Away from pollution, towards a solution

A+polar+bear+stand+on+an+iceberg+as+it+floats+through+a+fjord+because+of+winters+becoming+milder+in+north%2C+causing+snow+to+melt+as+temperatures+rise+above+freezing.

Photo by: Getty Images

“A polar bear stand on an iceberg as it floats through a fjord because of winters becoming milder in north, causing snow to melt as temperatures rise above freezing.”

Mannal Javeed, Midlo Scoop Staff

Climate change is real, and it is a serious threat. It is creating increasingly-dangerous and extreme weathers, such as warmer heatwaves. According to Global Change, “the number of intense heat waves is almost triple the long-term average.” NASA  has collected ample evidence that climate change is the cause for planet warming. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late-19th Century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. 

 

 “This is a very serious issue.  Many hear that our global average temperature has increased by 1 degree and think that is so small.  But in reality, this is huge!  The slight increase in temperature causes major concerns including hurricanes, wildfires and droughts,”  said AP Environmental Science teacher Ms. Patricia Miller.

 

While scientists have proved that the global temperature of the Earth is changing, there still remains skepticism as to whether the production of fossil fuels is escalating the global warming process. Scientists took action against further use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. Although their efforts to increase awareness for the climate change issue have been relatively fruitful, their attempt to produce environmental-friendly policy change within the government has been less successful.

 

The weather conditions in Texas and California were historic and mainly occurred because of climate change triggered by human activities. Oceanography teacher Mr. Donald Wade said, “Think about our routines and habits, the science is pretty straightforward on this one.  Human activities have caused an increase in worldwide global temperatures. Yes, there are other forces that can cause temperature increases, but if you look at the data, there are specific actions we have done and are doing that have increased the planet’s temperature.

 

By affecting the environment, climate change is putting all species at risk. Wade said, “We sometimes take our planet for granted. It is so easy to forget that our actions have consequences. Events like Earth Day remind us to be mindful of our actions.” 

 

Global warming affects the whole planet and its inhabitants, and it will cause continued suffering if we do not take action. An eco-friendly mindset must take root with the new generation because whether people make a complete lifestyle change or change a few small things daily, every little bit counts. The existential threat of climate change on many communities will not go away until we make direct efforts to reduce energy consumption and spread sustainable energy production,” Miller said.

 

 To limit greenhouse gas emissions and lower temperatures, Miller believes that we should start focusing on the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” method more carefully. Furthermore, she promotes a few sustainable alternatives that people can incorporate into their daily lives. She encourages people to use less plastic, eat less meat, turn off lights when not in use, and unplug electronics when not in use. Miller strongly emphasizes, “The key is to reduce our use of harmful items like plastic, reuse items as much as we can before we dispose of them and of course recycle!”

The clock is rapidly ticking, but hope is not lost. There are ways to help the environment by changing things in everyday life. Wade’s point of view stands as “school can be a great help, too, in emphasizing simple environmentally-friendly techniques. I think we should have a parking area for those that rideshare. We should encourage walking and biking to school. We need to remind everyone that our water fountains are free bottle fillers. It would be great if we talked about the environment more than just on Earth Day. Maybe a mural or signs that encouraged green activities.”

The overarching goal of Earth Day is to empower students to become more avid advocates for the environment. As a community, we can continue to do the little things to celebrate the Earth from home.