has always experienced natural disasters; we expect hurricanes and tornadoes to hit at this time of year and well into the summer. But the intensity, overwhelming devastation and increased frequency of these events has prompted scientists to ask why.
One reason is clearly evident: global warming.
According to National Geographic News, experts say our mountain glaciers are melting faster than ever; Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers are melting so quickly that the mountain lost nearly a quarter of its ice from 2000 to 2006. And according to StopGlobalWarming.org, leading science journals report that atmospheric greenhouse gases have reached levels not seen for millions of years, and that species are vanishing as a result of climate change. They also report of extreme weather events, long-term droughts and rising sea levels.
So let's stop and let this all soak in. Take the time to learn all we can about global warming and its effect on the environment. Commit to do our part by not adding to greenhouse gas emissions. And above all, let's never think it's somebody else’s problem. It’s up to us. The time is now to make a change!
To learn more about global warming and how to lower your carbon emissions, visit StopGlobalWarming.org.
Do you think global warming is a factor in the string of natural
disasters and extreme weather events in recent weeks? Chime in below.