It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who went outside in 2016 that it was the warmest one yet, but NASA and NOAA have confirmed it. That comes after the record-breaking 2015. The warming trend is highly disconcerting albeit unsurprising.
Despite the overwhelming evidence pointing to climate change with human activity as the chief cause, there are still holdouts who choose to ignore it. With climate-skeptics stepping into U.S. leadership roles this week, we should continue to use science as a basis for arguments that action must be taken if we are to avert global calamity that affects generations to come. Climate scientists, fearful of criticism that they are alarmist or that their work is flawed, tend to be overly conservative in their assessments of the adverse effects yet to come. Yet even the conservative estimates paint a pretty dire picture. If we stop discussing the science just because of a few individuals who choose to ignore it, though, we run the risk of convincing members of the general public just as they are beginning to feel the effects of climate change.
Action doesn’t need to be solely determined just based on science and the knowledge that the world is heating up, though. We can also look to our values such as being good stewards of the only planet we’ve inherited. Fiscal responsibility for households, businesses and governments can also be the basis for emission-reducing investments such as energy efficiency improvements or alternative transportation. When science is complemented with these values, much can be accomplished even with naysayers in charge.