Spencer H. Johnson

Why You Should Personally Give a Damn About Climate Change

by , 07/08/14

A world devastated by climate change is like a night where The Day After Tomorrow, Planet of the Apes, and A Clockwork Orange turn on some Marvin Gaye, burn some incense, and hit the bed to breed a mega dystopia. A lot of people know about the dangers of fossil fuels, the importance of recycling, and why it’s healthier to be a vegetarian, but everyone asks “how does climate change affect me?” Let’s put it this way: with the amount of change we’re gonna see, your children won’t be playing outside much, you probably won’t be eating sushi three times a week anymore, and Game of Thrones’ North of the Wall will quickly become a reality.

flooded, thailand, climate change,Lead Image © DVIDSHUB

A new report entitled “Risky Business,” evaluates the economic dangers of climate change in the United States by region. Other reports have demonstrated how much sea level rise it takes to sink the Venice Beach boardwalk, how agriculture’s going to get the short end of the cornstalk, and some have cut the garbage and told us humanity is flat out screwed.

Related: Think You Can Disprove Climate Change? A Scientist is Offering $10,000 if You Can

Now, before you Command-W this article and go back to those pictures of cats on Tumblr or retreat into a Buzzfeed article that tells you what your favorite pizza topping says about you, let me tell you what climate change means for you personally because it might take your attention off the Netflix New Girl catch-up binge you’ve been on for the past four hours (not that I blame you). Keep in mind, this is an extreme instance, but sometimes it’s best to think in the long run, regardless of what your college business major classes might have taught you.

In a dystopia of climate change, everyone will be affected differently depending on where they live. If you’re in the mid or southwest, you’ll see more massive wildfires and drought. If you’re on the coast, like the majority of the world, the oceans are going to lap your doorstep like an annoying, psychotic ex-lover. If you’re in the South, the heat outside will feel like the sun is standing next to you and asking questions. Undoubtedly, in all these situations you’ll be eating Ramen noodles to the point where it’s not cool anymore, your college degree isn’t going to matter unless you went to forage and pillaging school, and your kids will have limited time outside in order to avoid permanent sun damage.

Image © Erick Pleitez

With all of this in mind, that’s not the future we want or need. Our extraction and burning of dinosaurs is largely responsible for these problems in addition to our reliance on giant supermarkets and factory farm operations where food is treated like something out of Dexter’s Lab. To avoid a future like the hellish dystopia outlined above we should use our cars sparingly, support local organic agriculture like farmer’s markets, and be wary of what our personal impacts mean for our future and the future of our children.

Related: Alex MacLean’s Aerial Images of Tar Sands Reveal Shocking Details about Keystone XL Source

Whenever you find yourself in a supermarket, shop along the outer edges and support that organic produce (most of that aisle stuff’s unnecessary packaging and advertising). Whenever you’re buying toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and building materials make sure to purchase sustainable products (save the Rainforest!) Whenever you’re about to turn on the A/C, open a few windows, put on a pair of shorts, and pour yourself a tall, cold bevvy (air conditioning is for squares anyway).

Image © John LeGear

It’s not hard to care about the Earth. I know some people are going to say that it’s all too expensive and they can’t spend X amount on five dollar toilet paper and 14 dollar-a-pound organic beef for a family of seven. That’s a valid point and I realize not everyone has the cash to shell out for grass-fed beef and a Tesla Model S. But a lot of people don’t take into account all the other things they’re spending money on, like lottery tickets, eating out, entertainment, and drunken fast-food runs, to name a few. If we prioritize our necessities, take steps toward reducing our carbon footprint, and teach our kids the lessons our parents should have taught us, we can tell future generations, “hey, at least we tried”.

Lead Image © John LeGear

Images via Photopin

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