Last year, the United Nations warned that we only have 11 years to stop climate change, before it becomes irreversible. We are already feeling the effects of this and unless we act quickly, they’re only predicted to intensify.
One misconception about climate change is that it won’t bring much else than unpredictable weather. While that certainly would be (and already is) one of the consequences of a climate crisis, it is certainly not the only one, as changes in climate are likely to set off all kinds of disturbances which will impact on our everyday lives. We’ve put together those that are most likely to affect you – but the list is far from exhaustive.
More frequent natural disasters
Some areas of the world are more prone to suffering from natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, wildfires, tsunamis, hurricanes or tornados. Currently, the frequency at which natural disasters happen is already on the rise. As a consequence of progressing climate change, these disasters are likely to become more severe and widespread.
Expensive home insurance
One of the consequences of more frequent natural disasters is the rising cost of home insurance. That is because it will simply be more likely for people’s homes to be damaged or destroyed, especially in areas that are already hotspots.
Heatwaves will affect our ability to spend time outdoors
Spending time in the great outdoors is key to our health and wellbeing. However, as the frequency of heatwaves is expected to increase due to the climate crisis, we may be unable to get the much-needed outdoor time and sunlight. Exercising outdoors or even exploring nature may soon be impossible on an increasing number of days of the year.
Job loss for outdoor workers
But perhaps you don’t only spend time outdoors for leisure – maybe you work outside too. Construction and agricultural workers, miners or firefighters will be affected by this the most, as their job involves a fair amount of physical activity which will simply not be possible during heatwaves. The second question is: what will society do if these people can’t do their job?
Allergies will become more common and severe
Increases in temperature will prolong the pollen season, which will also extend the duration of many allergy seasons. However, allergies are not the only health issue that is likely to become more prevalent – others include heat exhaustion, heat stroke, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and more.
Higher electricity bills
As temperatures rise with progressing climate change, we will need to increase the use of air conditioning in our homes. This extra cooling will result in increased energy consumption and a higher electricity bill.
More blackouts and power shortages
It is also likely that as our demand for electricity quickly increases, the electrical grid will become overtaxed and more prone to collapsing. Less predictable weather and natural disasters will also result in their fair share of power shortages.
Less food variety, for a higher price
As seen in the recent Kiss the Ground Documentary, climate change has had an effect on supply chains. Food supply infrastructure and fertile land will be inevitably and drastically changed as crops which could be grown in some areas can’t bear the heat or temperature changes. Floods and other catastrophes will also likely take their toll, resulting in a lower variety of foods available in stores and higher price tags – especially for fresh produce.
Decreasing water quality
Aside from ocean levels rising and the ice caps melting, another consequence of rising water temperature is going to be an aquatic environment where bacteria and viruses are more likely to thrive. Aside from that, turbulent weather and an increase in storms and rainfall will also result in higher contamination levels, as it carries more pollutants from the streets or sewage runoff into water sources.
Travel will be less common, sometimes impossible
If you’re a traveller, you won’t be able to enjoy your hobby in the future unless we stop climate change. The rising temperatures are not just going to make some areas dangerously hot for us to be in, but also for planes to fly through safely. Floods could also cause severe disruptions to traffic.