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Six degrees that could change the world

I Never Thought This Would Happen to Us!

Every night on the news, whether it's World News Tonight or CNN or Al Jazeera TV, or any channel for that matter, there's a lead story on the weather. Once relegated to the end of each show it now seems to be making headlines every day. From baseball-size hail to flooding in several parts of the world to droughts and fires that consume thousands of acres of precious forest to tornadoes and massive mudslides burying entire neighborhoods.

When neighborhoods are wiped out, homes destroyed, and families are left with nothing more than the clothes on their back, the first thing that most people say to the newscaster is, 'I never thought this would happen to us." We watch it on TV every night as other people's lives and property are turned into shards of glass and flakes of wood, shaking our heads in disbelief as we eat our hot dinner in the comfort of our cozy homes, never thinking for a moment that it could happen to us. Mother Nature is not selective or prejudice. We're all in the path of her wrath, no matter where we live, no matter how rich or poor. And if she hasn't gotten to you yet you can be sure she will sooner or later, it's just a matter of when, not if...

A one degree increase may not sound like much but it is, and it's already changed the world's weather. Imagine what six degrees will do. This documentary (trailer), presented by National Geographic, is well worth the investment of your time. It clearly defines how each rising degree significantly changes the world's weather patterns, which affects our water supply, food chain, and slowly diminishes our odds for survival. In the end, Mother Nature will still be standing, not humanity. I hope this trailer compels you enough to rent, download or buy the entire documentary and not only watch it but watch it with your children, not to scare them, but to educate them so they can learn and start thinking of ways they can make the world a better place now and in the future.

Six Degrees That Could Change the World

So busy with work, family and play, most people don't know about the chain of events that occur that causes climate change. So here's a little rendition of how one thing affects the next.

As the weather warms, there are more and longer droughts worldwide, which means food crops can't grow. Fresh water evaporates with warmer temperatures, affecting our drinking water supply. Due to warmer weather, glaciers are melting, which is causing the sea to rise worldwide by feet, not inches. When glaciers melt, the sun no longer has the white mass of ice to reflect off of, which is what keeps the earth cool. This means there's more exposed land and sea so the sun is absorbed into a larger area of dark mass, which warms the earth's temperature even more, which in turn accelerates the melting of the glaciers, which makes the seas rise faster. Think of what happens when you put ice in a full glass of water. The water spills over. When the sea rises, more water comes ashore during high tides and hurricanes flooding low lying areas. This is one of the reasons Hurricane Sandy was so devastating to New Jersey's coast. And, by the way, glaciers contribute heavily to the rivers and streams that provide our drinking water. When the glaciers disappear so will our water supply.

When sea rise reaches only four feet higher than it is now, entire coastal communities will be wiped out as the ocean encroaches further inland covering entire cities under water. It's already happening to villages in Alaska. Miami is also a major concern to climate scientists as it runs along Florida's southeast coast. It's vulnerable because it's currently at sea level. When sea levels rise, Miami will be covered by the Atlantic. Some scientists suggest that this is what may have happened to Atlantis.

When entire communities are forced to move inland they then become dependent on your resources such as food, water, utilities and land. The demand becomes higher for things that are already beginning to deplete. Add to that, far more waste on every level. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, pun intended.

So what happens when croplands dry up from severe drought, and food supplies and drinking water become scarce? People run out of food and water so they begin to fight each other for resources to survive, which means looting, robbing each other, even killing if necessary to survive and protect their families from starvation. Can't imagine this ever happening to you either? Well, millions already have, which is why so many are stockpiling food and water, building below ground shelters, buying guns and ammunition, and learning to survive in the wild. There are TV shows about these survivalists, which many see as extreme but in the end, they very well may be the last people standing when society implodes as they will be the most prepared.

Climate scientists have been warning us about global warming for years, thousands of them. Why is it we believe in forensic science when it's about DNA and crime but so many disbelieve thousands of globally united climate scientists when they share their findings with the United Nations on what's happening to our planet? Perhaps it's denial, or ignorance, or not following the science, or maybe so many prefer listening to the naysayers who preach this severe change in weather is merely cyclical, happens every few centuries. And to their credit, yes climate change is cyclical, but it usually happens slowly over centuries. This is the first time in history that the rise in temperature has happened so quickly, in the last hundred years, since the rise of the industrial age in the early 1900s. And now, scientists have concluded, and many politicians and leading national executives have conceded, that it is manmade.

Many politicians, mostly republicans, are still insisting that it's all hogwash. However, look deeper and you'll find the the majority of the naysayers are financially backed by big oil companies, paid handsomely to dispel the dire warnings. The big oil companies stand to profit the most from people continuing on this path of waste and want, consuming and living under the illusion that it will never happen to them.

Oil is used in almost everything we use from toys to cars to processing food to our clothing to just about everything imaginable. The companies that make all of these products for mankind need oil to run their factories, need oil to run the machinery that makes the products, need oil to ship their products via 18-wheelers, planes or trains. Then, stores need oil to build and operate. And we need oil to drive to the stores, to heat our homes, and thus creating more demand.

What will we all do when we run out of oil? Countries are literally fighting (via who has the most money) over new territory all over the planet in which to dig for new oil. Now that the glaciers are calving (falling off in large chunks the size of a city) due to warming, more land is exposed so it's become a race for the U.S., Russia, India, Canada, Norway and China to claim the uncontested arctic land near their borders. Russia, China and India are in talks about building a $30 billion oil pipeline from the arctic through China to supply the growing demand for oil in China and India. He who has the most toys wins... or in this case, access to the most oil. In the end, it's all about money, power and control, and not what's best for our planet or humanity.

Is it too late to stop climate change? In order to stop it we would all have to stop using oil. And oil is only one of many things causing global warming. Deforestation and wild fires are yet another cause. That said, in spite of our recycling, buying electric cars, building wind farms, and using solar power to heat our homes, I'm no longer convinced that it can or will be stopped. I believe it's simply too late to turn back the clock. In fact, look back to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the F5 tornado that wiped out the entire town of Joplin, MS in 2010. These events happened years ago, with many more before and since, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the typhoon and tsunami that hit the Philippines in 2013, the massive flooding in India, which wiped out an entire town, the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, the earthquake and tsunami that hit southeast asia in 2004, destroying entire populated islands.

Yet, the conversation about global warming is still being debated. If we're already beyond the tipping point where will our planet be when nations agree that it's time to unite and take action? If it's too late as many scientists now believe, what is left to do? This is not to say we shouldn't continue to try as individuals and as a society. Fighting the battle to win is far better than giving in to defeat.

The only thing we can be sure of at this point is that it will continue to worsen every year from now on. How long 'from now on' is though remains to be seen. I also have no doubt that when another weather event destroys homes, neighborhoods and lives, someone will say, 'I never thought this would happen to us!"

See more climate change videos and documentaries on YouTube.

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