In the age of social media, it’s easy for rumors and half-truths to circulate and gain traction. This can be risky on complex topics like climate change. That’s why we’re here to plainly debunk some of the most popular myths about climate change.
Myth #1: “Climate change isn’t real.”
Wrong! Climate change is very, VERY real, and it’s happening right now! The Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, primarily due to human activities like burning fossil fuels and clearing forests. If we don’t take steps to mitigate climate change, the Earth could warm by as much as 8.64 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. All hell will have broken loose by then (literally!) if we don’t act now.
Myth #2: “Natural cycles are responsible for climate change, not human activity.”
While it’s true that the Earth’s climate has changed naturally in the past, that doesn’t mean that human activity isn’t responsible for the current warming trend. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of leading scientists from around the world, has concluded that it is “extremely likely” (meaning there is at least a 95% chance) that human activity has been the main driver of global warming since the 1950s.
Myth #3: “We can just adapt to a changing climate.”
While adaptation is undoubtedly part of the solution, it’s not enough on its own. Adaptation efforts will become increasingly difficult and costly as the planet continues to warm—and they will do nothing to prevent future climate change from happening.
For example, migration has always been a part of human history, but in recent years the issue of climate migration has come to the forefront.
With global temperatures rising, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, making it difficult for people to stay in their homes. Climate migrants are those forced to leave their homes due to the effects of climate change, such as droughts, floods, and rising sea levels.
While climate migration is a global problem, it is most likely to affect poor and marginalized communities who lack the resources to adapt to a changing climate. In many cases, climate migrants are forced to move to overcrowded and unsafe conditions, putting them at risk of disease and violence.
We must take bold action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions if we want to stabilize the Earth’s climate and find ways to support those forced to migrate. Only by working together can we hope to address this growing crisis.
Myth #4: “There’s nothing we can do about climate change.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth! We can do many things to mitigate climate change, including switching to renewable energy sources, planting trees, and reducing our water consumption. Even small changes can make a big difference when billions of people work together towards a common goal.
Myth #5: “Only developing countries are responsible for climate change.”
Actually, developed countries like the United States are responsible for most of the historical greenhouse gas emissions that have led to global warming. But that doesn’t mean developing countries are off the hook—they’re still emitting large quantities of greenhouse gases, and their emissions are expected to exceed those of developed countries in the coming years.
Myth #6: “Climate change will only affect future generations.”
Wrong again! Climate change is already affecting people all over the world—and not in a good way. Rising temperatures are causing more extreme weather events, like heat waves and hurricanes; melting glaciers are resulting in rising sea levels, and changing weather patterns disrupt agriculture and access to clean water supplies.
These things are hurting people’s health, livelihoods, and well-being right now—not just in the future.
Myth #7: “Tackling climate change will hurt the economy.”
Actually, taking action on climate change presents a huge economic opportunity for countries all over the world—an opportunity that we shouldn’t miss. According to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, investing in clean energy could create over 24 million jobs by 2030 while also saving consumers trillions of dollars in energy costs over the next 15 years. That sounds like a win-win to us!
Climate change is a complex issue, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there about it. We hope this article has helped clear some things up! Remember: Climate change is real, human activity is responsible for it, and we can all do our part to reduce our impact on the planet.