Should we be concerned about Climate Change? Print E-mail
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Written by By Cristina Dominguez   
Friday, 01 September 2017 00:00

‘’It does not matter whether 100% of the people agree, or not, that climate change is, or is not, exacerbated by human action. What does matter and matters greatly is that we are aware the Earth’s climate is changing, that we recognize many of the factors that influence it, and that we understand that there are and will be global repercussions because of it.” - Catherine Christopher for Sevenseas Media.

The amount of plastic that is produced each year is huge. Now imagine how many of these end in the oceans. This damages wildlife. Plastic is not biodegradable, even the first plastic produced has not decomposed completely, it is still lying somewhere on Earth. The problem with plastic is that it does not decompose but instead they photolysis, that is, they break down into molecules by the action of light. That makes it more complicated when trying to collect it. Imagine how hard it would be to retrieve plastic from the ocean.

It is our responsibility to think about the impacts on the ocean of what we buy. Single use disposable plastics, like plastic bags, or plastic straws are simply unnecessary when you think about it. Aren’t they? Something as small as plastic straws have severe effects on marine life. Straws are fabricated in one minute, used for fifteen minutes (sometimes less) and take two hundred years to disintegrate. In the lapse of all those years for its decomposition nearly a thousand marine species have died. We don’t give much importance to things like this, but we should. It’s better without straws.

A perfect example of plastic pollution in wildlife is the decline in the albatross population. The remains left after their bodies decompose reveal a shocking reality. A pile of plastic is left behind, clearly showing the cause of their death. Albatross are more prone to eating plastic because they fish by skimming their beaks across the top of the water, and inadvertently take in plastics floating on the surface. Albatross feed their young with plastic too. Unfortunately, many of these don’t make it to adulthood.

Many are the birds that share the same fate as the albatross. In fact, a recent study found a 67 percent decline in seabird populations between 1950 and 2010. Plastic found inside birds include bags, bottle caps, synthetic fibers from clothing, and tiny rice-sized bits that have been broken down by the sun and waves.

A few simple and easy ways anyone can become involved in the fight against plastic pollution are to buy re-usable shopping bags and water bottles, and choose not to use plastic straws when we go out to eat.

It is pointless that a major pollutant as is the United States to exit the Paris accord, yet still be able to participate in climate talks. What is the point? So get out but still talk? Time is running out for Americans and the rest of world, to stop Trump from opening California’s marine sanctuaries to oil drilling. The current US administration is considering four of California’s marine sanctuaries to oil drilling. So little of the ocean is protected. We must move forward in saving the ocean, not destroy it.

The coral reefs, those spectacular and colorful structures full of life, are dying because of global warming, contamination and coastal urbanization. When a reef dies, hundreds of marine organisms that sustain multiple food complexes, which are the foundation of life in the oceans also die.

It has been prove that coral reefs and the biodiversity accompanying it, build the core of the marine universe. It’s an infrastructure equal to the tropical forests whose function is vital for the Earth; moreover, it propagates numerous species, whose death and disappearance is so grave, scholars assure the sixth greatest extinction, the only one caused by one species: the human specie.

Professor Kent Carpenter, from the University of Old Dominion, Director of a global census about marine species, explained that coral reefs are not rocks but life; these are formed by creatures that excrete a hard exoskeleton made of calcium. When the animals die, the structure erodes, depriving fish of vital places for reproduction and feeding” he also added that, “a complete collapse of the marine ecosystem would be one of the consequences of the loss of corals”. A massive cascading effect would be observed for all of ocean life on Earth.

If conscious or not, humans are directly responsible for the death of the coral reefs. The carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are high. This is caused primarily by the exaggerated burning of fossil fuels, furthered by deforestation of our forests. The obvious consequences already being observed, sea becomes warm and it acidifies every day, these cause coral bleaching and eventually its death. Thus the cycle of life, other than the life of marine species is likewise affected.

The most evident reflection  about what is happening in all the oceans of the world, can be appreciated at the Great Barrier Reef, it is the largest coral reef and the most studied by investigators and experts from all over the planet. Among the last study done by 46 investigators under the lead of Professor Terry Hughes, who is unarguably one of the most prepared and recognized in the study of corals, he determined that hundreds of kilometers of coral comprising the Great Barrier Reef have zero chances of recovery.

The most disconsolate of the whole climate change issue is that humans remain indifferent. There are still many human predators that because of businesses or simply because of fun are putting the Earth under stress.

Until when will humans remain aware without taking action, being a passive accomplice of the Earth’s destruction? The time to act is running out and the opportunities are reduced day by day. It’s now or never.