Importance of Natural Resources

Climate Change: The Cost of Inaction


[Music] Joel Scheraga: The climate is changing. In
fact, it’s been changing for millions of years. But what’s different now is the climate is
changing at an unprecedented rate. We’re seeing it in rising temperatures and
the increased intensity of storms, floods and droughts, and the frequency of this severe
weather is increasing. Also, sea levels are rising more rapidly. How do these events affect the things we care
about in our daily lives? Many of the things that we depend on — like food, water, and
energy are sensitive to changes in climate. Climate change makes it more difficult to
ensure adequate water supplies for drinking water, growing crops, and hydropower. It destroys
our rivers and beaches, and changes the landscape of our country, from Florida and the Gulf
Coast to Glacier National Park and Alaska. It affects our ability to raise cattle and
catch fish. And it increases the risks we face of infectious disease and heat-related
deaths. Any one of these consequences of climate change
would pose a significant challenge to our nation. But these things are all happening
across America at the same time. Hurricane Sandy illustrated that we are inadequately
prepared to protect ourselves against extreme weather. Flooding damaged thousands of homes
and businesses in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York — even Wall Street. While parts
of the area are back to normal, not every community was resilient enough to recover
quickly from this disaster. Some still haven’t. And these localized storms can have national
impacts. Hurricane Katrina didn’t just devastate New Orleans, it affected the availability
of oil and natural gas to people all across the country. The dramatic shifts in our weather patterns
are now causing severe drought and flooding, posing major challenges to farmers. In Iowa, farmers are struggling to grow our
crops as they are hit by repeated floods and droughts. If this keeps up, we could see a
scarcity in our food supplies and higher prices at the grocery store. As our temperatures
and weather patterns shift, farmers may no longer be able to keep growing the same types
of crops. Climate change is also threatening our water
supplies in states like California, Arizona, and Nevada. Lake Mead, a key source of water
for those states, is already at historically low levels. They may soon have to ration water
for drinking, agriculture and energy production. Extreme dry spells are also triggering more
wildfires that are burning out of control and destroying homes. And it’s not just happening here in the United
States — it’s happening all around the world. There’s no time to wait. The consequences
of delaying action will only become more severe and more difficult to overcome. We have an opportunity to slow the rate of
climate change and make it more manageable by cutting greenhouse gas emissions that contribute
to global warming. In the same way that all of our individual actions caused the climate
to change so rapidly, we can all be part of the solution. Working together, we can make a difference
as we continue to reduce greenhouse gases and anticipate, prepare and adapt to a changing
climate. [Music]


Reader Comments

  1. This is bull we need a fundamental change in how we produce power. There is so much technology out there to change this future but all of it is suppressed so that the oil company owners can squeeze every last polluting cent out of fossil fuel which can be CHARGED to all of us. They are untouchable. Energy should be free and limitless. There is going to be a war to end all wars as the fossil fuels deplete and costs skyrocket and inevitably destoy our planet for almight dollar and power and greed.

  2. It is so sad how so many people deny climate change. It seems it's easier to live in blissful ignorance than face the consequences! Let's hope for a brighter and greener future.

  3. And why not creating a law applivable to government as well as individuals similar to tax laws and antidrug laws to reduce the damage and save something for generation to come

  4. Hermoso video sobre el cambio climático. Si cada uno hace un replanteo de sus costumbres consumistas, el cambio será posibles. Por él contrario si se ignora este tema, las consecuencias serán terrible. Somos parte de la naturaleza, la madre tierra peligra.

  5. Climate change is affecting the whole planet, and we all need to be part of the solution. #ActOnClimate

  6. Anticipate. Prepare. Adapt. Be part of the #ClimateChange solution today. #ActOnClimate. #Climate2014

  7. The climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. But, we can all be part of the solution. #ActOnClimate.

  8. Climate change makes it more difficult to ensure adequate water supplies. Be part of the solution. #ActOnClimate today.

  9. Climate change is increasing severe weather. We can slow the rate of climate change. #ActOnClimate today.

  10. Climate change is increasing severe weather, droughts, & floods, but together we can make a difference. #ActOnClimate.

  11. There is no time to wait. The consequences of delaying action will only become more severe. #ActOnClimate today.

  12. We have an opportunity to slow the rate of climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. #ActOnClimate today.

  13. Climate change is affecting the whole planet, and we all need to be part of the solution. http://youtu.be/1o8qlJ8jcx0 #ActOnClimate

  14. Anticipate. Prepare. Adapt. Be part of the #ClimateChange solution today. #ActOnClimate. #Climate2014

  15. The climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. But, we can all be part of the solution. #ActOnClimate.

  16. Climate change makes it more difficult to ensure adequate water supplies. Be part of the solution. #ActOnClimate today.

  17. Climate change is increasing severe weather. We can slow the rate of climate change. #ActOnClimate today.

  18. Climate change is increasing severe weather. We can slow the rate of climate change. #ActOnClimate today.

  19. There is no time to wait. The consequences of delaying action will only become more severe. #ActOnClimate today.

  20. We have an opportunity to slow the rate of climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. #ActOnClimate today.

  21. Working together we can make a difference and reduce greenhouse gases. #ActOnClimate today.

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