The new Timelapse feature on Google Earth lets you view the physical changes of the last 3 decades anywhere on the globe. Seeing how your neighborhood or city has developed since 1984 is fun, but the view becomes much more serious when you look at glaciers, or watch the northern coast of Asia – the pure whiteness of 1984 has faded to brown by 2016.
Timelapse emphasizes the disastrous effects of climate change right on your computer screen. What were ice caps are now expanses of water; former forests are now domains of deforestation and drought. How to slow and then turn back climate change is the challenge of our time.
We have already begun to see how climate change is increasing illness, worsening water access and food scarcity, and turning entire populations into refugees. Professionals in the American Public Health Association have declared 2017 to be the Year of Climate Change and Health. The EPA provides tips for reducing pollution at home, work, school and on the road on their website, such as utilizing green energy sources and recycling. National activist groups like 350.org and local ones (here in the Bay Area we have the Sunflower Alliance, and Citizens Climate Lobby has over 360 local chapters around the world) are finding ways to fight back. Visit More Than Scientists to find a more complete list of organizations.
And in over 5 languages, environmental activists, community leaders and health promoters are using A Community Guide to Environmental Health to provide the tools, knowledge, and inspiration to begin transforming their local crises in environmental health. It combines illustrations and diagrams with instructions and strategies for addressing a wide range of environmental hazards, from deforestation and mining, to water purification and preservation. Most importantly, it provides the encouragement and know-how to begin making change where you live.