By Daylin Delgado
Humans have been able to create marvelous structures and develop unimaginable technology. They have become creators while becoming destroyers: these advances present drawbacks. The creation of these increasingly common objects require energy and most of it comes from fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels, though efficient and providing the necessary energy for current lifestyles, have negative effects upon the environment. These effects are seen, not only in the collection and processing of the materials, but in the emissions and waste which add pollution to the atmosphere.
Most of this pollution becomes trapped within the layers of the atmosphere that are responsible for trapping and filtering heat from the Sun and Earth’s surface. As human activities increase, so do the greenhouse gases which trap more heat than the earth is suited for.
Global temperatures are on the rise with every year being labeled as the hottest year on record. With this climate change, ice caps have begun to melt quicker than they are predicted to and sea levels have begun to rise at alarming rates.
Southeast Florida Regional Compact Climate Action Plan predicts sea levels will rise six to ten inches by 2030 and as much as 61 inches by 2100.
Being a coastal state with the majority of the land at or just barely above sea level, Florida has begun to draw up plans and take precautions for what is to come: Fort Lauderdale raised the height requirements for sea walls and the elevation of homes, Delray Beach added valves to prevent seawater from seeping into the drainage system, Broward County created new flood maps and proposed plans for residents to use solar energy.
As flooding increases in the Florida, the lives of residents as well as the prosperity of business will suffer. Residents will need to relocate or risk losing many of their possessions to floodwaters, especially beach homes and neighborhoods near the coast. Businesses, mainly tourism-based ones, will be unable to offer services because less people will want to visit with the looming danger of flooding.
However, the problem extends far beyond Florida. Climate change is a global issue which means it’ll take a global effort to slow down temperature increases across the globe and help protect flood-risk regions like Florida.