Three quarters of a billion people is a lot of people.
And that's how many people, within the next 22 years, will almost certainly run low on water – a necessity of life – in just the regions whose rivers are supplied with water from the glaciers in the Himalayas.
"The glaciers of the Himalayas are melting so fast they will affect the water supplies of a population twice that of the US within 22 years, the head of the world's leading authority on climate change has warned."
And that's just the Himalayas and the rivers flow out of their glaciers toward South Asian regions including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. There are similar glaciers along the mountain ranges of western South America that supply water to other hundreds of millions of people – they are all at risk, too. We're even seen it here in the United States, with last year's drought in the West. Glaciers are changing in Europe, and the regions of Tanzania supplied by the famous "Snows Of Kilimanjaro," are drying up in ways that are creating serious drought problems for the people in those parts of Africa.
It means that hundreds of millions of people will be displaced, will starve, and will die. It means wars. It means famines. It means raging forest fires and the death of grasslands. It means the acidification of our oceans and the destruction of our ocean ecosystems. It means that we stand on the edge of tipping points that hurtle humanity toward extinction.
People around the world are already dying from global climate change. Wars are already being fought because of climate change. The Earth is changing before our very eyes.
There are solutions, ranging from a carbon tax to rapid transitions into alternative energy. We need to be pursuing them now.
The debate is long over. The world is waking up.