OPINION: Climate change is real

By on February 26, 2019

Climate change, global warming, the end of the world. Call it what you want but it’s real and we’re in deep trouble. Here’s what’s happening and why you should have started caring yesterday.

Feel any warmer?

Whether you’ve noticed or not, the Earth is heating up. Earth’s ice is melting and the ocean is rising. People deny that these changes are happening, but as more and more proof is surfacing, it’s becoming harder to ignore. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (a little more than 1 degree Celsius) during the last century or so, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere, according to NASA’s climate website.

Who’s to blame?

Now that you’ve come to terms with the fact that these changes are real and happening quickly, you probably want someone to blame. Carbon dioxide and man-made emissions are to blame. When do we release carbon dioxide? Some of the most common ways are, everytime we drive, fly, or eat food produced by factory farming.

If you’re thinking it’s not your fault that, cars aren’t all electric yet, there’s no bike lanes near you or that you have no control over what food appears in your grocery store, think again. You are to blame, because everytime you purchase something or agree to go about your life doing that act, you’re agreeing with it. When you buy something you are voting ‘yes’ with your dollar. When we go about life living in autopilot, it’s easy to overlook the real damage we are causing. Now is the time to wake up.

Why you should care.

Google ‘global warming.’ Click images. Look through the array of photos and understand that this is largely because of our way of life.

What you can (and should) start doing.

The two most popular methods of combating climate change are reducing plastic bag and straw waste–but these problems are only surface level.

What you can do, is much simpler than you think. First, understand that this is very real. If every single person in the United States could agree on one thing, let it be this. We need to start caring and change only happens when everyone’s in on it.

You can plug leaks in your home insulation to save power, install a smart thermostat, switch to more efficient light bulbs, turn off unused lights, drive fewer miles by consolidating trips or taking public transit, waste less food, and eat less meat, according to The New York Times.

Eat all of the food you buy and only buy what you need. If you’re reading this, you most likely live somewhere, where you don’t need to stock up on food because tomorrow, the grocery store will still have that second bag of chips.

Eat one plant-based meal a day. I’m not telling you be vegan or even vegetarian. But instead to be aware of the environmental impact your food has.

Agriculture directly contributes about 10 percent to 12 percent of current global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from livestock, according to a study conducted by the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.

Before it’s too late, consider believing (and caring) in climate change.

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About Amanda Perelli

Managing Editor
Journalism Major
Class of 2019