Despite What Trump Believes, Climate Change Is Coming For Us

Despite What Trump Believes, Climate Change Is Coming For Us

It's time we face the reality that is global warming.

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Let me start off by saying that I like to stay fairly moderate and unbiased when it comes to talking about political issues. In my opinion, climate change is definitely one topic that should be bipartisan but unfortunately is not.

Recently, Donald Trump was asked about the current climate report that was put together by both US governmental agencies and other departments regarding potential impacts climate change will have on our country, both economically and environmentally.

He stated in the interview that he doesn't "believe" the impacts climate change will have on the world and that our country is the cleanest it has ever been.

Although it would be amazing if our country was the cleanest it has ever been, that is sadly not the case, and it won't be unless we make major changes.

I've had the opportunity to take a course at my university this semester solely focused on climate change, which has provided me with evidence to back up my previous thoughts about this issue. While most people won't understand temperature anomalies and climate modeling and how they relate to global warming, the main takeaway from the course is that climate change is already upon us, and it's coming quicker than we think.

Many people that don't believe in climate change don't understand that weather and climate are two different things. Just because it's cold outside during the fall doesn't mean global warming is gone, and just because one summer day happens to be 107 degrees in Colorado doesn't mean global warming is in full effect either. We really have to look at data over extended periods of time to see the impacts.

Because of Trump's ideas to pull us out of the Paris Agreement, which deals with climate change, and his obvious lack of urgency towards protecting our environment, we're in more danger than ever. Granted, this doesn't mean that tomorrow Miami is going to disappear from the United States, but the long-term effects will be huge on our earth.

Climate change can be hard to recognize because it's easy to define it as "just a forest fire" or a "small decrease in polar bears." It's the little things that add up. Australia, Ecuador, Malaysia, and, yes, the United States are the four countries that are prone to adding more species to the list of animals that are going to go extinct in the near future.

Hurricanes are becoming a lot more consistent. Monsoons in India and Africa are intensifying. Fires are becoming more prevalent from the lack of precipitation in desert climates. Our sea levels are projected to rise by at least half a meter by 2100. These things may not impact you and you may not believe them, but that definitely isn't going to stop them from occurring and changing the lives of millions.

We're already in the midst of a period of intense global climate change. We shouldn't be arguing over which countries are "cleaner" and which are "dirtier." Pretty much every country, but especially the more affluent ones, are producing greenhouse emissions, and let me tell you, climate change isn't going to pick and choose which countries to affect. Global warming is not a competition.

From the forest fires in California to the hurricanes on the East Coast to the reality that the overall temperature of Earth has increased by 1 degree Celsius, we have to start identifying these occurrences as what they really are: a change in our climate due to our carelessness towards our planet.

Unless we as humans make changes in how we treat our environment, our environment is going to continue to change the way we as humans live our lives.

Although it may take governmental power to combat the current climate change, we can try our hardest as everyday people to fix it. I'm sure the future generations would appreciate our consideration.

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11 Ways to Save the Great Barrier Reef

The reef is alive. So what do we do now?
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We've all seen the tweets. "The Great Barrier Reef is dead!" "Humans killed a 25 million-year-old reef, I hate humans." "We're so evil, how could we do this to the Earth?" Twitter and Facebook have exploded with comments not unlike these. What people don't realize is that the reef is still alive, but in deep trouble. It is now more important than ever for people to take initiative and take steps towards saving this important reef ecosystem. Here's how you can help.

1. CARE: Don't just assume other people will help!

Don't let yourself fall victim to the bystander effect. It is up to each and every individual to save the Great Barrier Reef, along with the rest of the world's coral reefs.

2. Conserve water to reduce runoff.

You may not live nearby the ocean, but dangerous chemicals can still find their way there through lakes, rivers, and streams. By conserving water, you will reduce the risk of runoff and therefore reduce negative effects on coral reefs.

3. Dispose of trash properly.

Disposing of trash properly will decrease the risk of it reaching the ocean where it can harm marine wildlife and throw off the natural pH levels of the ocean.

4. Carpool to reduce CO2 emissions.

CO2 emissions are the leading cause of climate change's quickening rate. By carpooling, CO2 emissions are decreased, slowing the rate of global warming. Slowing global warming will effectively reduce coral bleaching (the phenomenon that currently ails more than 90% of the Great Barrier Reef).

