5 New Victims of Climate Change (Plus 1 Winner!)
We’re kidding ourselves if we think climate change doesn’t negatively impact all of us, but given our relative collective inaction, it’s clear we still need a lot more education on the subject. Every day, new research emerges that pinpoints additional people, creatures, and things that will be changed for the worse by global warming. While alone these items may seem fairly trivial, compounded with every other negative consequence, hopefully it will strike a nerve and provoke genuine policy change.
Here are 5 newly discovered victims of climate change:
1. Beer Drinkers
Who likes drinking warm beer? Well, you better learn to like it! As a result of global warming, there is a growing amount of moisture in the air. When moisture meets a beer can, it forms condensation on the outside, which in turns warms up the beverage inside. With the planet’s temperature rising, beers will get warmer sooner than ever. Sadly, I’m sure we all know a few people who care way more about six packs than climate change, so be sure to share this news to turn them into environmental crusaders.
Scientists project that, thanks to climate change, the ocean’s waves will decrease by over 25% within the next century. As a result, surfers who enjoy riding these waves may find themselves without enough motion in the ocean. Additionally, climate change’s effect on seal levels will also ruin a lot of areas currently ideal for surfing. Talk about gnarly! (And I mean that in the worst sense possible.)
3. Turtle Genitals
No, really. The temperature at which painted turtle eggs are kept plays a key factor in determining whether babies become male or females. As the earth’s temperature rises, an increasing number of all-female nests are hatched, leaving an imbalanced gender divide. With things only expected to get much hotter, the fear is that male painted turtles will become a rarity, perhaps putting the entire species at risk for extinction.
4. People Who Don’t Like Drinking Sewage
I’m going to assume this label applies to most of us. Sewage treatment plants are – by design – constructed near existing waterways. That becomes a problem, however, when climate changes causes inclement weather and massive flooding. When a sewage treatment plant floods – again by design – rather than breaking, it lets out the excess content and the sewage leaks into those adjacent waterways. This isn’t just a scare tactic hypothetical, either. 11 billion gallons of waste flowed into the public water supply during Hurricane Sandy. Yuck.
Grapes used for wine are extremely sensitive to the temperature. In fact, a fluctuation of just one degree can mean the difference between a good and bad year for wine. As climate change makes the weather more unpredictable, it may have a drastic effect on not only winemakers, but also wine drinkers. Worse still is that as vineyards are relocated to find more suitable climates, it often comes at the expense of wildlife habitats. For example, in China, winemakers have taken over land inhabited by panda bears in order to grow better grapes.
Perhaps it’s time to stop being so pessimistic and focus on the positive side of climate change. There’s one group that is benefiting from the earth’s heating temperatures:
1. Oil Companies
Yes, oil companies have profited off the destruction of the planet, but this point goes beyond that fact. Now that the earth’s soaring temperatures have caused so much of the Arctic’s ice to melt, oil companies have a better opportunity to drill there. Experts believe that about 30% of the earth’s untapped natural gas supply is in the Artic, and now that this resource is finally unobstructed by that pesky ice, oil companies are prepared to pounce. Win-win for them! And lose-lose for every other living on the planet…