Climate Change is a Hoax! Just Ask Kiribati

by Philip Ghezelbash
(Wellington, New Zealand)

A hoax? Oops, I meant to say that it is not a hoax. In fact, it is a concerning international issue which may lead to the displacement of millions of people worldwide in the not too distant future – just ask residents of the island nation of Kiribati.

The population has plans to start leaving Kiribati in 2020 as rising seas make life too difficult, according to its president Anote Tong.

“Climate change isn’t a political issue. It’s a human survival issue,” says Kiribati President Anote Tong, a strong opening as the keynote speaker in Wellington at the Pacific Climate Change conference this past week.

In this article, I am not going to delve too deep into the issue concerning Kiribati. Instead, I will further evaluate the situation in the following weeks; discussing positives, negatives and possible scenarios of the island nation’s mass relocation.

However, I will use this example to validate some of my points further. If you would like to read into this alarmingly infamous topic of discussion, I have attached a link to a very informative article below.

For now, this piece is concerned with those of the world who genuinely believe climate change in recent years is not human-induced in any way.

More specifically, this article is for individuals who hold influence over people’s opinions. In doing so, I hope to eradicate any common misconceptions regarding the validity of climate change, as a subject which rightfully deserves a ten-fold increased in publicity and attention worldwide.

“Climate change deniers are contrarians who challenge the evidence that human activities such as deforestation and human behaviors that result in more greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are causing changes in our planet’s climate that may prove devastating and irreversible. Contrarians pose as skeptics, refusing to accept consensus conclusions in science on the ground that there is still some uncertainty.” – Robert Todd Carroll

Severe Impacts Are Happening Right Now, as We Speak

With only a rise in temperature just shy of 1 degree Celsius, numbers hardly do justice to the shifts we have seen in extreme weather events. In effect, these events have severe consequences for communities worldwide.

For instance, heatwave intensity has been record-breaking every single year in Europe, Australia and even tropical countries which should not be as affected by temperature change.

Tropical cyclones are happening more frequently in the North Atlantic while some regions, especially in Latin America and the US, have longer-lasting droughts. As our human-induced pollution has increased, so have these dangerous effects of climate change.

The correlation between both increases is so relevant and precise that this very fact is enough, in my opinion for the premise of complete support on the reality of this issue. However, the list continues.

Carbon Dioxide

“This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution.” (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.) – NASA – Global Climate Change

Polar Ice Sheets

Polar Ice Sheets continue to melt at rates never seen before in natural history. Warming oceans are a given with temperature increase, however, with this comes the fact that polar ice sheets will and have been melting at alarming rates.

The massive melting provokes coastal flooding and trebles with every 10cm increase in sea level rise. Most of our populations live within 50 kilometers of coasts worldwide, and hence sea level rise is critical. By the end of the century, if there is a sea-level rise of 1 meter, it does not even matter whether the cause was natural or human-induced.

The fact still, unfortunately, remains – millions of people worldwide will become environmental refugees, and the global economy will suffer chaotically.

One concerning idea is that the impacts of climate change have the powerful ability to exacerbate other inter-linked issues, each of which is just as damaging to humanity. These include poverty, economic crashes, and political conflicts.

The extreme weather events provoked by sharp, human-induced climate variance can reduce the food availability and therefore cause enormous repercussion throughout different societies, basically a feedback loop.

Consistent droughts have increased spikes in food prices in the years 2008, 2009 and 2011, which by the way were a few of the hottest years in modern history – most likely attributed to the socio-political instability in the Middle East.

“Climate change is far more than just an environmental issue; it fundamentally changes our relationship with food and water, which is essential for our well-being and for the viability of nearly all other forms of life. We have collectively built and optimized all of human civilization for the relatively stable climate that has existed for thousands of years”. – Will Steffen.

I hope this brief discussion in opposition to climate skepticism has opened you up to the idea that ‘global warming’ is much worse than you may have anticipated. It is, without a doubt, not a hoax or a conspiracy theory.

I hope to inspire greater action towards improving our planet’s well-being; rather than having deniers hold back our rightful progression towards a cleaner, sustainable home.

In my website, I will be covering topics concerning tropical rainforest degradation, Kiribati’s current crisis, and many other contemporary events concerning our planet.

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