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Living in South Florida? Forget the Air Conditioner and Learn to Swim!
For many people, the topic of climate change is hotly debated in social and news media. It
seems that as global temperatures and sea levels rise, so does the level of the conversation. However,
for some, the conversation is not just small talk; it is a real concern. This is especially true for those
living in the southern half of the State of Florida. These residents should be very concerned—and
should probably learn to swim!
It is predicted that flooding, in part from rising sea levels, will make many areas uninhabitable. Higher
sea levels are the result of the planet’s increased temperatures which are melting the ice caps at the
Earth’s polar regions. The higher temperatures are the result of large amounts of carbon dioxide having
been pumped into the atmosphere for years, especially because of man-made activities. Producers
include gas-powered automobiles on the road, as well as the many oil refineries needed to make fossil-
fuel-based gasoline to keep all those cars running. Factories from the manufacturing industries are also
large contributors to greenhouse gases as they work harder to keep up with consumer demand for all
sorts of items they want to buy.
All of this contributes to what has become popularly known as the Greenhouse Effect. While
greenhouses might be nice places where some plants can grow, they are definitely no place for humans
to live in. However, many modern cities are slowly beginning to suffer the same fate for their residents.
There is no doubt that some areas will be affected more than others, especially those located at or near
the sea level, and especially those on the coast.
In Florida—which is the state with the longest seacoast in the continental United States—occasional
causes for flooding include rainfall from storms, such as seasonal hurricanes and daily passing
thunderstorms. Nature, however, isn’t the only trigger for rising sea levels. Man-made activities, as
mentioned above, also play a role.
As most everyone knows, South Florida, which has a tropical climate, is hot. That is one of the reasons
the vacation capital greets thousands of tourists, especially from up north, who come to frolic in the sun
and to escape from the cold winters where they live. It is odd then that in almost every South Florida
home, office, and shop, tourists will be greeted by a blast of cold air, compliments of air conditioners.
These air-cooling systems are also major contributors to global warming. Not only do they use large
amounts of electricity, but they can also leak additional greenhouse gases, needed for their operation,
into the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, in an area like South Florida, where warm temperatures are the norm, global warming
only makes matters worse. As South Floridians demand more and more air-conditioning units, just so
they can continue to live comfortably, global temperatures will continue to rise even further. It is no
surprise that at some point in the not-so-distant future, increased local flooding from rising sea levels
will eventually reclaim the area, forcing not only a climate emergency, but also a very human one,
For the statements below, answer T (true), F (false), or NG (not given) based on the text.Exit