It’s up to us to ensure a healthy planet

By Vivian Nowka-Keane, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Climate change is often mistaken as synonymous with global warming. In reality, global warming is a small portion of what climate change encompasses. While there are political disputes on climate change legitimacy, scientists have delved into research on the causes, effects and potential solutions.

Climate change includes the warming of the planet, but also carbon dioxide levels, sea level, ocean acidification and more. All of these conditions in part dictate things from what we wear to what resources are abundant, including those that provide power and electricity.

The first step in improving the state of our atmospheric conditions is to legitimize the public issue, but government action should be taken to curb the effects of climate change in the interest of all people. Having read about greenhouse gases and pollution at a young age, I struggled to understand that validation is still an issue. Learning about government and political socialization led me to apprehend how people come from various backgrounds with different understandings, even on things I assimilated as core knowledge.

Seeing the average temperature of the planet rise one degree over the course of decades does not seem threatening, which often causes climate change to go overlooked. But, in addition to temperature changes, carbon emissions and rises of carbon dioxide levels continue to cause extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and floods. Studies and organizations like the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions have named the cause of extreme weather as changes in atmospheric conditions.  

It’s distressing having a president who has described the atmospheric changes as “a myth”, and who discounted the importance of rising temperatures in this year’s national infrastructure plan. However, more cities have been empowered through local politics to enhance energy efficiency in city assets, according to the Climate Reality Project.

Climate change is an issue that impacts Earth’s water and atmosphere. It’s time that the U.S. jumps on board to take responsibility, and follow through with action. I encourage all MTHS students and staff to take it upon themselves to learn about how climate change may affect them and their community, as well as what steps they can take to aid the cause.