Climate change is an urgent concept to process because there are signs of the environment diminishing right before our eyes. The drastic changes in our weather and the deterioration of our trees and plants are affecting our health and general well being as a whole. First, I want to focus on heat waves and how the layers of the ozone layer are affecting our summers and springs: rather than having nice weather and fun outside, we’ve been having a series of heat waves or heavy downpours of rain with barely any nice days throughout the seasons. Thus, I want to dive into the causes of floods, and how this natural disaster is affecting our country.
A flood is the overflowing of large quantities of water onto dry land. Although floods seem to be completely random, they’re caused by numerous factors. For example, because of global warming, the polar ice caps are melting at a rapid pace, and all of the cold areas of the world are slowly heating up. The excess contribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses emitted from our vehicles are drastically ‘chipping away’ the atmosphere, causing long heat waves and massive floods all over the world. Our everyday actions of polluting the air directly correlate with the inconsistent changes in the weather and it is affecting people in the U.S and all over the world.
I’ve lived in New York City my entire life and have experienced the natural disaster, Hurricane Sandy, in October of 2012. I live in the East Village which is fairly close to the East River, and due to the heavy winds of the hurricane, the river flooded the streets. Thankfully, no one in my family was hurt, but it was an ‘eye- opening’ experience for me because never in my life did I expect to have such an experience in New York. Geographically, Manhattan is surrounded by water on all sides, so our island is at high risk for natural disasters that involve water, and that’s a very frightening concept.
Regarding the Paris Climate Change Agreement formed in 2015, America was part of the cause. China and other major countries were willing to tackle the issue of global warming and climate change and there were many contributions and goals created to support the cause. However, once Donald Trump became the president of the United States, he made the ultimate decision to pull America out of the treaty by 2020. Since the majority of the country voted for him, I’m assuming that like him, his supporters are not concerned with climate change. What’s ironic is that the majority of the Midwestern and southern states are the major areas being affected by climate change, and they were devastated by the Great Flood of 2019. During the flood, constant heavy rainfall caused the Mississippi to rise and all of the states bordering the river were leveled. The flood affected nearly 14 million people, and thousands of homes and cars were swept away by the dangerous currents.
Nevertheless, I believe that there is still hope for the future. The top two devastating natural disasters are earthquakes and floods, and floods have leveled nations such as North Korea, Japan, India, and many more. What’s sad is that all of these disasters could have been lessened had we taken care of our environment. For example, deforestation is a big problem because we need more trees in the country to provide oxygen and to level out the drastic levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The preservation of wetlands is also important because there are bodies of water that can overflow any second. I’m mainly a CST major and my primary focus is working with computers. I would love to work with the technology that modifies homes and businesses making them flood- proof, and I’ll do so by reinforcing the materials used to construct buildings, and by incorporating wall building technology that would be activated when a flood occurs. By so doing, I will protect major cities and homes from destruction. Japan began its home reconstruction after a tsunami struck them in 2011, so let’s hope that the U.S. follows suit and takes architecture to the next level moving forward.
I am grateful to read about what climate change has brought in front of my eyes as a New York resident. I agree with you that climate change has a lot to do with our domestic life being effected which we simply ignore on a day to day perspective. I am glad to see your post has raised very important matters about how we should be aware of our surroundings and work for this cause starting today and right now, and towards peeking into the future of our upcoming generations and what they might face due to our contribution to the global warming.
Your experience in the lower east side of Manhattan, New York, reminds me of my encounter with this person from Staten Island. His name is Charles, he lives with his mother. Charles told me his story about Super Storm Sandy that even with three warnings from New York State, he decided not to leave his house, and in the back of his mind he was thinking “they always say its dangerous, but nothing happens” Charles from Staten Island, decided to not leave.
What happened later will be his life’s story, which he now expresses with deep sorrow. As the day fell into evening, the lights of his house went out, everyone from that block started screaming and running in all directions. He ran outside to save his car, which he could not do since the water level was already up to his chest. He got stuck under the transformer, and electric sparks were falling around him. He ended up stuck on his second floor for two days until the water receded. He said he “faced death”.
The only thing that worries me today is how we take things for granted. We consider that we are smart enough to ignore and not worry about climate change and leave for the next person to deal with. In my opinion, this issue of having an uncaring perspective of climate change among people has to be changed in order to bring a change.
I hope we as humans will develop into something better. Thank you for a wonderful article.