According to The Guardian, a new report in the journal Environmental Research Letters finds that America’s national parks are warming twice as fast as the average for the country and could suffer some of the worst effects of climate change. The country’s natural treasures, such as Joshua Tree, Yellowstone, and Glacier national parks, could become uninhabitable to native plants and animals and “could be rendered virtually unrecognizable by climate change.”
But why are temperatures in America’s national parks rising faster than in other parts of the country? The parks are in vulnerable regions that are warming faster, such as the mountains, the Arctic, and parts of the Southwest.
Patrick Gonzalez, lead author of the study and climate scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, said:
We are preserving the most remarkable ecosystems, and they happen to be in extreme environments.
The destruction of what is known as “America’s best idea” is truly tragic.
Sadly, as The Guardian points out, the Trump administration has overturned past efforts to slow climate change. The Department of the Interior, which houses the National Park Service, “nixed a policy that would have urged management decisions based on science, including climate change research.”
If we don’t take action now to curb carbon emissions, scientists warn, the planet faces disastrous consequences. In fact, a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that we might have as few as 12 years to cut global emissions by 45 percent to prevent global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and avert a catastrophe.
And while not everyone can afford an electric car or solar panels, there is something we can all do: go vegan.
You see, animal agriculture is one of the leading contributors to climate change. Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits. In fact, even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565-gigaton CO2e limit by 2030.
There is no such thing as “sustainable” meat, dairy, and eggs, and plant-based alternatives take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.
But a vegan diet isn’t just good for the planet; it also spares countless animals a lifetime of misery at factory farms. Pigs, cows, chickens, fish, and other farmed animals suffer horribly. From birth to death, these poor animals are caught in a nightmare: cruelly confined, brutally mutilated, and violently killed.