Letter to the Editor: Our Freshwater is at Risk
By: Justine Rozenich
Dear Miami Herald,
Whenever we are thirsty, the answer is simple. We drink water. Water, the liquid that is so vital to us, surrounds us everywhere. But what about the day when that freshwater becomes scarce?
You might be asking yourself, why would freshwater become scarce? The reason is climate change.
Climate change not only brings about warmer temperatures. We are quick to forget it has other terrible effects, like the melting of glaciers, one of the most important global freshwater sources. Losing our freshwater to the mighty, salty ocean is the wrong path to go down, just because it is the unnatural destruction of a beautiful part of our environment. Furthermore, melting glaciers would cause rising sea levels, which would be bad for Miami, as a coastal city.
I think it is sometimes easy to say that it seems like our water is not in any danger whatsoever. After all, Miami is surrounded by water on all sides, so it appears like the city will always have access to water, no matter what. However, this is not the case. We are surrounded by water from the ocean, which is salty. Desalination, the process of removing salt from water to make it drinkable, is costly and takes time. Desalination will have great difficulty sustaining millions of people as their primary source for freshwater.
Based on the rate at which climate change is currently occurring, very soon in the future much of our freshwater will be gone. According to National Geographic, “By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity.” It will not be long after that that Miami residents are added to that number.
Poor communities are most at risk in this situation. Living in a capitalist society, the rich will obviously be the first to access freshwater once it becomes limited in the future, leaving the poor to suffer. Poorer communities will be exposed to major health risks if they do not have access to freshwater.
There is a clear way to stop climate change from becoming even worse. We need to unite as a society and take a firm stance against CO2 emissions produced by major corporations. These emissions build up in our atmosphere and trap heat, which is the primary cause of climate change. These corporations are getting away without much governmental regulation and are allowed to continue emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, further harming us.
In conclusion, if we want to save our freshwater, we need to take a stand against climate change immediately by standing up to our government and corporations. After all, what excuse do you have to sit idly and just watch?
Photo by Jens Johnsson from Pexels