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

Popular Right Now

10 Deadliest School Shootings in U.S. History

These are ten of the most savage attacks on American innocence.

School shootings in America trace back as early as the Settlers and Indians .

Over the years, attacks on schools have gotten progressively more brutal, senseless and deadly. Motives behind such occurrences are often blamed on social cliques and bullying or the perpetrators often suffer from mental illnesses or addiction.

Here are the 10 deadliest school shootings in American history:

10. West Nickel Mines Shooting

On October 2, 2006, milk-tank truck driver Charles Carl Roberts opened fire on a small Amish schoolhouse in Bart Township, Pennsylvania. Prior to going to the school, Roberts left a suicide note at home for his wife and children.

Roberts entered the one-room schoolhouse and ordered all the boys to leave, as well as one pregnant woman and three parents with infants. He ordered the remaining ten girls against the wall and held them hostage.

Sisters Mariah and Barbara Fisher, ages 13 and 11, courageously asked to be shot first in exchange for the lives of the other young girls; some were as young as six years old. Roberts killed Mariah and wounded Barbara. In addition, he shot eight out of the 10 girls, killing five of them.

9. Oikos University Shooting

43-year-old One L. Goh committed Oakland, California's deadliest mass killing on April 2, 2012, at the Korean Christian college Oikos University. Witnesses testify Goh stood up in his nursing class and ordered everyone against the wall at gun point.

One student recalls him yelling, "Get in line..I'm going to kill you all!" before firing. He killed seven people and wounded three others.

8. California State Fullerton Massacre

Custodian Edward Charles Allaway was reported as going "postal" on July 12, 1976 at California State University in Fullerton, California. The 37-year-old employee of the institute had a history of violence and mental illness, and was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

He was found insane by the judge of his trial for the murders. He called the police after killing seven people and wounding two others, and turned himself in. His motives behind the mass murder included him believing the university library was screening pornographic movies his wife was forced to appear in.

He is currently receiving medical treatment for his condition at the Patton State Hospital.

7. Red Lake Shootings

The Red Lake Indian Reservation in Red Lake, Minnesota will never quite be the same after events which occurred at the senior high school on March 21, 2005.

16-year-old Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather (a tribal police officer) and his girlfriend. He then robbed his grandfather of police weapons and bullet proof vest, before ultimately driving to Red Lake Senior High School where he killed seven people and wounded five others.

Weise took a total of 10 lives that day, including himself. He committed suicide in a classroom after exchanging fire with police.

Witnesses reported Weise smiled while shooting his victims and questioned multiple students about their faith before firing.

6. Umpqua Community College Shooting

On October 1, 2015, 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer committed the deadliest mass shooting in Oregon history. He killed nine people and injured seven others at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

He spared one person in the classroom he opened fire in, only to deliver a message to the police for him. Mercer was described as "hate filled" by those who knew him. In addition, he identified himself as a White Supremacist, anti religious and suffered from long term mental health issues.

Some theories behind the mass shooting were Mercer falling below a C average, putting him at risk for suspension, as well as him not being able to pay the tuition bill due.

He ultimately committed suicide after the attack.

5. Enoch Brown School Massacre

The Enoch Brown School Massacre is one of the first documented school shootings in U.S. history. On July 26, 1794, four Lenape Indians entered a Settler's schoolhouse in Delaware where they massacred school master Enoch Brown and nine children; they were shot and scalped.

Two children survived the attack and four others were kidnapped and taken as prisoners. This event is considered one of the most notorious incidents of the Pontiac War.

4. Columbine High School Massacre

High school seniors Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, may have not committed the deadliest school shooting in the U.S., but their killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado is considered one of the most infamous attacks in history.

It sparked numerous debates, including gun control, anti-depressant drugs and the influence social cliques, violent video games and bullying have on the mental health of high school students.

Harris and Klebold spent countless hours preparing for the events on April 20, 1999, which were documented in their "Basement Tapes." The tapes contained footage of the two boys having target practice with illegally obtained firearms, as well as a suicide message and apology to their parents.

Their ultimate goal was to be responsible for more victims than the Oklahoma City bombing, an event the boys idolized. The morning of the shootings, Harris and Klebold encountered one of their few friends Brooks Brown in the school parking lot.

