Hurricane Ida is the beginning of climate change-induced weather

Natalie Navarro, Opinion Editor

Twelve years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the state of Louisiana and destroyed everything in its path. The natural disaster cost a significant amount of lives and billions in damages.

Since then, many had hoped these catastrophic events only occurred once in a lifetime. However, those dreams seem to be washing away.

Hurricane Ida is a wake up call for what is to come if there is no immediate action against climate change. (Graphic by Mallory Arcena )

Eight days ago, Hurricane Ida reached the southern U.S.  as a category four storm. Within a week it created noteworthy destruction, even causing power outages across Louisiana.

Although  Ida moved on to the northern states, several Louisiana cities did not have power. Those lucky to evacuate before the storm are warned to not return for several weeks as government officials are unsure when power would be restored.

With the damages from Ida being considerably worse than Katrina, many question whether this will be the new norm due to climate change.

While some may disagree with this sentiment, the evidence is bleakly presented in front of us. Climate change is real and affecting  us now.

Climate change is also often interchanged with global warming, as the rising temperatures have caused harsh winters  and record heat waves. Sea levels have also been rising due to the melting ice caps.

Global warming is largely responsible for the severe droughts we are currently experiencing, as it seemingly rains less and less each year. Additionally, the rising temperatures are keeping the oceans warm, fueling tropical storms to be as powerful as they are now.

The effects of climate change on natural disasters have been more noticeable within the past few years. In California, the fire season extended from just a few months to year-round. Seasonal storms are more powerful and last longer. We now see cities evacuate because storms are deemed too dangerous to withstand.

Hurricane Ida is not an isolated event; it is only the beginning of the constant dangers we will experience due to climate change.

Climate change and global warming have been warned about for decades, as large corporations  are responsible for the excessive amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Recent research also suggests that we are on the cusp of irreversible changes, which could bring the human race to extinction.

According to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the temperatures will not only increase hazardous weather but also negatively impact agriculture. Food is critical to human survival and its impending scarcity would ignite pandemonium throughout the nation and the world.

With an increase in dangerous weather and lack of resources, we will see more city evacuations and mass displacements. We as a human race have placed  ourselves in a position where we cannot keep up with the times. Storms like Hurricane Ida are our consequence.

Of course, not everything is negative. There is a possibility for us to delay or mitigate the effects of climate change. However,  we have to act quickly.

In addition to reducing our waste and preserving resources, we must push industries to adapt their businesses to fit the climate. We have gone unchecked for far too long and the younger generations are receiving the brunt of the results.

Unless we want more Ida’s and possibly worse fires paired with severe droughts, we have to be kinder to the future Earth.

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos