The Virtual Consequences of Climate Change

Have you seen this video? It’s pretty amazing. The New York Times helped put together a digital series about climate change called The Greenhouse. You can watch Josh Haner, New York Times staff photographer; Derek Watkins, a graphics editor at The New York Times; and Whitney Richardson, former New York Times photo editor, as they walk you through stunning images of the consequences of a warming planet. You can also view the virtual tour on the K-11 Art Foundation website.

The consequences of climate change and a warming planet are pretty dire. 2020 is stressful enough, so I won’t go through the hellscape that will become our planet if we don’t take drastic changes. But, I will gently drop this Times article here, if you want to feel sad.

It’s hard to wrap our minds around the damage that will unfold if we don’t do something. But we’re seeing it already – the massive fires in California and Colorado, the destructive storms slamming the coasts, drought hitting the southwest, the hottest summer we’ve ever seen year after year. It’s happening. But it’s not too late to do something!

We’ve seen some good news happening lately. For example, China, a massive polluter, is trying to limit its coal use! Beijing closed their last coal power plant in 2017. The city now relies more on natural gas, which is a pollutant but it’s not as bad of a pollutant. And China is also looking to build new solar and wind energy. The country’s investment in renewables means it understands there’s a problem, which is half the battle.

And demand for solar and wind power is rising around the world. This isn’t necessarily because governments, businesses and people want to be green. It’s because solar and wind power are getting cheaper and cheaper. The cost of solar panels dropped 76%, and wind turbines 34%, between 2009 and 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund

This is huge! As long as we keep pushing governments and markets to make climate change a priority, we could stem the rising tide, literally. Check out this article for ideas on how you can impact climate change as an individual.

Interested in learning more? Check out how a community in Maryland is helping folks visualize the rising sea levels due to climate change.

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