Brown was one of the few students the shooters considered a friend; they told him to leave campus immediately because "something bad was about to happen."

Reports claim the boys targeted jocks, taunted people for their belief in Christianity and made jokes with each other while they killed their peers. Harris and Klebold took the lives of 13 people and injured 24.

They committed suicide in the library together.

3. UT Tower Shooting

On August 1, 1966, former Marine sharp-shooter Charles Whitman unleashed havoc on the campus of University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

Whitman positioned himself on the observation deck at the very top of the U.T. Tower; it was the perfect place for a sniper to have his pick of targets, considering you could see the entire campus from his vantage point.

He killed 14 people and wounded 31 others. Prior to his attack on campus, Whitman killed his wife and mother.

Post autopsy, it was theorized that Whitman's behavior might have been caused by a tumor found in his brain. Doctors and psychologists attribute the tumor to his impulsive, irrational behavior and his lack of a conscience.

This theory was supported by records of Whitman seeking professional help prior to the shooting for "overwhelming, violent impulses" he felt he couldn't control.

2. Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting

20-year-old Adam Peter Lanza is responsible for arguably the most senseless and brutal attack on a school in U.S. history.

On December 14, 2012 Lanza shook the town of Newtown, Connecticut when he attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza killed his mother, before entering the school where he killed 26 people and inured two others; the majority of his victims were children aging from five to 10 years old.

He committed suicide upon completion of the attack. This shooting in particular confused both the media and authorities, because Lanza never offered a motive or reasoning behind the murder of his mother nor the horrendous mass slaying of innocent children.

1. Virginia Tech Massacre

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia came under attack on April 16, 2007. Senior student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 17 more in two attacks – one in a co-ed dormitory, the other in the Engineering, Science and Mechanics building.

He is noted as committing the deadliest attack on a school in U.S. history.

Cho was previously diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder; among the tapes he personally mailed to NBC news, Cho expressed his hatred for the wealthy, compared himself to Jesus Christ and explained that he was forced to commit the mass shooting due to voices in his head.

Virginia Tech has held the number one spot as deadliest school shooting for five years.

Holocaust survivor Liviu Librescu was a professor in the Engineering, Science and Mechanics department at the school, who was famously remembered for using his body as a barricade against the door during the attack; Librescu was killed during the attack but managed to hold the door closed long enough for all of his students to escape out the window.

Cho ultimately committed suicide following the shooting.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Calling 911 Is Not A Joke In Our Towns

So Get up, Get, Get Ouuuttt

In the past week, there have been numerous stories about the abuse and waste of police resources on nonsensical issues.

The story goes like this. Person A ( White ) sees person(s) (Black) enjoying them self in a non-threatening and overall pleasant manner. Person A calls the police to "whiten" this whole situation up because they feel threatened. Ironically, if I had a dollar for every time I'd call the police because someone with a Confederate flag bumper sticker drove past, I would still have 0 dollars. Partially because I have more sense than to waste someone's time but also I don't have time for their stupidity.

The scenario would be far different if a minority called the police because they saw white people in a park. Using the Oakland woman's logic, it's safe to assume that the group of white people might be a neo-nazi gathering. When the scenario is presented this way, the end logic is that its wrong to discriminate and a bunch of possibilities they would be in a park. Why is it when minorities feel threatened, we're overreacting or paranoid; but when it comes to white people then there is a probable cause to their claims. This is a rhetorical question.

With the incident at Yale, how can you say the other student doesn't belong in her own dorm? Especially when you've seen her one documented other time in that semester. Also as a graduate student at a prestigious university, there is good reason to believe that your ass is tired. My school is like 100 levels below an Ivy League school and there are times I just want to pass out in a dark corner. Its safe to assume that the white student has slept somewhere she "wasn't supposed to" at any point during her schooling.

The world is turning into a storyline of Dear White People and much like the show it can be amusing, frustrating and just sad. But unlike the show, we don't have time to waste on calling the cops for stupid stuff. We're too busy graduating college, becoming professionals and living life the best we can. We do our best to not let your whiteness affect our lives, so don't let my blackness affect yours.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Related Content

Facebook Comments