How will climate change impact your life? Here's what USA TODAY Opinion contributors say.

·3 min read

Much of the country is at risk of flooding.

Homes, airports and emergency services such as fire departments and hospitals are all at risk of going under due to the effects of climate change, a report from the First Street Foundation warns this week.

The non-profit research group, based in Brooklyn, estimates that about a fourth of the country is in danger.

Infrastructure and climate change are topics people tend to gloss over. They sound like big picture issues that don't matter much to our daily lives, especially in the face of national crises like COVID.

Here's are some examples of why that's wrong.

Like COVID, climate change might ruin your vacation plans

By Jill Lawrence

"The air quality was hazardous. Then very unhealthy. Then back to hazardous. We had lists of best walks, hikes and places to see sunsets, but we couldn't go outside. Government agencies advised everyone to stay inside and limit activities. The haze was so thick that there was nothing to see, anyway."

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People will lose homes and businesses

By Camille von Kaenel

"In October, hundreds more Californians joined the ranks of those who’ve lost homes and businesses to wildfire as hurricane-force winds blew flames through the vineyards of Sonoma County and the chaparral on the outskirts of Los Angeles."

Flames consume a house near Old Oregon Trail as the Fawn Fire burns about 10 miles north of Redding in Shasta County, Calif., on Thursday, Sep. 23, 2021.
Flames consume a house near Old Oregon Trail as the Fawn Fire burns about 10 miles north of Redding in Shasta County, Calif., on Thursday, Sep. 23, 2021.

There will be power outages and deaths

By Katie Rock

"Last month’s polar vortex and other extreme weather events from the past year in Iowa and nationally have shown us the risks of continuing to rely on fossil fuels. As fuel lines froze, large volumes of gas and coal power plants were not able to operate during extreme cold putting millions at risk. Massive power outages caused millions of people, from here in Iowa down to Texas, to survive against the raw elements.

Some suffered and died due to hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, or fires caused by burning their own belongings for warmth. While some renewables were also forced offline, clean energy was largely more reliable than fossil fuels during this crisis. "

Landscapes will disappear

By Patti Davis

"I took it for granted then – the sweep of green fields after winter rains that fell for days on end, the way the land turned brown and golden in summer but would look like it was preparing for winter when Fall brought colder air and deep blue skies. There was a fire season, but it was only a couple of months, and the fires, when they came, were nothing like the infernos now which destroy hundreds of thousands of acres and wipe out entire towns."

For Gen Z, climate change is a clear and present danger to our planet

By Kiera O’Brien and Naina Agrawal-Hardin

"In Ketchikan, record-breaking temperatures and rainfall threaten the ecosystem Alaskans rely on for subsistence. In Tennessee, the risk of floods and even uncontrollable wildfires worsens every year.

In the world around us, climate change has altered the color of oceans, decimated homes and, recently in the west, set hundreds of thousands of acres on fire. The devastation of the climate crisis is clear. Yet the solutions to climate change that we learn about as young people have been inadequate or nonexistent."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Here's how climate change will change your life

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