Climate change debates heat up

Written by Brynn Andra, staff member

Climate change is a burning epidemic that is overlooked in our society. According to NASA’s article over global climate change, there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat in the last 650,000 years. Not only has our planet’s average surface temperature risen by about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit, but there has also been an increase in the temperatures in our oceans by about 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Plastic pollution in our seas also negatively affects our climate. Because plastics are cheap, durable and lightweight, they have become essential components of packaging products. Plastics come from fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases, and because of the high demands for plastics, fossil fuel consumption will only increase. 

More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year, 0.11 million metric tons coming from the United States alone. Many things can be done to help end climate change and help the world we live in today. Things you can do to help include: eating more meat-free meals, buying organic and local foods whenever possible, taking public transit, or riding a bike to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Climate strikes are being held around the world to bring awareness to the current epidemic. There have also been activists who are trying to reduce the amount of plastics that we use and find a more environment friendly alternative. In September of 2019, there was a record-breaking 7.9 million people who participated in climate strikes. Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate change activist with Asperger’s, started the idea for global climate strikes. 

I believe that if enough attention is brought to it, and enough people help in any way that they can, we will be able to bring an end to climate change. It will take a long time because of how polluted the oceans and air around us is, but I believe that with better care we can make the earth a safer place to live.