We can’t deny climate change

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Something monumental happened last week. It might not have received adequate coverage as all of the country’s eyes were on the Kavanaugh hearing, but I wonder if the story would have received more coverage if the hearings weren’t taking place.

Or is it inevitable that some other story would cover it up because many Americans don’t want to talk about it.
The story I’m talking about is on climate change.

On Oct. 1 the United Nations published a report stating that the world has until 2030 before we are going to witness significant effects of climate change.

If the global population works together and makes serious changes, we can stop these damages from taking place. But if we continue to pollute the world as we currently are, the results will be irreversible.

I assumed a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stating that we have two decades to save the fate of the world would be on the front pages of newspapers throughout the country, yet it seemed to pass by virtually unnoticed. Unable to comprehend why this didn’t garner more media attention, I remembered an important piece of information. The United States is still arguing about the legitimacy of climate change.

We can’t even begin to make a significant environmental impact when leading members of government, including the president himself, haven’t recognized climate change as an issue facing our country or the world.

There are two main arguments on climate change: one side believes that the increase in temperature is manmade, and the other believes that the earth naturally goes through hot and cold periods and this is just one of those times.
Despite the different viewpoints, one thing is undoubtedly true: temperatures are increasing.

Regardless if the increase in global temperature is manmade, the temperature has already increased one degree Celsius since the nineteenth century according to The New York Times. IPCC states that while it is seemingly inevitable that the world temperature will increase one and a half degrees Celsius, we need to do everything in our power to make sure that it only increases to that and does not increase to two degrees Celsius.

While an increase of half a degree may seem like a miniscule change, it can have a dire impact.
The difference between an increase of one and a half degrees and two degrees is an additional 23 percent of people being exposed to extreme heat, 61 million people affected by water scarcity, and the doubling of species lost.

We are not talking about a change occurring centuries from now but rather a highly visible change we will witness at some point in our lifetimes, if not in the next two decades. There is no time to debate if climate change is real, we need to make a change now.

The U.S. is the second largest global emitter of greenhouse gases, second only to China. With our current policies and lifestyles, we are on a path to emit more greenhouse gases, but we are not officially doomed forever. We have the ability to change that path.

While this can seem daunting and many people feel that they can not make an impact, there are many things individuals can do to help combat climate change. First and foremost, vote for people who propose legislation to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. Republican or Democrat, the future safety of our planet should not be a partisan issue.

From using reusable bags to shopping at thrift stores to buying more local produce, we can all take realistic steps to lower our carbon emissions.

Although climate change often seems like a concept that won’t create problems until decades from now, these damages are coming and they are coming fast.

We cannot sit idly by and think about climate change when it is convenient for us. We need to act now because the future of the world depends on it.