The Planet Is Dying, and We Must Take Action Now


Maya Smith

On Sept. 2, people gathered downtown to protest climate change inaction.

Kiran Vogt, Staff Reporter

If you try to think of what our world will look like in 20 years it may be hard to imagine, for the reason that there might not be much of a world left in 20 years. Many of the things that make the planet beautiful and diverse could be gone by then.

There should be more attention turned to the crucial problem of climate change. There is a desperate need to take action, and as teenagers we should use our voices to speak up to look out for our futures.

Over the past four years the climate has been taking a worse turn due to some of the decisions the Trump administration has made. In 2017, the Trump administration announced their plan to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, which is now finally happening. This means that our country is making no effort to try to fix the problem of climate change.

That plan of action couldn’t have taken place at a worse time. Among many other problems, the Earth has just endured its hottest month ever recorded and Greenland’s massive ice sheet is melting at a rapid rate.

The public action of withdrawing showed the world how the president feels about climate science. During this same time period Trump has made his opinion on climate change clear, stating again and again that he believes that the climate isn’t changing. President Trump has also influenced many of his supporters to believe climate change is a hoax.

However, more than 97 percent of scientists agree that the climate is changing and happening right now. On November 5th, a new report was released by 11,258 scientists warning that the planet is facing a climate crisis.

In fact, the central cause of climate change is because of us humans. Humans have been a significant contributing factor to the heat that is radiating towards space. Human actions such as the burning of fossil fuels, like coal and oil, contribute to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere.

The small actions that political leaders take for their country regarding climate change contribute to the effect it has on the whole world.

There was a sliver of hope when Obama was in office. Obama’s Clean Power Plan  was put into action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When Trump took office he got rid of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions to 32% below 2005 levels.

There has been lots of evidence to prove that climate change is happening right now. With all of the natural disasters that have been occurring and humid, hot summers that have been increasing, we are able to witness the effects of climate change here on Earth without needing deep research.

More than a year ago, the UN warned that we only have 12 years to keep global warming at a maximum of 1.5 degrees celsius. Even a slight change of degrees would massively worsen the risks of natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, and extreme heat, which would put hundreds of people in poverty.

Some of the effects of climate change could leave severe physical changes to the planet. This year the first Icelandic glacier was lost to climate change. If more glaciers were to melt that would contribute to the rise of sea levels, which would be detrimental to our planet.

Climate change is putting many animals and plant species at risk for extinction as well. Scientists also believe that climate change could worsen the risk of Ebola outbreaks, because of the extreme and sudden weather events that climate change will play.

Our futures are being put into the hands of the government. They are making decisions, such as leaving climate agreements or making formal plans that will affect what the world will become. When scientists announce that we have less than 12 years to fix climate change, we should feel urgency and fear.

However, many people have come to believe that climate change is a hoax. This is not a good way to move forward to a solution, if people are denying the science of climate change.

The mix of beliefs make it difficult for communities to work together to try to fight climate change. It has already been a fight to try to make government officials use their power to start working towards a solution and the whole globe needs to work together and take steps to combat climate change. It’s a movement that will take time and patience, but first we need to understand and accept the urgency of climate change.