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COMMENTARY: Irreversible

THE TENNESSEE TRIBUNE — The United Nations panel on climate change released a report, in which global temperatures could reach an irreversible tipping point in just 12 years or by 2030.



By Thomas Sheffield

The United Nations panel on climate change released a report, in which global temperatures could reach an irreversible tipping point in just 12 years or by 2030.  That is if the world doesn’t act dramatically to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere. According to the UN, the impact on climate change can be slowed down but it would require unprecedented action to reduce fossil fuels and release less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air.  The U.S. government is not supporting any aggressive  policy changes.  The President and the Republican controlled Congress could choose to do something new and different but this is highly unlikely to happen.  After all, President Trump decided to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.  

12 years is not a long time and if this irreversible trend continues, what does this mean for you, your family and your community?  What can you do to be forward thinking and be prepared for the changes in the atmosphere?  Three important things to consider are: 1. Get your health in order, 2. Get insured and 3. Invest your money wisely.

A result of climate change will be exposure to extreme heat, poor air quality, reduced food and water quality, and population displacement.  This means your health will be directly related to these changes.  There will be more heat related illnesses, cardiopulmonary diseases, food and water diseases and mental health issues.  Who do these effect the most?  The elderly, young, and minority communities will be the most burdened.  It is important that we take care of ourselves so we are able to handle these issues.

Next, we need to be sure we are prepared and properly insured.  Stronger storms are a result of climate change. Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle with 155 mph winds establishing it as the strongest storm to hit the continental U.S. since 2004.  This storm destroyed property and lives of those in its path.  I am afraid this will be the norm and not the exception if things don’t change. Again, who is effected the most? The elderly, young, and minority communities.

Finally, invest your money wisely.  Invest money in climate friendly investment such as wind and solar energy.  Another option its investing in green bonds where proceeds advance environmentally friendly objectives.  You can also invest in small home improvements like a home garden or weatherproofing your house.  These add value to your home and the community.

A study from the Government Accountability Office found the US would save $200 billion a year by preventing deaths due to extreme temperatures in 49 major cities.  But the government must be willing to act.  Again, I stress to you it is time for your voice to be heard.  Support candidates that believe climate change is real and we have a part in the acceleration of it.  The lives of our children and grandchildren are at stake.  Please feel free to contact me thomsustainableconsulting@gmail.com.  Or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff. #Resist #WordsActionChange

This article originally appeared in The Tennessee Tribune


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