Here’s a fairly solid study projecting outcomes our current trends will produce. Trends are curious, in a way. When an event happens, that’s a concrete, observable, measurable phenomenon. No dispute. It rained … see the video, see the rainwater measuring cup, talk to people who walked in it.
But a trend, as a projection of a series of concrete events … if you see 26 dots in a straight-line upward slope and you think you know where the 27th and 28th dots are very likely to be … is less concrete … and therefore more subject to people saying it’s not necessarily so … especially if it disrupts their comfortable lifestyle.
Here’s a trend that will unquestionably affect our lifestyle … unless we act to alter that trend.
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Earth Will Start Becoming a Desert by 2050 If Global Warming Isn’t Stopped, Study Says
More than 25 percent of the Earth will experience serious drought and desertification by the year 2050 if the attempts made by the Paris climate agreement to curb global warming are not met, according to a new study by the journal Nature Climate Change.
The study, which was published on Monday, claims that if the Earth’s average yearly temperature is raised by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next 32 years, the areas of the world experiencing “aridification,” or drying of the planet, will increase.
Manoj Joshi, the lead researcher of the study, says:
“Our research predicts that aridification would
emerge over about 20 to 30 percent of the world’s
land surface by the time the global mean temper-
ature change reaches 2 degrees Celsius. But two-
thirds of the affected regions could avoid signifi-
cant aridification if warming is limited to 1.5
degrees Celsius [2.7 degrees Fahrenheit].”
Su-Jong Jeong, a participant in the study from China’s Southern University of Science and Technology, believes the prevention of aridification lies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Jeong said in the study:
“The world has already warmed by 1 degree Celsius
[1.8 degrees Fahrenheit]. But by reducing greenhouse
gas emissions into the atmosphere in order to keep
global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2 degrees
Celsius could reduce the likelihood of significant
aridification emerging in many parts of the world.”
The Paris climate accord – an agreement now signed by every country in the world except the United States – aims to do just that.
In June, President Donald Trump announced his plan to withdraw from the Paris pact, an Obama-era agreement. The accord, which Trump said would “undermine our economy” and put the United States “at a permanent disadvantage,” calls on countries to lower greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the average temperature increase from reaching the 2 degrees Celsius mark.
Trump has frequently expressed his disbelief in climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific consensus about its dangers to the planet and humanity.
In December, the president dropped climate change from the list of national security threats. Days later, he tweeted,
“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s
Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of
that good old Global Warming that our Country, but
not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS
OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!”
The Nature Climate Change study predicts that the regions that will be most affected by an average temperature increase are those located in:
- Central America;
- Southeast Asia;
- Southern Europe;
- Southern Africa; and
- Southern Australia.
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This trend is global in nature. And it may be difficult to depend on global political leaders to safeguard our personal comfort and healthful environment … especially as many get elected with the support of corporations who are contributing most to the global warming problem. So the question comes down to …
”What can I personally do – within the area that I
control and within the funding that I have
available – to alleviate this problem …
which, if left to continue to grow …
might readily wipe most of us
off the face of this planet?”
The biggest single thing we can do is: plant trees! The roots from trees go down deep into the soil, and enable the soil to retain rainwater. Rather than having grass lawns in a front yard or back yard – with grass being a high-maintenance ground cover without roots to hold rainwater – plant trees, instead. Your local nursery can tell you what trees will do best on each area of your property.
The cost of a tree varies with the species and, even more, with the size of the tree. A large tree might cost hundreds of dollars – but – is full-grown and beautiful from “Day #1.” A smaller tree might cost between $40 and $100 and will give you some visual pleasure immediately and be full-grown in just a few years. And many states have agricultural extension services that will provide you with a small tree at no cost whatever.
If you live in an apartment or condo, ask the property manager where you might plant some trees. Without cost to the manager, you increase the property’s value.
In our little 7-home Garden Atrium sustainable community, we’ve planted about 250 trees. They were “buggy-whip” size at planting, to keep costs down. But our site is now a lush, colorful environment with an abundance of bird-life and a delightful place for kids to run and play. Residents can’t believe it was a barren abandoned small farm when we began.
In addition to planting trees on your own property, you may see public places that could use more trees. For example:
- Some city parks may have areas which could be more heavily planted, and the park service may welcome your contribution.
- Some roadways where you live may have grass strips between the curb and the sidewalk that could benefit from trees – to make the sidewalks more pleasing and walkable and cut maintenance costs. Homes in neighborhoods with tree-lined streets tend to be more desirable and have higher resale value.
- Some highways, even Interstate highways, have barren land between the driving lanes and adjacent to on-ramps and off-ramps that all might benefit from trees.
- Some school grounds have barren land around the school building that could benefit from trees. Often, different tree species become part of the study of the school’s biology class.
Amazingly, some municipal bureaucrats actually resist tree planting for any variety of reasons. But many communities do have new trees planted by civic groups or the Boy Scouts. And many communities that welcome tree-planting conduct tree-planting festivals, creating a short-term one or two day fun environment and fostering longer-term beauty for the community.
The second action you can take is to buy locally as much as possible. You reduce the amount of pollution required to deliver food to you. CSAs and farmers’ markets are simple ways to accomplish this.
Third, you can also cease to buy products from countries that denude their landscapes. But tracking which countries are the worst, and identifying the origin of each product we buy may be cumbersome.
Fourth, if you’re politically active, support those politicians who specifically advocate for increases in forestation. Some support corporations who denude an area for its natural resources; others support preservation and expansion of natural resources.
Take whichever steps feel most comfortable to you. This is the kind of change that will have to come from each of us.
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If you haven’t already done so, download a copy of my new book, “The Challenge of Change” – which is absolutely free – by clicking the hyperlink.
We’ve begun hearing from people who have downloaded the book, read it … and have sent very gratifying positive comments about the book. I believe you’ll find it to be a valuable resource, as well.