It's Cold Outside. Should I Still Care About Climate Change?

It's Cold Outside. Should I Still Care About Climate Change?

Don't lose sight of the bigger picture of global climate change.

Temperatures are starting to drop. The holidays and snowfall are just around the corner. Climate change and global WARMING can be a challenging issue to tackle when your teeth are chattering. Yet, it's still an issue that we need to be aware of even in the colder seasons. There is still a global trend that we shouldn't dust under the rug.

In the midst of a broken world, where does the environment fit in?

There is a lot of debate centered on climate change, especially in today's world. However, what a lot of individuals may not realize is that a plethora of the aspects of climate change are truly heavily supported by scientific evidence. Global warming and Earth's rapidly changing climate has become such a politicized issue, which is rather unfortunate.nThere are many reasons why individuals don't feel obliged to help alleviate the issues that humans have installed upon the Earth. In a world where people don't have access to food, countries are threatened by war, individuals don't have a stable income or families don't have roofs over their heads, the integrity of the planet can seem pretty irrelevant. The pertinent piece of the environmental concern puzzle, however, is that these issues will become of immediate concern for the coming generation. It's extremely easy to brush off an issue that may not directly impact you in your lifetime. That's justified to an extent - This won't hurt me. Why should I care?

Why should you care?

Our society has the tendency to utilize this head-in-the-sand strategy. What happens when our children or grandchildren get hit with the outcome of what generations before have contributed to? Do we care? The fact of the matter is that changes are constantly taking place. You can watch the "vitals" of the planet change over time on NASA's website. You can examine the CO2 levels increasing in our atmosphere; you can see that the global temperature has skyrocketed; you can see the glacial ice sheets melt into near nothingness, and you can see the sea level rising at an alarming rate. Glacial ice has a high albedo, which means that it is reflecting harmful radiation away from our atmosphere and helps to protect the integrity of Earth's atmosphere. When these ice sheets melt, we are left with more water which has a low albedo and thereby absorbs more harmful radiation into our atmosphere. In addition, when that ice melts, water levels rise. Do we care that sea levels have the potential to rise up to 39 inches within the next century? The bigger question may be, do people comprehend what that kind of impact that change would have on our world?

What can really happen?

Three and a quarter feet doesn't seem like that much of a change. People must comprehend just how large our world's water and ocean basins are. If those bodies are rising by that much it causes huge changes in our surrounding environment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has published several findings and has made a number of projections about what could happen by 2100 if we continue residing on our planet as we are today. A geology professor at the University of Dayton, Dr. Goldman, summarized some of these findings in a lecture. Some of the most alarming impacts include a coastline retreat that would eliminate 30 coastal cities currently populated by 200 million people. Global climate change can also result in altered weather patterns and more extreme weather conditions that may compromise public safety and health as well as yield heavy economic damage. If there is a global increase in temperature, there is also a potential for a shift in agriculture where fertile fields may start to look more like desert regions, which can cause food disparities as well as economic stress. Global warming can also contribute to more heat-related deaths, a spread of tropical diseases into other climatic regions and an increase in vector-borne diseases.

Are there means of prevention?

It can be rather disheartening and almost depressing to think about the current condition of the planet and where it may be in the near future. Global climate change is a vast issue. Eventually, the planet will not be functioning in the same way that it is today. The changes are occurring at such a rapid pace it is an overwhelming task to try to stop it in its tracks. Our society has made great advances in the right direction to reduce its footprint on our environment. The United States has slowly started plateauing in CO2 emissions. The United States can still make huge advancements in renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, reducing deforestation and limiting urban sprawl. Newly developed countries such as China, India and Brazil are now starting to become huge contributors to CO2 emissions. It's challenging to combat international issues such as these because the United States developed through the Industrial Revolution and has gone through similar phases those countries are now experiencing. It is hypercritical to say that those nations should not advance and industrialize. However, our society has gained so much knowledge about how to utilize other renewable resources in order to have progression. There are ways that these countries can start to work towards these alternative ways of energy production in order to reduce the overall compromising of the planet's well-being.

What if we are past the point of prevention?

