As we're sure you all know by now, climate change is happening, and it is almost certainly due to us. The burning of fossil fuels since the late 1800s has put more carbon into the atmosphere at a rate not seen since the age of the dinosaurs.
All the events talked about below, while sounding dramatic, have all been predicted to occur to varying degrees over the next century, and unless something is done soon to curb our greenhouse gas emissions as a planet, things look set only to get worse. As they say, every little helps, and there are plenty of small changes you can make every day that will help to reduce your impact on the environment.
But if you're not worried about any of that, well, here are five reasons not to care about climate change
1. You never really liked animals much anyway. Especially not those snow leopards
Well that’s good, because as we’ve entered a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene, one of its defining characteristics is the mass extinction of species.
In fact, we’re so good at driving species that have been around for millions of years off the cliff of extinction that we’re doing it at a rate some estimate is 1,000 times faster than natural. Go us!
Animals have already been seen changing their ranges in response to climate change, such as red foxes pushing further and further north as the northern regions warm, out-competing their smaller Arctic cousins. Animals living on mountains are also having a hard time, as they have to shift their distributions further up the slopes chasing their ideal environmental range. Eventually, snow leopards will simply have no place left to climb. Good.
As sea levels rise, not just cities, but entire countries will be submerged beneath the waves. Andrii Zhezhera/Shutterstock
2. The idea of basically wiping entire countries off the map fills you with joy
A palm-fringed tropical idyll in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is many peoples' idea of paradise. But as sea levels are set to rise, the lowest lying country in the world doesn’t look like it will last much longer, so you’d better grab your passport and visit it quick!
Yet it is not only the remote Maldives who look most likely to suffer, there are plenty of other island nations to see before they die, from the Philippines to the Seychelles. And if getting rid of countries is sounding a little too extreme for you, how about just submerging a few cities? Let’s start with Mumbai, and build our way up to Miami. If things get really out of hand and the world warms by an average of 4°C (7.2°F), we could be looking at a sea level rise of a terrifying 10.8 meters (35.4 feet).
As food insecurity grows due to a more unpredictable climate and more extreme weather, human migration is predicted to increase dramatically. Judd McCullum/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
3. You're super excited about the idea of welcoming climate refugees into your country and home.
As the spread of far right politics across much of Europe attests, from the National Front in France to Pegida in Germany, people love migrants. Rather than putting up fences and turning boats away, nations around the world are opening their arms to people fleeing war zones and terrorism.