Combating climate change: Earth’s condition can no longer stand as political, business issue


Graphic Sophia Walker

With climate change's effects becoming more and more apparent, it is imperative that society changes its ways.

Maria Tand, Photo Editor

The temperature is rising, oceans are overflowing and strange weather is plaguing the world. This is all due to the threat of climate change that has become even more apparent in the last few years, which is something we, as the humans who destroyed the planet, need to restore.

In the beginning of October the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is a part of United Nations, released a startling report about temperatures rising that had many people alarmed. The report talked about the catastrophic effects that the changing climate could have in the next 50 to 100 years on countries’ economies and people’s lives. According to the report, an increase in up to two degrees globally could have effects that humans have never seen before, such as more droughts, harsher winters and rising sea levels.

This report begs the question: what can we do in order to aid our planet in need? The earth has endured 150 years of industrialization with the seemingly endless burning of fossil fuels which still continue today. As humans, we are one of the smartest species on earth, but how is it that we can’t find ways to utilize alternative ways of energy?

But the thing is, we already have! Wind, solar and hydroelectric power have given the world replacements to fossil fuels for years. The problem is that large companies deem it cheaper to keep burning the fossil fuels that will eventually be the demise of our planet. When these fossil fuels burn, carbon dioxide builds up in our atmosphere, trapping the sun’s energy, thus contributing to warming our planet.

We are already seeing some effects of the rising temperatures. Strange weather patterns such as droughts and floods that have been occurring regularly. With more droughts in underdeveloped areas, crops die and agriculture becomes a less profitable profession. In turn, people become more desperate for work, which drives employees to the factories that contribute most to the burning of fossil fuels. Even in our own country, fires have decimated southern California, hurting our own agricultural business in the process as well as more frequent hurricanes such as Harvey and Florence that cause billions of dollars in damages.

The issue of climate change is not a partisan debacle. The sustainment of our planet, our lives and our futures should not only be supported by one side of our government when it affects us all. We need leadership that will support our sustainable futures and not our environmentally degrading past.

The least that we, as the next generation, can do is try to act in more environmentally friendly ways. If you and your friends are going somewhere, carpool. Buy a reusable water bottle. Try to eat less red meat. And if nothing else, reduce, reuse and recycle.