The Highlander

Climate change crisis continues

Photo via Creative Commons license

Waseema Khan, Reporter

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In the final weeks of 2018 thousands gathered in Katowice, Poland for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention regarding the topic that has led to protests and marches all over the world, climate change. The summit ended on December 14 resulting in an agreement to fight climate change.

They decided to keep the goals from the 2015 Paris Agreement whose goal was to prevent the average global temperature from rising no more than 2.7F, but there has yet to be any commitment put in place by national leaders and the rest of the world isn’t satisfied. Groups all over the world are protesting to urge government officials in their countries to take action for a future for mankind.

The UN released the Emissions Gap Reports for 2018 and found that this year holds fourth place for the highest average global temperature ever recorded, with 2017 holding the highest amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have also concluded that climate change is the cause of the extreme whether events that have been occurring in the past few years such as the the over excessive flooding from Hurricane Harvey, and dangerous heatwaves over both land and ocean.

Not only is climate change controlling mother nature, but it may also control our country’s economy. The World Wildlife Fund’s Leonard told NBC that “if we don’t tackle climate change, it will cost our economy billions and endanger our national security and our health.”  

The clock is rapidly ticking but hope is not lost. There are ways to help the environment by changing things in your everyday life such as “stop buying plastic, reduce, reuse, recycle, carrying reusable water bottles instead of paying [a] thousand times [more] for bottled water, its just as good as tap water,” AP Environmental Teacher, Meghan Giblin said. 

Schools can also improve themselves by having teachers print out less copies of work and having students completing these worksheets electronically. Students should be cautious about waste management and knowing what can and cannot be recycled. Many students throwaway water bottles without thinking about the consequences it really has. When throwing away water bottles do not just throwing away the bottle your throwing away the Earth. Better management throughout schools can also help.

“Schools say they recycle and they have people coming around and recycling and it ends up going into the trash”, Giblin said.

Currently, in the U.S there is a record number of Americans that are worried about climate change and considerate it threatening not only to themselves but others, and an eight percent rise in Americans who say global warming is something that is very worrying to them. 

During a research study collaboration between Yale and George Mason universities lead by Anthony Leiserowitz, found there is a staggering increase of those worried about global warming between the months of March and December of last year, thus meaning an overall increase in awareness and understanding that this a problem that very much impacts all of us.  

According to a servery released last week sixty-two percent of Americans says that global warming is caused by humans, and a drastic decrease in the number of people who think that global warming is caused by environmental change. This survey, that has been going on since 2008, is evidence that Americans are becoming more aware of the problem at hand.

This is key in trying to solve any problem. In order to solve the problem one has to know where it starts, and this problem starts with us. There are high hopes for 2019, and the only way to go is forward. 

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