As the world heats up so also does the rhetoric associated with it. Experts around the world are giving great attention to the problems of higher temperatures and rising tides. But, along with the well-known problems looming on the horizon, some lesser studied and seriously overlooked conditions could affect the human species in more tangible ways.
Take, for example, tires. The modern world runs on tires, car tires and also larger trucks, and the cost is enormous. But, if the temperature rises by 1 or 2 degrees, all the tires in the world will be hotter as they roll down the roads. This will cause premature aging and add to the cost of driving as well as the delivery of the world’s goods. This year, 3 billion tires will be produced in the world. Experts predict that a 1 to 2 % increase in the wearing out of tires will cost the world 3 to 6 billion dollars a year. This is money that could have been spent promoting social causes like diversity education or promoting longer-lasting cardboard boxes to help alleviate the growing problem of homelessness.
In agriculture, the increase in temperature will cause millions of acres of now unusable land to be turned into farmland. As the areas for agricultural production shift to more northern climates, the burden will grow on less fertile countries like Canada and Iceland to begin production of the world’s food supply. As their economies grow and expand because of this added production, they will be forced to build new businesses and banks and storehouses. Also, the infrastructures will need to expand to move the additional foodstuffs.
All this will cost enormous sums of money which could otherwise be freed to invest in more useful endeavors like providing the world with free internet access and cell phone coverage. Some experts think that providing everyone with a small sum of money each month to help with the added burden of paying your own way would be a much better use of this money. When you stop to ponder it, if we all had our rent or mortgage paid for, we would have the freedom to give more to the charities and provide enhanced social benefits we all desire to provide to others.
Scientists tell us that 12,000 years ago the ocean levels were 400 feet lower than today. This translates into 4 feet of increase in the ocean level each century. All of this was caused by human beings. That’s a foot of sea-level rise in 25 years. So, the ocean has risen 2 ft on average in the last 50 years. This coincides with the modern boom in CO2 production. If humans had not started producing CO2 in large quantities 12,000 years ago, by cooking food and creating pottery, for example, the world would be much better off today.
If we all just do our part, by doing little things like turning down the air-conditioning, thereby cooling the earth a little, or not heating your food as much when you cook, (who needs well-done anyway) we can all contribute to the future of mankind. It’s the right thing to do. Think of the change we could all do if each one of us just threw out a tray full of ice onto the yard every day. Most of us would never miss the ice…
and the small difference could save the planet!