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.
Well good news, because due to climate change the migrant “crisis” is not going to suddenly stop. Research has already shown that men in Pakistan are 11 times more likely to migrate when the temperature starts to climb, and with month after month smashing temperature records, and food stability in many parts of the developing world already looking shaky, migration is only looking likely to increase further.
Fresh water aqueducts are being depleted faster than they can be replenished, putting access to fresh water at risk for millions of people. R_Tee/Shutterstock
4. You don’t need clean, fresh water. None of us do, really
We only need it for a few of life’s essentials like drinking, washing, and farming. Already 1.6 billion people are estimated to live in a region of water scarcity, so what’s an extra 1.2 billion others to add to this by 2025?
The shifts in the global climate systems and warming of the air may well result in more rainfall overall, but paradoxically this could lead to some dry regions becoming even more parched. With 50 percent of the world getting their water from underground aquifers, you might think many would be alright, but reports suggest that over half of these are being drained quicker than they’re being replenished. Which is totally fine, because we didn’t need it anyway.
Storms, such as hurricane Felix seen here from the ISS, are expected to increase in their intensity. NASA
5. Your favorite pastime is storm chasing
Can’t get enough of the thrill of chasing storms across the Southeast of the United States, with the rain beating against your vehicle and the wind thrashing at the trees? Well that’s good, because now you’ll be able to get out and chase far more ferocious storms.
As the air warms it can hold more moisture, and coupled with higher ocean temperatures it will produce the perfect conditions for an increase in the number and power of superstorms. Sure, this could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths. But think of the photos you'll be able to take!