Global warming isn't a magical phenomenon that may or may not happen at some future date; it's happening now, and it could destroy some of America's most cherished landmarks as it progresses.
A recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists highlights 30 sites — including New York's iconic Statue of Liberty — that are at risk of destruction or damage thanks to the myriad effects of global temperature increases. Here's what the scientists say about their findings:
The growing consequences of climate change are putting many of the country's most iconic and historic sites at risk ...
Today these sites face a perilous and uncertain future in a world of rising sea levels, more frequent wildfires, increased flooding, and other damaging effects of climate change.
We must prepare our cherished landmarks for these worsening climate impacts and take steps to make climate resilience a national priority. At the same time, we must work to minimize these risks in the future by reducing the carbon emissions that are causing climate change and its accompanying impacts.
If these disaster warnings sound familiar, it's because the vast majority of the world's researchers and scientists have been cautioning us about this for years, even as we reach a point at which the most serious effects of global climate change are irreversible.
Other landmarks at risk include: historic Jamestown in Virginia, Cape Hatteras Light House in North Carolina, and the Johnson Space Center in Texas.
The Statue of Liberty is, sadly, a notable symbol of how serious the global climate situation is, and it's also a handy metaphor. If we're at the mercy of a volatile Earth that's rapidly becoming less habitable, what kind of freedom do we really have?
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