The Cost of Comfort
“What is the use of a house if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?”
-Henry David Thoreau
Have you ever thought about how your overnight Netflix session influences our planet's health? Have you ever thought about how many animals must have died for a new fur coat from Dior only to feed the top fashion trends which no one buys anyway? Spoiler alert: 150 - 300 chinchillas. Have you ever thought about how driving our cars to work every morning contributes to polluting the planet?
It’s All About Choices
The comfort we have quickly got used to during all the centuries comes at a price. Each decision an individual makes has its consequences. From a single Snickers wrapper staying in Nature for a 1,000 years (bear in mind that more than 15 million of them are produced every single day) to a handful of shampoos made of coconuts harvested by an enslaved Pig-Tailed Macaque. How far does our addiction to comfort have to go?
We burn fossil fuels to produce energy, we enslave and kill animals to obtain resources for the fashion industry, we pollute the planet with an excessive amount of non-degradable waste and we deforest large areas for various types of production to the detriment of the planet - only because we want to buy pretty things and seek convenience in our daily routines. This all directly leads to killing animals and plants, and indirectly influences the natural processes leading to climate change.
Hands down, the time for Earth to take its toll is here and it’s streamed live!
The Impact of Temperature Shifts
Although some argue that the long-term shifts in temperature have been always present, it is important to say that since the 1800s humans indisputably took over the natural processes and became the main influence of climate change. According to NASA, without human intervention, natural processes would now push our planet toward a cooling period. But the reality is quite different, isn’t it? Since 1981, the average global temperature has increased by 2 °F (1 °C).
What Is the Outcome of the Ongoing Temperature Increase, You Ask?
The balance of the ecosystem will be disrupted, many species will not have proper conditions to survive, natural processes will be more unpredictable, glaciers will melt and sea levels will rise together with our fear and regret. For example, salmon need a temperature of water between 38 °F (3.3 °C) and 55 °F (12.7 °C) to spawn. But don’t be mistaken, salmon reproduction is only the tip of the melting iceberg as this all directly influences us too.
It’s Us for Whom the Bell Tolls Too!
With the increase of the temperature, according to a paper published in Nature Communications, the number of people living at risk from sea level rises will almost double to 410 million people in 2100. That’s not a small change in just 80 years. Imagine having no access to food or clean water. Imagine dying of heat stress or all the diseases that the heat will bring. If we want to avoid this so that our children don’t have to live in such an inhabitable place, each of us should start with small steps.
We all witness a gradual downfall of the beauty on our planet and the question is: “What else must happen before we realize it?
Can a Change of our Lifestyle Avert This?
One would say that one of the answers to climate change is a substantial lifestyle revolution either on global or individual scale. Be it cutting carbon emissions by using public transportation or a bike, be it minimizing the waste each household produces by learning how to create their own products without buying new ones from different continents with their carbon footprint and all the packaging, or be it lessening the overall amount of energy consumed. This all may seem as a logical and effective way to minimize the humans’ impact on the environment, yet there is a substantial obstacle in doing so. With the rising level of comfort we are reaching, the demands for a comfortable lifestyle are immense. In addition, we are under the pressure of capitalistic tendencies and the patterns of hoarding materials around us and using all of the contemporary technology which is supposed to make our lives easier deepens our addiction to fossil fuels, the worst contributor to climate change.
It really is about choices. What you do today determines what tomorrow will be like. This is something we all should think about.