The Truths of Climate Change

31 January 2016

Last Thursday, one of the district senators for my state had this big event at the state capital building to bring awareness for a very pressing issue: climate change. I was fortunate enough to be invited to this event and be one of 80 15-25 year old from across the state to participate in this, what they called “summit”. The very first thing we did was listen to a professor from the university talk to us about the truths of climate change. He started off with a summary. All that we need to know about climate change can be put into 5 truths:

  1. It’s real.
    1. The fact that climate change is happening isn’t really the problem anymore, but instead the problem is that people don’t think we should do anything about it. Most of the Republican candidates put in their legislative plans that they want to relieve the limitations that government has put on power plants and factories to attempt to limit the amount of toxins that are forced on our environments. This is the opposite of what we should be doing!! We need people that can recognize that the earth needs to be kept clean. It’s no coincidence that 15 of the 16 hottest years on record were in the 21st century
  2. It’s us.
    1. I’ve heard countless arguments that climate change is not being caused by humans, but rather from volcanoes and Earth’s orbit and yada, yada, yada, and yes it is true that not every single cause for climate change is man made, but humans are contributing to a large quantity of climate change. This century as power plants, industrial factories and oil spills become more common, more greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere causing climate change.
  3. It’s bad.
    1. Yes, without greenhouses the earth would be 57 degrees Fahrenheit cooler and a lot of the crops that we depend on would not be able to survive and biodiversity of the earth would be much different, but the more that we release into the atmosphere the warmer the earth will become. Temperature are expected to increase from 4-9 degrees Fahrenheit by 2071-2099 and and addition 13-16 temperature stress days (> 100 degrees). With temperatures like these, the mosquitos that are carrying these feared diseases will be able to survive in more areas, making the transmission of these diseases more common. “Climate is a driver for everything we do.” One expert said. As the climate changes agriculture and biodiversity will change which will affect the ecosystems in which we live, changing our entire lifestyle. Because of this, climate change is going to hit the people that can least afford it: people in poverty, in third world countries, and people who are minorities.
  4. Scientists agree.
    1. Bring to their attention everyone who is against them. “If you want to combat climate change than you will be pretty lonely; military, America’s business leaders and a majority of American people agree [along with 99.999% of scientists] that climate change is happening.” Says Barack Obama and even Pope Francis says that “climate change is a problem which can no long be left to future generations”. Even 61% of the rural population in my state (of whom are considered very conservative) agree that climate change needs to be taken care of.
  5. There’s hope!
    1. As said in the famous movie, The Martian “We are going to need to science the shit out of this.” Scientists and politicians are working hard to combat intensity that climate change will have on the world. “This is humanity’s coming of age.” Said Adam Frank. The world has been through times of great climate variability and because mankind influenced this transition, we have the responsibility to find the moral obligation that we have to get involved in protecting the planet. Just recently countries across the world came together to sign the Paris Treaty to enforce action in the name of climate change. But this isn’t enough. Us kids, we are the future. The people that are in office now, won’t be there forever. Soon that will be us up there, or that will be the people that we vote for. We need to make sure that we are not only educating ourselves, but educating the people around us to elect the representatives that are going to recognize these issues. We are the voice that the world needs and we are the voice that will become the one that everyone hears so we need to make sure that it’s telling the right message.

WE ARE YOUNG, WE ARE THE FUTURE AND WE HAVE A VOICE!

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