When a problem isn’t necessarily obvious, it can be hard to understand that it still exists. For some, climate change is extremely apparent and their everyday lives are already different. For others, the impact of climate change seems less extreme, yet it still plays a large role in their lives.
If you’re a part of the group that doesn’t feel as affected by the climate crisis, you probably wonder: Why should we care about climate change? Well, there are actually quite a few reasons.
Climate change is an issue that impacts everyone, regardless of location.
Depending on where you live, the effects of climate change might be more or less obvious to you. In the state of Michigan, people are experiencing hotter temperatures and increased precipitation. In California, climate change is causing extreme temperatures and more frequent droughts.
While these might seem like small issues to some, these effects have severe consequences. So while someone might write off hotter temperatures as a normal fluctuation in weather, a different person is fretting over the fact that their crops are barely surviving. While some people don’t mind if there’s a torrential downpour, others are dealing with dangerous floods.
A climate change-fueled flood hit Pakistan this year. NPR reported: “It is likely that climate change helped drive deadly floods in Pakistan, according to a new scientific analysis. The floods killed nearly 1500 people and displaced more than 30 million, after record-breaking rain in August.”
So while the U.S. and Europe were dealing with extreme temperatures and more precipitation, Pakistan was experiencing those issues twofold. This isn’t to say that the U.S. or Europe is free from worrying about these severe events, it just means that, due to geographic location, other places are feeling some of the worst consequences of climate change first — the rest of the world isn’t off the hook, we are simply waiting our turn.
Climate change affects our water sources.
When we think of the basic necessities of life, one of the first things that come to mind is water. And climate change negatively affects our water supply in a variety of different ways. Severe weather events — which are more frequent due to the climate crisis — can contaminate our water and cause disease, and create changes in water cycle patterns, according to UNICEF.
UNICEF states: “Around 450 million children live in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability. This means they do not have enough water to meet their everyday needs.” The effects of climate change will exacerbate this issue even more.
Not only is water an essential part of life, but it’s also an essential part of farming too. Without water, crops won’t survive. This quote from Dr. Bruce Bugbee from Utah State University sums it up: “We can grow food without fossil fuels, but we cannot grow food without water."
A lack of water affects production too. The CDC states: “According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), industrial water is used for fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product.”
Basically, we need water for just about every aspect of human life, and climate change is making that a lot more difficult.
Climate change can disrupt our food supply.
Different regions of the world grow food based on their climate. So when that climate changes, it can seriously disrupt and alter the whole entire growing process.
According to the EPA, reduced agricultural productivity could be caused by hotter temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, more extreme weather events, and overall water availability. Food delivery, food prices, and spoilage or contamination are other factors that might be affected as a result.
Food shortages can cause a number of different crises all over the world, which is why protecting our global food supply is so important.