Recently, over a million students participated in a worldwide climate strike to bring awareness to the shrinking window of opportunity to advert mass extinction. Climate scientists cite a several-year window in which we must drastically lower our carbon emissions. Although I’ve been concerned about the climate, I didn’t understand this window until recently.
I assumed if we lowered our carbon output, our climate would go back to normal after a few years. This was wrong. It will take centuries. So as you read this today, this is the best climate you will ever see in your lifetime. As each year goes by, climate disasters will intensify, and that will be the new norm. So if we wait for things to get really bad before we change, that will then be the climate for the next few centuries.
An additional threat is heat feedback loops. For example: the climate gets warmer, the Arctic melts, melting ice releases methane, and the climates gets even warmer. These feedback loops are intensifying as environmental protections are attacked by President Donald Trump and our own Sen. Joni Ernst. Within 10 years, these feedback loops will have too much momentum to stop, no matter what we do to reduce carbon output. So the only opportunity we have is now, and the most impact you can have is voting for lawmakers who make addressing the climate crisis their top priority.