There are certainly prevention methods in order to slow the pace that humans are impacting the planet. There are a number of ways that countries and individuals can reduce their carbon footprint. Increased research in this field is absolutely crucial to understanding the breadth of the issue and how to make changes in it. However, the changes are occurring at such a rapid pace that it may be time to start thinking of adaptation methods in addition to research and prevention efforts. Adaptation is often much easier for those in a higher socioeconomic class. For example, individuals that are in a particularly at-risk area and need to relocate, need the funds to pick up and move to another region. Once again, global warming often becomes a highly political issue. The debate shouldn't be about whether or not there is an issue at hand. There is sufficient scientific evidence that shows there is clearly an issue. The debate comes in how we are supposed to handle the mess that we have put ourselves in.

What can our future hold?

While the future may appear bleak in the realm of global warming and climate change, there are still steps that can be taken at the individual, local, national and global levels. Small efforts should not be entirely discounted. In fact, small changes are often the beginning of larger scale progression. The biggest goal in the discipline of environmental protection should be to further the environmental literacy of today's society so that individuals can understand how large of an issue our world is facing. It is also important for people to understand how they perceive their moral responsibilities in regards to making the best future for children and grandchildren that will be experiencing the direct consequences of global climate change.

Cover Image Credit: National Geographic

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.

In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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10 Men That Will Change Your Mind About Hair Loss

It happens to the best of them, but these men look better with a bald head!


Hair loss is such a common thing for men to face as they get older. As a society, I feel as though we typically frown upon it. This is probably the case due to the amount of hair transplants and hair products to stop hair loss and start hair growth. However, there are some men who can make the hair loss turn into a great thing because of how good they look bald. So, I have found the best looking bald men (in my opinion, of course!) and put them all into one list for your viewing pleasure!


1. Will Smith

First of all, I am extremely bias because I believe that Will Smith is the best looking man on this planet (even my boyfriend knows this!). Second, Will Smith is not always bald, but when he is, he tops the list of all bald men. In his role of Deadshot in Suicide Squad, Will was rocking the bald cut and looked absolutely amazing while doing so. 10/10, would recommend.

Will Smith: Deadshot

2. Idris Elba

Once again, another man that is not usually bald but when he is, he sure does kill. Idris Elba is such a great looking man and has an even better sounding voice. What is better than a man with an accent that looks good bald?

Idris Elbaidris-elba-hairstyle

3. Dwayne Johnson

We all know that the Rock is a favorite among women. He is tall, handsome and has the big strong muscles. Not to mention he plays the sweet father role well and has a great sense of humor. But the most impressive part of him is that he can be bald and pull it off VERY well!

Dwayne Johnson

4. Morris Chestnut

Such a beautiful man with an amazing smile. I am not sure how someone could not love the appearance of Morris Chestnut. Did I mention his smile?

Morris Chestnutmorris-chestnut

5. Shemar Moore

Another man with no hair that steals the show with a great smile is Shemar Moore. His bald head stands out in a great way and I think it would be impossible to have this type of list without Shemar on it.

Shemar Moore

6. Kobe Bryant

Not only is the MVP of basketball but he might be the MVM (most valued man) of the bald men out there! Once again, another beautiful smile. Not to mention, he's extremely talented.

Kobe Bryant

7. LL Cool J

A singer and an actor, representing the best of the bald men out there. Such a beautiful smile (are we seeing a trend here?) and an even better looking man. Could not leave LL Cool J off of this list either.

LL Cool J

8. Tyrese Gibson

Another man who can definitely give a positive view on being bald and losing your hair, Tyrese has been doing the look justice for a long time now.

Tyrese Gibson

9. Vin Diesel

We all know him from the Fast and the Furious, but let's recognize that he is a great looking man, rocking the bald head look. We love the movies and we love him. Go you Vin Diesel, keep rocking out and winning over all of our hearts (and eyes!).

Vin Diesel

10. Common

What common lacks in hair on his head he gains in facial hair. I swear he has one of the best beards ever. Also, those freckles? Hello? So cute!


Hopefully, after seeing as these wonderful men absolutely slaying the bald look, you'll think twice about hair loss (whether you're a man or a woman!).

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