Climate change: It's real, folks.
Human activity is affecting our planet. Big time.
Although science says climate change is certainly happening, however, Americans are a bit less sure. In a Gallup poll published back in March, only slightly over half the country believes the effects of global warming are occurring.
That ... isn't good. Because, as Dana Nuccitelli wrote for The Guardian, when people are less certain of climate change, they're, of course, less inclined to fight it.
"Research has shown that perception of consensus is linked to support for climate policy. This is true along most of the ideological spectrum — when people are aware of the expert consensus on human-caused global warming, they are more likely to support taking action to solve the problem."
So, in order to convince your friend/dad/aunt/neighbor that climate change is not actually a vast conspiracy so that we can push progress along...
Here are 13 astounding images that reflect how drastically climate change has already altered planet Earth.
1. A critical water shortage in Lodwar, Kenya, is no joke.
2. The Passu Glacier in Pakistan is disappearing. Quickly.
3. Bedono, Indonesia, is no stranger to massive flooding...
4. ...Neither is Somerset, United Kingdom...
5. ...Or Fischbeck, Germany.
6. Brush fires, like this one in Lake Hughes, California, will be getting more and more common.
7. And polluted air, seen here in Wuhan, China, will make Earth warmer while hurting our health.
8. Isn't Greenland gorgeous? But wait ... there's a catch.
9. That big red blob in the Gulf Coast? Yeah, not good.
10. Vincennes Bay, Antarctica, is getting warmer (and wetter).
11. And Tehuacán, Mexico, is getting hotter (and drier).
12. Coastlines, like this one in Shishmaref, Alaska, are literally falling into the sea.
13. And Marree, Australia, is one hot place.
You just saw 13 depressing photos and feel hopeless and helpless and #OmgTheWorldIsEnding, right?
Don't feel that way!
The good news: People are increasingly waking up to the reality of climate change. Increased pressure on leaders to fight warming temperatures (both in the U.S. and abroad) has resulted in more eco-friendly policies around the world. And at the end of November, world leaders will gather in Paris for the United Nations COP21 summit with a mission to combat climate change for decades to come.
So what can you do this very moment? Fight oil drilling in the Arctic. Put more pressure on the president to make climate change action a top priority. Or learn how to live a little bit greener every day, just by doing the simple things.
The problem of climate change can seem overwhelming. But it's problem we created, and it's a problem only we can fix.