Climate Change

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Climate Change

Kirin Winter, Reporter

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Climate change is a lot of talk right now throughout the world because of the natural disasters that are occurring, and are linked to human activity. There’s a calendar known as the Cosmic Calendar which is a scale of our 13.7 billion year old universe, mapped into one year. this calendar helps give an image of evolution and history, at this scale. So, if you were to look at a cosmic calendar, you would see that the big bang was the first of January and humans have been here since midnight on the thirty first of December. in this calendar image, each day represents forty million years. Can you picture how humans only came to earth at the very end of the last day of the year? Now see how much damage we have made in that sliver of time we have been on earth? As Ms. Kirk, science teacher at Olympia High School says, “We produce more CO2, we remove some of the earth’s checks and balances, we remove some of earth’s natural cycles.” though we have been here only for the smallest sliver of time on the cosmic calendar, we have made a large impact on the future of our planet by our daily life activities. If a person was to ignore something, it wouldn’t just go away and turn out great in the end. You simply cannot ignore your homework and expect a good grade and a future for yourself. This same thing goes for people on earth ignoring climate change, it doesn’t just go away, it gets worse. People use gas cars instead of electric, and don’t simply turn lights off in their homes when they aren’t at use. We’re doing these things, and we are warming our planet in the process.

As the years go by, weather is getting more extreme and even more unpredictable. We are seeing more severe and more frequent natural disasters. When asked What is the evidence of climate change that we can point to, today? Jim Dawson with Fuse Washington, a Non-profit organization in Seattle, Washington says “An increase in the severity of fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, disease outbreaks and the melting of glaciers and ice caps.” for example, hurricanes in the south east of the United States, many huge fires due to dry land affecting our air,  the melting of our icebergs, temperature increase in our oceans and simply an increase in the extremity of our seasons. According to democracynow.com, there haven’t been 10 hurricanes in one season since 1891! These events we are experiencing currently are directly related to climate change and the current generations in high school are going to have to adapt to what the world will be like in years to come because of climate change. Dawson says,  “As sea level rises coastal cities will be forced to invest billions of dollars to protect them from flooding and those that can not afford it will be forced to relocate. Millions or perhaps billions of people could become climate refugees from rising sea level, and other severe weather events. Many wars could be started over scarce freshwater resources in some areas. Whole industries will be started and others will cease to exist as we adjust to a warmer planet.”

People are not informed of Puerto Rico today, however officials and government workers are tirelessly working to recover from the most recent hurricane event. When a small government doesn’t have a strong infrastructure and is not prepared for the coming effects of climate change the recovery from weather events will be long and hard. Dawson also said the ways we can reduce these effects and make positive change right now would be to drive and fly less, which would mean more biking and more public transportation use.

While daily human activity is affecting our planet day after day, there are organizations and people in power here in Washington trying to make a change. Two people, Congressmen Denny Heck and representative Beth Doglio work hard everyday to make the world a better place and nicer for their children and their children’s children. Doglio believes  “Government can enact policies that move us away from fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) by putting a price on carbon pollution and ending fossil fuel subsidies and by incentivizing renewables, building efficiency, mass transit and vehicle electrification.”

There is a lot of work going on around climate change being solved and what drives some of these people is the hope that the younger generations are coming up with new innovative ideas of how to persuade people to live a simpler life of low energy and minimal carbon use. Denny Heck states, “Ears with better fuel efficiency are the ones that are selling, you’ll see a lot of people make the change for economic reasons, which over the long-term provide big-time environmental benefits.”

The ice sheets and glaciers are currently melting, and have been for many many years, but it’s getting worse as the years go on. As the ice is melting, the sea levels are rising due to earth’s gravity field being altered. There has been a change of sea levels especially noticed in California of a 52% increase than in the average world.  “As weather events become more common and more devastating like we experienced in the last month, as sea level rise continues to threaten our communities, as water becomes scarcer and wildfires rage on, the political agreement will come into focus.  I just hope it’s not too late.  Your future depends on our generation to forge a future that relies less and less on fossil fuel and more and more on clean, renewable energy.” says Doglio.

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