Suspension of Disbelief: The Tangible Effects of Climate Change We're Already Feeling

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Suspension of Disbelief: The Tangible Effects of Climate Change We're Already Feeling

Science fiction has a plethora of ideas about what happened in the past and what to expect from the future. Unfortunately, not all of those ideas are exactly plausible in reality. In Suspension of Disbelief, we’ll take a look at the best ideas from sci-fi movies, books, comics and videogames to see where (and if) they intersect with the real world.

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Post-apocalyptic stories are some of the most popular in fiction. Movies like Mad Max, Snowpiercer, and The Road are so captivating and intriguing because they offer a look at how humanity might react and behave if the world was effectively ruined. But it’s strange that a genre that we’re so entertained by is, at this point, a scientific inevitability.

Almost without fail, every month sets a record high temperature and every year is hotter than the one before it. By 2100, the Earth’s average temperature could rise as much as 6°C. That may not sound like much, but it would be disastrous for life all over the globe. Species will go extinct, cities and towns will be destroyed, and millions of people will be displaced from their homes.

In order to avoid that catastrophic climate change, the United Nations has said that we need to keep the warming below 2°C. As things stand now, 2°C of warming is our best case scenario. Changing the behaviors of 7 billion people, many of whom profit off of the continued use of the very fossil fuels that have gotten us into this mess, is an overwhelmingly difficult task. But if we act now and act decisively, we can fix the mistakes we’ve made.

The fallout of climate change sounds like somebody else’s problem, someone who lives 100 years from now. The problems feel too distant, too intangible, too speculative to be treated as serious, immediate concerns. But that’s not true. Earth and the people, plants, and animals that live on it are feeling the effects of global warming right now, and it’s more than just an unusually warm winter. There are major changes happening to our climate that are already altering coastlines, killing animals, and causing billions of dollars worth of damage. Click through the gallery to see the real, tangible toll that climate change is taking on our planet.

Hailing from upstate New York, Cameron Wade is a freelance writer interested in movies, videogames, comic books and more. You can find his work at protogeektheblog.wordpress.com.