5. Only buy appliances with the Energy Star label to reduce Global Warming's effects.

Appliances with the Energy Star label are better for the environment.

6. Reduce the use of air conditioning and heating units.

By cutting down on the use of air conditioners and heating units, you are reducing HFCs. This will slow the rate of climate change.

7. Purchase LED light bulbs to slow climate change.

LEDs use up to 80% less energy than regular light bulbs. Conserving energy is an important step in slowing climate change.

8. Support the Clean Power Plan. https://secure.nrdconline.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=di...

This is a link to tell your government to support the Clean Power plan. Supporting this plan may convince government officials to take more steps towards protecting the environment. There are also websites similar to this one that petition government officials to take action.

9. Donate. http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/donations.h...

This is a link to donate to a foundation that will put money towards saving the Great Barrier Reef. Endangered Species International is a legitimate organization that uses the donations they receive wisely. Imagine the possibilities is everyone gave just a couple dollars!

10. Tweet about it. Post about it. Snap about it.

Spread the word about the Great Barrier Reef's demise. Get people to care. Make sure everyone remembers that coral reefs are still here, and they are in desperate need of our help.

11. Don't spread the idea that the reef is a hopeless case!

Above all, do not believe this is a hopeless case. Coral reefs can still be saved. Keep the hope!


The Great Barrier Reef is not dead yet. We still have time. Work on making your own contributions to save the coral reefs. It would be a shame to believe the reef is dead, realize it is still alive, and then do nothing. Do something. Make an effort to change the course of our planet. Do not let the Great Barrier Reef go without putting up a fight.

Cover Image Credit: Desmog

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3 Pointers To Reduce Waste In Your Home

It's not as hard as you might think!

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Americans are #1 on the list of nations that put out the most food waste. On ampleharvest.org, an organization dedicated to eliminating the waste of food, it is cited in a report released by the USDA that 40% of the U.S.'s food worth (estimated to an approximate value of $161 billion) was never harvested, was lost in processing, was thrown away in restaurants and homes, or was chucked to rot in America's landfills. A short list of tips that helped me severely reduce food waste in my home kitchen came from my time studying at the University Of Central Florida.

1. Take a second look at how you're food handling.

Clean handling.


By Alyson McPhee on Unsplash

When managing the fridge, produce should be kept clean and washed before being stowed. Keep your fridge fresh by using all-natural cleaners to avoid toxic chemicals and by washing preservatives off of fruits and vegetables before introduction to the kitchen.

Aside from what we're putting our food in, we should be conscious of how we portion our produce. Make a smaller serving than necessary, and take more if you are still hungry. No wasted food comes back. Food that ended up in the trash broke down among other pieces of waste where, when trapped in between them, the material rots and generates bacteria -feeding pulps. Like momma said, "there are children starving for that!"

Leftovers can be stored in glass containers or BPA-free, hard plastic containers. Plastic wrap can be replaced with organic reusable food wraps made up of paper, beeswax, or even small manufactured fibers. With an investment of about $20, one can completely avoid the monthly fee of about $5 for a new box of plastic wrap. If you manage to keep up with your purchase, within 4 months you will have saved about 560 ft. of plastic. The standard could be different for the restaurant industry, as plastic creates an excellent air-tight seal, but it should be on the list of products to replace within the marketplace in order to get rid of plastic.

Food waste is a leading problem globally. About one-third of all food in the world is wasted. It ends up lost in processing, scraped off of plates that have been bussed back at restaurants, or chucked into the garbage to find itself in rotting landfills. Food that is rotten attracts bacteria, and when food ends up in the garbage, versus in a belly or in the compost, it breeds many pests and keeps a cloud of rotting gasses and bacteria around it.

If we set a precedent to educate the people on where all of our trash goes and what it is like to be in those places, we can raise awareness about our current lifestyle and the direction it needs to change in. If we don't want to see the Earth overrun by pests or get hit with the brick wall of unpleasant gas that surrounds dumpsites, we need to change what we use. Plastic is cheap- that's all. I am not going to kill a company to transition out of plastic products into paper ones. It will kill the Earth if we don't, though. Guess what? We happen to live here. Either make the choice to change, or die in the slow gaseous and dead way that the earth will go if its humans who have industrialized the place don't fix it.

