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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We Need To Get Over Our Fear Of Science Before It Kills Us

Lives are lost when we fear instead of think.

vdurgin
vdurgin
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Anti-vaxxers. Climate deniers.

They are all the butt of internet jokes and memes. They are the focus of (too) many news stories and TV reports.

And their ignorance is going to kill people.

Yes, I said it. People who outright deny the scientifically-proven, data-measured reality that is climate change are either influencing the decisions of politicians or are themselves politicians working to hinder any policy that addresses the global crisis.

From not transitioning to clean energy to removing the United States from international accords and everything in between, climate deniers are setting America further down a path that will only exacerbate our climate problems and lead to a very different planet for future generations.

The refusal of vaccinations is already wreaking havoc across America. Twelve states currently face a measles outbreak. An unvaccinated boy nearly died of tetanus in Oregon.

Disease outbreaks, especially outbreaks of illnesses thought to be eradicated in the U.S., are more common now than they have been in decades.

It is the 21st century and one of the most developed and wealthiest countries in the world is facing diseases it worked tirelessly to never deal with again.

Why?

And why is it still considered "okay" to deny climate science?

Because we are afraid. We are especially afraid of things we do not understand.

For many people, science is one of those things we don't understand.

People without a background in science might look at climate reports and not understand a single thing other than the fact that the world is seemingly going to end. Or maybe the only thing they can take away from wordy, technical reports is that we need to completely change every facet of society in order to avoid something 50 years away.

If there is one thing people fear as much as they fear what they do not know, it is change. The future also tends to scare people a lot.

The refusal to vaccinate children also stems partially out of a fear of science. When one report debuts about how vaccines cause autism, the public panics. Why?

Because many people don't understand how vaccines truly work, and we fear what we do not understand.

Now that fear has embedded itself within the minds of too many people, it is hard to explain how vaccines work, and how beneficial they are to society.

Which means our fight to protect the country from previously-gone diseases is really just beginning.

It also means our fight to save the planet from destruction isn't going anyway any time soon, either.

So, this also all means science education needs to exist before college. It isn't enough to have members of society trained as engineers or chemists or environmental scientists or doctors.

It is possible to teach climate science and the basics of how vaccines work, among many other scientific inquiries, in K-12 education. We should learn about our planet and our health from the time we learn about our times tables and our history.

The only defense against ignorance is education.

The only way to combat the societal fear surrounding science is to create a society that is educated enough to not fear the science in the first place.

We need to kill this fear before the fear kills us.

vdurgin
vdurgin

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