The Cougar Chronicle

Detrimental change is upon us

Celine Holguín, Assistant managing editor

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Habitats are disappearing, wildlife is scrambling to survive, sea levels are rising, our oceans are warming up and our entire planet hangs in the balance.

 

This might sound extremely exaggerated, but its not. Earth’s temperature has increased by 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, sea levels have increased by 3.2 millimeters per year and the ice sheets and glaciers are slowly disappearing, along with the hope to put a halt to a cause and effect issue.

 

All of these effects are caused by global warming, a natural phenomena that is nothing new to our planet. Although no living being on this Earth has ever lived through climate change, this occurrence is anything but fake or something that scientist made up to scare people.

 

Global warming is real and has been a reality for many years now.  For one to say that global warming is “fake news” or a blatant lie is someone that obviously chooses to ignore issues rather than face them.  

 

If you have no idea of the global change I’m talking about, I am referring to the last Ice Age that ended around 7,000 years ago. Yes, the Ice Age was something that actually happened, it’s not just a movie franchise with a crazed squirrel.

 

Earth has gone through several Ice Ages and global temperature changes, yet the particular change that is in action is practically caused by human activity since the mid 20th century according to NASA.

 

Per the United States Environmental Protection Agency, greenhouse gas levels are higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years. This is due to the emission of greenhouse gases by humans burning fossil fuels and causing deforestation.

 

Although regular individuals do not have fossil fuel burning machines in their backyards, everyone in some way shape or form have heightened global warming, including myself.

 

Again, greenhouse gases are natural phenomenons that occur and actually help regulate temperatures, but with the overwhelming abundance of these gases, the Earth is going through drastic changes.

 

I understand that a 1.9 degree increase may not frighten anyone given that it’s such a small number, but this small number has caused our Earth to be thrown off balance. If you’re not sure of what has already occurred or is occuring, simply search “global warming effects” on the internet and enlighten yourself.

 

So, why is it that the legitimacy of global warming is still up for debate? It has occured before, what makes anyone think that it won’t happen again?

 

To those who believe that global warming is a hoax, there is undeniable evidence of this natural occurrence already.

 

Hurricanes have become stronger and more intense and the Arctic Ocean is slowly becoming ice-free, along with a long list of other things. If you do not believe that, look up the latest horrific storms that have hit the East coast of the United States or around the world.

 

According to NASA, in the Southwest region of the U.S. “Increased heat, drought and insect outbreaks, all linked to climate change, have increased wildfires. Declining water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, health impacts in cities due to heat, and flooding and erosion in coastal areas are additional concerns.”

 

Why do we choose to ignore the warnings and the overwhelming consensus of scientists? According to IOPscience, an online service for scientific journal content, 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends are very likely due to human activities.

 

Why do we listen to people in power who have no background or credibility to backup ignorant claims? There is no room for ignorance when it comes to talking about the planet.

 

The world as we know it is changing due to the misuse of power and resources. Although we cannot reverse the damage that is done, we can start educating ourselves, stop denying and begin changing our ways.

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