Winning the War on Climate Change
Although victory is far from guaranteed, we need to alter our country’s mentality in order to achieve any progress
Viktor Tesarczyk — St. Paul, Minnesota
The idea of global warming is actually quite overwhelming. According to experts, the end is drawing nearer and nearer every day. Time is ticking, but people (you, me, and everyone else), can’t seem to make sufficient progress.
We are accepting our fate.
I remember the first time I learned about climate change. I was in my room watching a scientific TV show on PBS about how climate change IS real and the world IS getting warmer. The key words in this TV program stuck out to me, even as a little kid, because they repeated it over, and over again.
“We need to do something about it. The time to act is now. ”
The importance of this? We are in March of 2016 and when I turn on the television, these same words that I heard when I was little are repeated just as much as before. At this point, this reiterating phrase about how change needs to happen will only end when WE end. Enough with the procrastinating, let’s get down to business.
This was the year where the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius published an idea that as humanity burned fossil fuels such as coal, which added carbon dioxide gas to the Earth’s atmosphere, we would raise the planet’s average temperature. Although the conversation of having an INHABITABLE planet was not as much of an issue in his time, the idea itself has been tossed around for over a century. Yet, in 2016, we still come across the fact that our End is coming.
What the “End” would look like
According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), if greenhouse gas emissions remained at the levels recorded in 2000, the Earth would continue to warm by 0.1 degree Celsius every ten years. You may think that this small of a degree change won’t do anything at all, but there’s a cause and effect for everything, and this “miniscule” change is simply left ignored from people’s consciouses. Here’s a good example of what I’m trying to say:
Global warming is already causing changes in weather patterns and if it continues, these changes will become much more severe.
“Global warming is bringing more frequent and severe heat waves, and the result will be serious for vulnerable populations”
said Dr. Amanda Staudt, National Wildlife Federation climate scientist.
“That means air pollution in urban areas could get worse, bringing increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks. Children, the elderly, poor, and people of color are especially vulnerable to these effects.”
Putting this into perspective, by 2050, there will be even more 90 degree summer days. The point is that people will eventually get used to this weather, and continue with their lives — worrying about what will happen to the world in following years. This pattern has been going on for the passed 120 years, and people will continue to ponder why we haven’t found a solution.
There’s no question that climate change is a one of the biggest political issues in the 21st century. Personally, it definitely ranks up there in terms of its importance to our country, and every other country. Why? It feels inadequate to say that climate affects everything, it pervades us. Materially, and more importantly existentially, the climate determines what it’s like to have a body on this planet. Every consideration for the future, whether it’s economical, security related, and international, all stems back to climate.
That being said, some of the people attempting to LEAD our country apparently don’t believe in this. The facts are formulated into outrageous ideas, and for some reason, a majority of the public seems to see reality behind their words.
Funny, isn’t it? Believe it or not, this man is a few steps away from being the most powerful human in our country. If he does, all people that were sarcastically favoriting this tweet are going to wonder: “Did this really just happen?”, yes it did, and climate change happened too — thanks to us. This isn’t a topic that’s supposed to be satirically amusing, or one that we should just blow by as something the government can do on its own.
Everyone has their part in the change.
Using Donald’s baffling tweet about climate change, we can safely say that people look up to people who have power. Their voices stretch vastly across our planet more than one would think, and sometimes even changing ones views on ideas all together.
That being said, I’d like to congratulate Leonardo DiCaprio on his Oscar win for Best Actor in 2016 — not only for his performance in The Revenant but more importantly for his speech.
OSCARS 2016 : As sure as the sun, the moon, and most basic laws of modern physics, Leonardo DiCaprio has won the Academy…youtu.be
DiCaprio’s words are more truth than anything, and he reiterates my argument by saying change needs to happen immediately. From his speech, my mentality of climate change that seems to be always forgotten, was revived. Hopefully from this essay, you will take away that change IS possible. The little things that could be easily missed from picking up bits of trash you see on the ground, to voting for a presidential candidate who sees our planet’s future as a priority — shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Critics may argue that we are doing the best we can to make change, and that the majority of the planet believes that climate change IS real.
As you can see, since 2010, there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of Americans who believe that climate change is actually happening.
But the purpose of this essay is not to say we’re doing better, it’s to say we can do better.
When looking at the graph, your conscience tells you that we are making progress, which is true. But as time goes on, we start to forget the fact that this increase in temperature was because of US; Not the world magically aging every single day, and thus accepting our end as a species like the “end” of an old person.
As talked about by DiCaprio,
we need to listen to people who’s voices are “drowned out” by those filled with greed.
This is our planet and we should not take it for granted.
Vital Signs of the Planet: Global Climate Change and Global Warming. Current news and data streams about global warming…climate.nasa.gov
It's not enough to let the market handle it or depend on geo-engineering. Please consider disabling it for our site, or…www.theatlantic.com
Environmentalists warn us that apocalypse awaits. Economists tell us that minimal fixes will get us through. Here's how…www.theatlantic.com
Yet actually achieving 1.5 degrees will be extraordinarily difficult. Speaking to The Atlantic Monday morning from…www.theatlantic.com
"Human kind ...cannot bear very much reality." -T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton It's been over a year since polling data found…www.alternet.org
The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.nca2014.globalchange.gov