Why Climate Change is No Joke

Why Climate Change is No Joke

It's real and it's happening quickly...

Whenever I hear someone say, "I don't believe in climate change" I want to roll my eyes so far back in my head that I'll never see them again. Maybe this is dramatic, but it literally pains me inside to think that people are so convinced by politicians who are extremely unqualified to talk about climate change. I took a class about climate change, which probably makes me more qualified than Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice for head of the EPA, to talk about it. Seeing all the ways we are ruining our climate is scaring me- I mean just a week ago it was 60 degrees in February.

I don't know everything about climate change. I'm only a freshman in college and I'm almost certainly not a science major. However, what I do know is extremely frightening.

1. We are increasing our greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide

We are releasing fossil fuels in all kinds of ways- the biggest being cars, busses, factories, and non-renewable electricity. This is creating a growth of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as well as deforestation.

2. Global temperatures are rising

While increasing these heat-trapping greenhouse gasses, our planet is trapping more of the heat entering its atmosphere instead of sending it back into space. This is warming our planet significantly. We may not notice it everyday, but the warm weather in February, the earlier onset of warm weather, and the higher frequency of warmer days is attributed to this increased global temperature.

3. Ice is melting

With the rise in temperature, especially at higher latitudes, more of the ice on our planet is melting. This is where that picture of the polar bear on the small piece of sea ice comes from. As we're melting more sea ice and ice sheets (Greenland and Antartica) we are not only destroying the habitat for arctic animals, but we are making so that that ice can no longer reflect as much sunlight, warming the Earth even more.

4. Sea level is rising

As a result of sea ice and ice sheets melting, the sea level is rising around the world. Certain areas are experiencing more sea level rise than others, like Washington D.C. If we keep up the rate of warming we have now, one day people located inland will have beachfront homes.

5. Oceans are warming

While our planet warms, as does our ocean as the ocean has an extremely high capacity to store heat. This sounds good- that the ocean is taking up heat that would otherwise be in our atmosphere, but in reality because of this, we are seeing coral bleaching. Remember that whole story about the coral reef dying? Yup, that is happening- coral hold in algae which gives them their color, and as water warms, they can no longer hold this algae, so they expel it and loose their color in exchange.

These are not the only things happening with climate change, there are a myriad of other things that are happening with climate change, including species migration and increased intensity of storms.

I can't understand how people don't understand climate change is real- we see all these things happening around us that are directly caused by our emissions of greenhouse gasses. Sometimes I think it's too late to actually do anything about it- the effect of the carbon we have released will last for years to come, but there are so many things we can take that will help our planet out a little more. The first thing to do though is acknowledge that climate change is real and that we have to try living more sustainably- using reusable water bottles, avoiding carbon-emitting transportation when possible, and making sure we recycle are simple steps we can take every day to try to reduce our own carbon footprint.

To find out more about how to reduce your carbon footprint visit: https://carbonfund.org/reduce/

Cover Image Credit: National Geographic

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Feeling Stressed?

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Scriptures: 

James 1:2-4

John 14:27

Romans 16:20

Luke 21:19

Psalm 118:5-6

Psalm 94:19

Romans 8:28

Psalm 55:22

Isaiah 40:31

Psalm 16:8

Joshua 1:9

Proverbs 3:5-6

1 Peter 5:7

Prayer:

Dear Lord, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart. My soul is like the wild sea. I can't seem to find my balance so I stumble and stress constantly. Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you've laid out for me. I trust your love, God, and know that you will take this stress. Just as the sun rises each day against the dark of night, please bring me clarity with the light of God.

-Amen

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Winfrey's Words On Sexual Assault Touch The Hearts Of Men And Women

The speech that has the nation talking.

For those of you who missed the Golden Globes on Sunday, January 7, Oprah Winfrey, the first black female recipient of the Cecil B. deMille Award delivered a rather ground-breaking speech on behalf of African Americans and women at large leaving many speculating her potential candidacy in the election of 2020.

In 1952, the annual tradition of presenting the Cecil B. deMille Award began when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association resolved to institute an honor that would recognize an individual's "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment."

It may have come as a surprise that Winfrey's acceptance speech did not touch on any of her previous achievements as many recipients of the award have in the past. Rather, she took this opportunity to share a movingly vivid recollection of a historical event involving the rape of a young African American woman by the name of Recy Taylor.

As Winfrey shared, one evening in 1944, Taylor was returning home from church when she was seized and blindfolded by six white men who raped and left her on the side of the road. She lived to be 97 years old and drew her last breath in her sleep at a nursing home located in Abbeville, Alabama on December 28, 2017.

Winfrey's speech reflected heavily on sexual harassment and the Me Too Movement. Me Too, or #MeToo, sparked recently in October among several other social media hashtags designed to encourage women to speak out and share their stories of sexual violence.

However, what remains undoubtedly most commendable about Winfrey's speech is the fact that while she clearly stands for women, their rights, and the stand against abuse, she continues to remain an equalist. This is seen through her careful and brilliant use of language. While she spoke of our ever-growing strong feminine power, she did not use concrete words. Words that would suggest men as the inferior. In fact at the end of her speech, she did just the opposite. She brought the viewer's attention to men as well resulting in the crowd—comprised of thousands of women and men—rising to their feet for a standing ovation.

Cover Image Credit: abc NEWS

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