We’re going to kill the planet way before we kill ourselves

Cities like Dubai, New York and London could be underwater relics in the near future.

Meryl D'Souza April 6, 2016

The Jungle Book (both the 1967 and this month’s movies) has a scene that really hits you deep.

Bagheera: His name is Mowgli, and I'm taking him back to the man village.

Baloo: Man village? They'll ruin him. They'll make a man out of him.

It’s hard not to imagine animals communicating along the same lines in today’s world. Mankind just ruins everything. It’s all we’ve ever done.

On March 30, The New York Times wrote about how the West Antarctic ice sheet, a remnant of the last ice age, is a sword of Damocles over humanity. To put that in millennial terms, humanity is one Littlefinger moment away from ending up like Ned Stark.

According to the report, the ice sheet, that’s larger than Mexico, is disintegrating due to global warming and could raise the world’s sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up completely. Initially, scientists estimated it would take hundreds, maybe thousands of years. But evidence suggests we’re getting there much sooner than anticipated.

To give you perspective, should that ice sheet melt, the planet we currently inhabit will turn into an overflowing toilet bowl and all our great cities – New York, London and Dubai – could go down the Atlantis route. Purely for idiot-proofing purposes: the oceans will swallow those cities.

At the very least, the accelerated rate could raise the ceiling for sea level rise by 2100 from scientists' previous estimate of three feet to five or six. So like it or not, your great, great, great, great, great grandchildren won’t like your beach house idea as much as you currently do.

The danger is here and now

But let’s be honest. You’re selfish. And after reading the number of greats in that last line, you heaved a sigh of relief. But you shouldn’t feel so safe just yet. The ice caps melting may be a ways away, but climate change is killing people even as you’re reading this. 

Days after The New York Times report, The White House released another one looking at the current health impacts of climate change.

“When people think about the public health impacts of flooding, they think about people drowning. One of the things we learned from the report is that’s the tip of the health iceberg,”

 —Stephanie Herring, a climate scientist at NOAA, and one of the authors of the report.

The report is not a pretty sight. The report claims the future of mankind will see more of food and water contamination, increased asthma rates and rise in the death toll due to heat exposure. But it’s not just physical illnesses that we have to deal with. The climate change repercussions can cause issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Even your unborn kids are not safe

A climate change doesn’t just affect you. It even has implications on you’re your unborn kid. You’ve probably heard of the Zika Virus. If not, it’s a vector-borne disease that causes underdeveloped brains in your babies. Moreover, get ready to see a rise in Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

It’s safe to say that by this point, like Donald Trump, if you deny the threat of climate change, you are a threat to your species.