2. Monitor your to-go consumption concerning meals brought into the house.

"Über Eats is 1 minute away..."


By Olena Sergienko on Unsplash

By choosing to make simple habit changes you save yourself money in the grand cycle of food purchasing by reducing the store's production and packaging cost. When it comes to bringing food into the kitchen, I frequently ask others if they use reusable bags. By making the habit of returning them to the vehicle or leaving them by the door, we make the impact. You can use a cute paper sign or a sign and hook combo to designate an area for the reusable bags. By doing so, you give the items a special, useful space in your home. If you do not own any, I suggest you invest in some. It costs about one cent to create a plastic bag that has no place to go once the user gets irritated of it being around.

The lazy reality of plastic production has done something terrible for the Earth, in my educated opinion. Waterways are full of this repulsive, melting, coagulated polymer that has no way to be properly disposed of and no way to return to dirt. Landfills bein to cast shadows on our cities because plastic doesn't break into small enough particles until hundreds of years later. When the plastic degrades in those environments, the soil will most likely be useless.

Imagine, that plastic bag you used for the grand total average of 12 minutes, remaining on the earth for two of your lifetimes. Refer to BBC's Blue Planet II narrated by Sir David Attenborough to understand what's been going on with global plastic pollution if you'd like to see some of the effects of plastic on the earth environment post-disposal. The sheer amount of how much plastic is being produced shows that there is a blind eye being turned out of greed. Now the poor choices of industry behemoths have turned this matter into a consumer responsibility.

It is up to us as responsible consumers to invest in ways that businesses compensate us.

We use reusable bags. We buy Reusable straws or use sip lids. We invest in the

Metal straws?

Your own utensils?

The "luxury" of eating with disposable items is no longer in fashion! Express yourself and deliberate about which brands of reusable cutlery, containers, and bottles are your favorites.

Otherwise, you can ask your favorite local restaurants to consider going sustainable or degradable wit their packaging! not only will you have built a stronger relationship with your favorite restaurant, but you will have made a project that both restaurants and advocates can contribute to making a community have a smaller carbon footprint! Make sure the solution makes sense- no cutting corners with obviously plastic containers that need to be put through a special decomposition process to be biodegradable; instead, search for cardboard to-go boxes or paper cup-and-top fit bowls.

3. Re-evaluate your clothing expenses.

Denim that lasts longer than my thigh-rubbing season is factually always in fashion.


By Leighann Renee on Unsplash

Do you purchase cheap accessories like poor-quality earrings or plated necklaces? If only for a one-time wear quick-fix, I could recommend the thirteen-dollar necklace that's in-trend. Otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time or money by keeping accessories like that. It's like after a month of use, the item no longer lasts. For me, it's really difficult to part with a piece of jewellery that came unplated or glasses that don't look the way they used to after only digging their style for a month. I have learned that, over time, and to keep a more capsulated wardrobe, it's definitely worth the money to invest in more expensive and more durable products. A pair of sunglasses that cost anywhere from fifty to two-hundred dollars will actually protect your eyes from UV rays and will make you care more about your little, fashionable eye-protectors before you throw them into the back seat of your car.

The disposable fashion industry has siphoned money out of young women's pockets by selling us thin, easily breakable, non-integral fabrics and designs for a fast cash turn-over on outsourced textiles and labor. The amount of money one spends to stay in trend with the fast-paced fashion industry is in gross compared to how much shoppers can save by building a wardrobe of your own. Of course, if there is something on-trend that agrees with you, by all means, you should buy it. I am simply stating that once you have your favorite items, they should have the dollar-to-stitch quality that will last you for more than 6 months. Personally, I do not change much in weight over the year, so I can keep my clothing selections rather sporadic as far as which end of the closet I am grabbing from. If the case is not the same for you, then you get to have double the fun and maybe a different palette selection for the new season by keeping winter and summer capsules.

Also, another really important aspect of keeping waste out of your closet is buying clothing only when you need to! If shopping for clothes is something you entertain yourself with, the set a budget- and don't feel like you have to buy every time. You can save the money you budget from one month, where you're too busy to manage a closet, for another, when that new line of handbags is released. Really, budgeting is the answer to everything, but it is especially important to put a number cap in your head or notes to save for what is important, whether that is a vacation, or simply another purchase.

It's definitely a lifestyle change but it is SO much better for you and the environment.

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