Global Warming is Real      

The prospective effects are catastrophic and can't be ignored

Temperature+of+the+world+over+the+span+of+130+years.
Temperature of the world over the span of 130 years.

Temperature of the world over the span of 130 years.

Temperature of the world over the span of 130 years.

Chloe Koulefianou, Features Editor

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The idea that global warming isn’t something that needs our immediate attention is callous, ill-advised, and frankly quite stupid. There is overwhelming evidence to contest this delusion and time is running out. Scientists are estimating that the global temperature will increase 2.0-4.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century according to the Nature Climate Change Journal. This estimate was also adopted by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016.  All of this is happening because humans are emitting more greenhouse gases than the Earth can absorb.   

The temperature of the Earth naturally fluctuates due to volcanic out-gassing, changes in the composition of the atmosphere and weather patterns like El Niño. However, a change this great usually occurs over the span of thousands of years.

Although, the two-degree difference may not seem very grandiose, the difference between the temperature during the ice ages and the temperature today is a mere five degrees Celsius. And contrary to the popular movie series, ice ages don’t come and go overnight.

Yale economist William Nordhaus studied the negative effects of the excessive use of fossil fuels during the Industrial Revolution.  This led to his prediction that the global temperature would increase by at least two degrees by the end of the century.

According to the Washington Post, the United States is the largest contributor to global warming in the world.  The Obama administration made progress toward creating legislation to help fight against global warming.  During that time, our country entered the Paris Climate Agreement, a United Nations sanctioned effort to cut down on carbon emissions and created the Clean Power Plan. The United States was on track to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by the year 2030.

Within one year of Trump’s presidency, the administration withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement and also cut funds for and completely revamped the EPA. Climate change was dropped from the list of national security threats.

There are many ways the current administration could address global warming. First, we need to assert ourselves back into the global discussion about the issue. Next, we need to create legislation to prevent corporations from burning fossil fuels without consequence. The environment must come before our capitalist desires.

Currently, Prince William County Schools is doing fairly well in their efforts for energy conservation. The school division hosts an “Energy Challenge” in which schools can earn money for saving energy and reducing waste.

If you still don’t believe in global warming, take the recent onslaught of devastating hurricanes as a wake-up call. As the mercury rises, scientists predict that rising sea levels, extreme weather, and mass extinctions will ensue. What future do you envision for yourself and your future children? We must all make a collective effort to reduce our carbon emissions.

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