Armageddon in Slow Motion

By Georgia Wyess
I am positive that every person reading this article has heard of global warming. You’ve seen the images of starving children in Africa, the scientific charts of overall world temperature, and the geographical illustrations of a world with high sea levels. However, because of frequent exposure to this information and the seemingly endless amount of time we have before first-world countries see the impact of above average temperatures on earth, global warming has become the monster in our closet. When we first learned of its presence, the thought of what the earth could look like was nothing short of terrifying, but now as we have grown into the idea, the concept has lost its element of fear. Yet, the effects of a warm earth are already visible. Just not to us. Third-world countries are seeing mass drought, famine, disease, and limited access to fresh, drinkable, water. While many are seeing the effects of this “Armageddon in slow motion,” as coined by scientists, those with the power to stop it look only towards the overall consumerist profits for their companies coming from the benefit of drilling oil and exploiting cheap labor in overworked and overcrowded facilities. Yes, it is true that major corporations are to blame for the majority of the effects on the planet, yet as the masses, we have the power to move companies towards a more eco-friendly direction.

Shockingly, many know the importance of limiting their use of single-use plastic and walking or biking rather than driving to their destinations, but many do not know why these small actions are important. Moreover, many do not know what to expect when temperatures surpass their maximum limit. Here are some of the numerous effects of global warming:

  1. Rising sea levels: This is a common threat brought up by scientists that seems absolutely harmless in the long run. After all, what’s a couple more beaches here and there? However, the rising sea levels impact natural wildlife in many areas— in fact, researchers already see the move of many species to more habitable areas— and threaten major cities all throughout the world. Moreover, a rise in sea levels would devastated crop growth throughout the planet, limiting our already short supply of food. 
  2. Melting of the ice caps: The ice caps are pivotal to live on earth. Not only does the ice reflect harmful sun rays back into the earth, due to its bright color, keeping the temperatures of the poles at bay, but it also regulates the ocean currents which evenly distribute warmth absorbed by the sun throughout the globe and regulate weather in each country. Moreover, unbeknownst to many, there are enormous natural, frozen, methane deposits at each end of the earth. With the ice at the earth’s axes melting, these ice balloons of methane release the gas into our atmosphere threatening the air and speeding up the already accelerated warming of the earth. Additionally, the ice caps are a source of fresh water to many people, and to people everywhere. Glaciers provide a huge amount of fresh water to communities, but with the glaciers melting and falling into the ocean, our fresh water supply diminishes greatly and the overall salinity of the ocean gets reduced, threatening the sensitive marine life. Read more about the importance of arctic ice here.
  3. Increased diseases: As seen in third world countries, health of the people is significantly reduced compared to the health of those in first-world countries. However, because of the warmer climate seen in every region, bacteria and viruses spread quicker because of the humidity and ideal environment for growth. Furthermore, the earth has a layer of permafrost that keeps a majority of the bacteria in the crust of the earth at bay. Unfortunately, with the permafrost melting, this bacteria is released into the atmosphere and is picked up by the local wildlife and people which spread it to civilizations. In an age where everyone is fed up with the Covid-19 virus, living the rest of my life indoors, wearing a mask, and not being able to go outside because of airborne bacteria doesn’t sound like the life I would want to live.

These are only a couple of the effects of global warming, and more than enough reasons for you to care about this subject. Famine, drought, disease, and more loom in our future, and if we don’t slow down the increase of global temperature, Armageddon may happen within our lifetime.