Why Should We Feel Worried About Global Warming Short Answer

The world has been facing a monumental environmental challenge for decades now: global warming. Many of us feel deeply troubled about the effect of heat-trapping gases accumulating in our atmosphere, but how deeply should we worry about the short-term impact of this alarming phenomenon?

To answer this question, it is important to look not only at the evidence of what global warming could mean for the planet, but also to look at the impact it could have on our present-day lives. The closest predictions show that with 1.5 degrees of warming, billions of people will suffer a decrease in crop yields, high rates of biodiversity loss, and extended periods of extreme weather. Higher levels of global warming have even more drastic effects.

The economic costs of the warming-induced extreme weather events, such as floods, hurricanes, and heat waves, could be staggering level. Financial losses from damages, health-related impacts and other costs will add up to billions of dollars each year and are already beginning to take their toll in certain regions. A 2018 World Bank report 1 stated that, unless major emissions reduction strides are made, “extreme weather and temperature events due to climate change could push over an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030”.

The psychological ramifications of changes to environment and human-made disasters are an additional cause for concern in the realm of global warming. A 2017 2 study by the American Meteorological Society reported on the effects of global warming on mental health, concluding that “global warming and extreme weather events may negatively affect mental health.” Australia, in particular, has experienced a deep and wide psychological toll due to heatwaves and drought in recent years.

From the rising seas to extinctions in animal species, the long-term effects of global warming can be dire. However, it is clear that the short-term effects must also be taken into consideration. The profound economic losses, the mental health impacts and other areas of concern require recognition and action. We must think beyond the future and take into account the present-day implications of global warming in order to pair our dependence on fossil fuels and the emissions this produces.

The science is clear, yet the urgency to deal with global warming often fades. Mobilizing people to take immediate action to reduce emissions is of utmost importance to prevent even more dire consequences in the future. Engaging in conversation and spreading awareness can encourage everyday people to take steps to mitigate global warming. Now might be our best chance to avert the worst and tap into invaluable resources that can help reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources and promote sustainable living.

[1] World Bank Group. 2018. Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Change. Washington, DC, World Bank.

[2] Bowen, M. et al. 2017. The intersection of global climate change with mental health and psychology: A consensus statement. American Meteorological Society.

Joseph Pearson is a passionate advocate for global warming, ecology and the environment. He believes that it is our responsibility to be stewards of the planet, and take steps to reduce our environmental impact. He has dedicated his life to educating people about the importance of taking action against global warming and preserving our natural resources

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