One of the – quite literally – hottest topics in the world right now (at least prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus) is the threat of climate change to our world. Climate change is undeniable as scientists have proven over and over that the composition of Earth’s atmosphere is changing (primarily due to pollution produced by humans) and that these changes are leading to higher temperatures around the world. Nonetheless, the primary discussion around climate change is not a conversation on whether it is occurring; the worldwide conversation that is being had revolves around whether or not we as humans should care and take action to stop the continued effects of climate change.
When discussing climate change with a person who falls on the side of this argument that believes climate change is inevitable and irrelevant to the daily lives of those alive on planet Earth now, this person may say: “I honestly don’t care if my grandkids ever see a polar bear.” This exact quote has been said many times and echoed by the vocal percentage of people who do not empathize with those calling for action to fight climate change. The problem with this quote is that it does matter if your grandchildren can see polar bears in the wild — for if this species goes extinct (in the wild), it will be an indicator that climate change has effectively gone past the “point of no return” from which human action to reverse it will be rendered irrelevant.
Climate change is a reality — per the Environmental Defense Fund, the Earth’s temperature has risen by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the beginning of the 19th century and this number is on pace to grow to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2030. This rise in the Earth’s temperature has caused an increase in extreme weather events, higher sea levels and extended wildfire seasons — amongst a host of other issues. The time to act on climate change was yesterday and we, as humans, must take better care of the Earth. So the answer is yes, I hope your grandchildren do see polar bears in the wild.