Looking toward the future can be a difficult and scary task. On the one hand, a barren wasteland torn apart by war and natural disaster. On the other, a utopian landscape blossoms to life, one where we have put aside our differences to come together and tackle the severe problems facing our world,. While neither one of these extremes is likely to be fully realized, I believe it is our duty to push upwards in search of that perfect world, and that starts with taking action now.
As an avid skier, global warming affects me specifically because of the gradual lack of snow that has been plaguing central Pennsylvania’s ski hills. It was so bad that last season I packed up my things and moved out to Colorado to work and ski there. But even there, the beginning and ends of the season are getting worse and worse. There was a major freeride (jumps and tricks and stuff) competition on December 8th, and there was just not enough snow. The crew blew snow on it for a week straight, and still had to cancel the halfpipe completely, as well as remove one of the three jumps so that they had enough snow for the rail section. Soon after however, we started getting snow, and lots of it. One week in January brought in over four feet of snow! It was a great time, but looking out over the white expanse, it reminded me that this view was one worth preserving, so that others might share the same experience that I did.
This bike ride is the perfect step towards, as Bill Nye calls it, “saving the world” (if you haven’t seen his new show I highly recommend it; the first season is on Netflix). It is exactly what I described in my opinion of the perfect world, a group of people hailing from different religions and walks of life coming together as one to fight a common enemy: climate change.
Climate change is a huge issue with very severe repercussions if it is not dealt with soon, but what worries me the most is that those repercussions multiply the longer action is delayed. As of now, the ocean is expected to rise up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) by 2100, a number that could increase further if no action is taken. If the two centigrade limit of global warming is reached, scientists predict sea levels could rise anywhere between 10 and 40 meters (33 to 132 feet)! I don’t want to live in a world where much of California and most of the South gets submerged in water, not to mention Mexico and many South American countries being in severe danger as well. Worse, I don’t want my children and grandchildren to grow up not believing in Santa because the Arctic no longer has ice for much of the year, so his workshop would be at the bottom of the sea. And finally, even worse than that: the knowledge that I could’ve done something about it, and didn’t.
To me, this ride is only the first step in the process of bringing together the world and fully stopping climate change. But it is a step nonetheless, and I am hopeful that it can inspire others to take action as well.
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