Impending Headaches of Climate Change


Is the doomsday scenario of climate change going to happen? The answer is not readily apparent or even known as the climate change issue is often framed as a future problem rather than something that will happen today or tomorrow. Consequently, the answer to the question of whether climate change will end life as we know it today is unknown since the impacts are often framed as something that will happen 50 years from now. However, even though such impacts of climate change may happen 50 years from now, isn't the responsibility of current generations to help ensure future generations have just as good of an environment as they had?

One of the impending headaches of climate change is what many parts of the country just experienced this past winter--in DC and the Mid-Atlantic, there was snowmaggedon, in Vancouver, there was no snow.  In essence, the impending headaches of climate change may actually be beginning today as we speak. After all, the trend seems to indicate that more and more colder weather along with extreme highs and lows occurring. Already, for example, some of the impacts of climate change can be seen especially out in the western part of the United States. In particular, some of the impacts that are being reported include “Reduced mountain snowpack (which) means earlier melt-offs and reduced stream volumes across the West and Northwest, affecting residential and agricultural water supplies, habitats for spawning fish, and reduced hydroelectric power generation.”

Consequently, climate change may actually be hurting the livelihoods and quality of life for individuals out West.  Such individuals, for example, may rely on snow melt for things such as farming and power generation especially if they live near a dam. Therefore, while for many of us, the effects and impending headaches of climate change cannot be felt, for some individuals especially out West, it is already being felt. As such, the fact that some people are already experiencing the effect of climate change suggests that something should be done to mitigate its many impacts so that we all don't end up like some individuals out West who in some cases are having difficulty making a living working on their farm. In addition, if less and less snow becomes available over the years, it might also have impacts on Winter tourism in terms of skiing out west. Therefore, climate change's impacts are unequal and distributed far and wide where some parts of the U.S. and elsewhere will feel its effects earlier than others. Given that the impacts of climate change will be felt at different times, clearly it is time to come up with a solution to act.

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