10 REASONS TO ACT NOW TO ADDRESS THE CLIMATE CRISIS
1. We have already created dangerous amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which have permanently damaged critical ecosystems and shifted Earth climate systems into uncharted territory. These systems are very complex and it's extremely hard to know how one change might cascade into other systems.
2. The present level of warming is already doing significant damage to marginalized communities around the world who are not responsible for creating climate change. They are experiencing increasing heat waves, extreme weather events, and droughts causing displacement, infectious disease, hunger, and death.
3. Even at present GHG levels, the warming of the planet will continue for centuries and continue to melt ice sheets and glaciers and raise the sea level.
4. Each year of adding more GHG emissions to the atmosphere creates higher risk of setting off natural feedback loops that will accelerate GHG emissions (Ex: global warming sparks more droughts and forest fires, fires produce more CO2, which then creates even more global warming).
5. Waiting to invest in climate solutions is creating more damage and more costs through extreme weather events, changes in ecosystems, and creating long term challenges that will be very expensive to remedy. Given that all human development (agriculture, city location, infrastructure, economies, etc) is designed in response to the previous climate system it makes sense to keep the climate as stable as possible.
6. Ocean acidification, which is a result of CO2 being absorbed into oceans, has made the oceans 30% more acidic which is negatively impacting shellfish reproduction, accelerating the collapse of coral reefs, and threatening other key species.
7. The longer we wait to shift off fossil fuels the heavier cost future generations will have to pay for our failures.
8. New weather records are regularly being set across the country including, 50 inches of rain in Houston, extensive drought and fire in California and Australia, Hurricane Maria's destruction of Puerto Rico, etc.
9. Climate change is accelerating species extinction with the present rate of extinction 1000 to 10000 times the normal rate (Center for Biological Diversity).
10. Climate change is increasingly damaging our economy by disrupting supply chains, interrupting work, destroying essential infrastructure, causing displacement of workers, costing huge sums for response and defense of communities, and risks causing financial crises related to the carbon bubble.