SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Devastating tornadoes and storms, record cold and heat waves, rising sea levels and massive wildfires – they’re the effects of climate change happening right now across the US and around the world. You might not see anything different in your neighborhood, but polluted air, longer allergy seasons, higher food prices, and more illness from tainted food and water, are repercussions we’ll all share, as warned in a federal report out this week.
“We are kind of left to clean-up everyone else’s mess. It’s something that should be on everyone’s mind. What we leave behind for our children is going to impact everything else. It’s like a domino effect,” said Christy LaPlante from Westfield.
Beside the effect on our health, climate change has a real fiscal impact as well. Heat waves and droughts in 2011 and 2012 added 10 billion dollars to farm costs. And over the next century flooding alone is expected to cost $325 billion.
A recent Gallup poll found one in four Americans think the effects of climate change are a little exaggerated. If nothing changes, the report estimates temperatures will go up ten degrees this century.
“It’s obvious that it’s really happening. Look at hurricanes and everything around us. It’s the only planet we can live on. If we don’t do something immediately I think it’s going to be too late,” said student Saeed Alhamlan.
President Obama said the first step is to reduce greenhouse gas pollution; you can do that by using less water, recycling, and turning off electronics.