This is the new Reality Drop. No games, just truths.
MYTH #71: It's not bad


So what if there's a little climate change? What's wrong with a couple extra days at the beach?


More extreme weather, rising seas, and escalating risks to our health. That's what we can expect as climate change gets worse.

Climate change isn’t just bad for polar bears. It’s bad for humans — for a lot of reasons. First, climate change increases the risk of extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts, and intense storms. Rising seas are already damaging homes and businesses near the water. But it doesn’t stop there. When it’s hot, the quality of the air we breathe gets worse, and that's a threat to our health. Ocean acidification, the result of oceans absorbing excess carbon pollution from the air, could destabilize fisheries and much of the oceanic food chain. It's widely believed that climate change will encourage the expansion of disease-bearing pests into new areas, like the ticks that carry Lyme disease. Wherever we live, climate change poses risks to both our economy and our way of life — and the time to start solving this problem is now.

Additional info from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Because global temperatures, precipitation, sea levels and the frequency of some extreme weather are expected to increase, climate change could affect you in many ways. Our health, agriculture, forests, water resources, energy, coasts, wildlife and recreational opportunities will all react to climate changes. 


Longer, more intense and frequent heat waves may cause more heat-related death and illness. There is virtual certainty of declining air quality in cities since greater heat can also worsen air pollution such as ozone, or smog. Insect-borne illnesses are also likely to increase as many insect ranges expand. Climate change-related health effects are especially serious for the very young, very old, or for those with heart and respiratory problems. 

Agriculture and Forestry

The supply and cost of food may change as farmers and the food industry adapt to new climate patterns. A small amount of warming coupled with increasing CO2 may benefit certain crops, plants and forests, although the impacts on vegetation depend also on the availability of water and nutrients. For warming of more than a few degrees, the effects are expected to become increasingly negative, especially for vegetation near the warm end of its suitable range. 

Water Resources

In a warming climate, extreme events like floods and droughts are likely to become more frequent. More frequent floods and droughts will affect water quality and availability. For example, increases in drought in some areas may increase the frequency of water shortages and lead to more restrictions on water usage. An overall increase in precipitation may increase water availability in some regions, but also create greater flood potential. 


If you live along the coast, your home may be impacted by sea level rise and an increase in storm intensity. Rising seas may contribute to coastal erosion, coastal flooding, loss of coastal wetlands and increased risk of property loss from storm surges. 


Warmer temperatures may result in higher energy bills for air conditioning in summer, and lower bills for heating in winter. Energy usage is also connected to water needs. Energy is needed for irrigation, which will most likely increase due to climate change. Also, energy is generated by hydropower in some regions, which will also be impacted by changing precipitation patterns. 


Warmer temperatures and precipitation changes will likely affect the habitats and migratory patterns of many types of wildlife. The range and distribution of many species will change, and some species that cannot move or adapt may face extinction. Recreational opportunities: Some outdoor activities may benefit from longer periods of warm weather. However, many other outdoor activities could be compromised by increased beach erosion, increased heat waves, decreased snowfall, retreating glaciers, reduced biodiversity and changing wildlife habitats.