Climate Change

Climate change has been a growing problem ever since the industrial revolution with the rise of factories and the use of fossil fuels. These infrastructures release an egregious amount of greenhouse gases through the burning of the fuels, which essentially increases the temperature at the earth’s surface and oceans.

To this day there is still debate whether humans are causing it or if it is actually happening. However, there is a lot of strong evidence. The NASA website on climate change evidence shows the result of studies that prove the increase of the average temperature around the globe, warming of the oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, among others.(https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/)

This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.)

Before this evidence, some people still doubt the evidence,which is what https://www.skepticalscience.com takes as its mission to debunk. This site reviews not only the scientific sources, but also the counter-arguments to these, and combines the two to dispel any doubts one may have about this topic. It’s a must visit for anyone who questions climate change.
Another point of contention is about the human influence on climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) is the main body when it comes to studies of this nature and it claims that our society is promoting climate change. However this is still being debated by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change(NIPCC), who claim that human activities have little to no impact in climate change, supported by scientific studies. Claims that this organization are biased are abundant, like the report on Climate science and Policy Watch, that shows that their “report is not a credible scientific undertaking, and the Heartland Institute has no credibility, scientific or otherwise.”

(http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2013/09/09/heartland-institute-nipcc-fail-the-credibility-test/)

Anthropogenic global warming and climate change is a serious threat to mankind. Sea levels will likely rise to the point where many coastal lands and cities are flooded. Rising temperatures and new patterns of precipitation may seriously impact food production and lead to massive hunger. Millions of people could die or have to move, leading to massive instability and suffering. In order to protect our quality of life, our economy, our species and civilization success and prosperity, we need to immediately start rethinking the incentives in our economy that lead to massive pollution and environmental damage. We have to reduce consumption of certain goods and services, possibly replacing them with greener alternatives, or revolutionize our technology to be much more efficient. We are the only ones who can save ourselves.

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Bee Aware

Bees are said to be an important agent when it comes to pollination. In fact, bees are not only vital to produce honey or wax, but also play a significant role in agriculture (Michener, 2000). So, when people say that if the bees’ population continues to decline, the world would suffer from a serious food crisis, we might get a little bit alarmed.

Through the last decades, bee population has been declining at significant rates. “In central Europe, estimated losses since 1985 point to a 25% loss of honeybee colonies, with a 54% loss in the UK” (Tirado, Simon, & Johnston, 2013)

One of the many causes behind bee colonies decline are pesticides. If farmers continue to use as many pesticides and insecticides as they can, it will ruin the source of pollen for bees.(Gross, 2019). Pesticides and CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) actually have a correlation.

Parasites are also among the causes of the bee problem. Many beekeepers report that the Varroa mite is a serious problem that they face. An infestation with this virus might lead to the colony decease. This organism attaches to the bee and sucks the blood out of bee’s body, making it weak and eventually die.

Climate change had to be on the list of threats to bees, since it affects all species on the planet. Starting with the plants, the changes in temperature, humidity, etc., can alter the plants’ behavior or even resulting in their death, and consequently one less source for the bees. Furthermore, bees are also sensitive to climate change(Conte & Navajas, 2008). If the weather is not appropriate, bees do not go out of their hives and will not produce nor pollinate.

As much as people may find it irrelevant, bee colonies extinction is very relevant to our society. They are responsible for a lot of activities that the “regular person” may not be aware of, but that does not mean it is a problem that we do not need to worry about. Being active on these issues is also what makes a good citizen.

References:

Conte, Y. L., & Navajas, M. (n.d.). Climate change: impact on honey bee populations and diseases. 13.

Gross, L. (2019, January 24). Pesticides Are Harming Bees in Literally Every Possible Way. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/pesticides-are-harming-bees-in-literally-every-possible-way/

Michener, C. D. (2000). The Bees of the World. JHU Press.

Tirado, R., Simon, G., & Johnston, P. (n.d.). Situation. Retrieved March 31, 2019, from The Bees in Decline website: http://sos-bees.org/situation/