While many choose to hang on to the belief that global warming is just a myth, the World Bank has finally extended its call for action against global climate change. The World Bank is an international financial institution that functions as the provider of loans to developing countries, such as Honduras or Kenya—these have a low Human Development Index (HDI). These loans are typically designed to fund capital programs, i.e. infrastructure, or the services necessary for an economy to function. For millions of years humans had taken such great care of the earth, but now we live in an age where entire economies are built in a way that unintentionally harms the planet that allows us to live. Sadly, this doesn’t faze many people enough to get them to make changes to their daily habits.
The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics for the World Bank issued the report titled 4° Turn Down the Heat—Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided in early November. It highlights the current, observed climate changes and impacts on the world, 21st century projections, sea-level projections and changes in extreme temperatures. The report acknowledges that there are a huge economic burdens that comes along with climate change, which affects those living in poverty the most.
The report measures heat under the standard Celsius, but here in LA we use Fahrenheit. So 4°C=7.2°F. One of the biggest findings stated that global mean temperatures are reaching at least about 1.3°F (0.8°C) higher than pre-industrial levels which puts us on track to raise the world’s temperature by 4°C or 7.2°F by the year 2100. Still not convinced global warming is real? Check out some interesting affects of global warming you may not have thought of before.
It probably also doesn’t help that just a week ago, greenhouse gas levels hit a record high. These gases are not only one of the biggest contributors to global warming, they are also affecting people on an individual level. According to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, “billions of tonnes of additional carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will remain there for centuries, causing our planet to warm further and impacting on all aspects of life on Earth,” and “Future emissions will only compound the situation.”
If it’s one thing you can’t miss about LA, it’s got to be the traffic. It’s pretty horrendous. If you happen to skip over sitting through the exciting ride known as rush hours, consider yourself lucky. Not only are you missing out on those accidents people unnecessarily slow down to check out, you are also not likely to be contributing any particulate matter into the environment. Children with autism were more likely to have been living in areas with higher levels of traffic pollution during gestation and their first year of life versus those living in areas with lower levels concluded a study just released by the University of Southern California (USC). This doesn’t prove any kind of causation, but it can highlight the importance of the beginning of a child’s life and how air pollution is an unhealthy risk factor of poor child development.
Many times people find that they have been unknowingly contributing to the global warming issue. This is nothing to get yourself down over, no one is born with the knowledge of the world. Changing what you can about your daily life habits is the first step you can take towards helping to preserve the earth for future generations. If the World Bank, an institution that funds international programs designed to support sustainable economies, can admit the need for focus on the environment, the public should take this into account when making their decisions throughout daily life. Climate change is real. And though it may not be immediately dangerous, analysts are beginning to project some rapidly rising affects that will take us by surprise if we do not make improvements to the way we live.