Climate Change: Still a Problem

Miette Thompson, Staff writer

Polar bears are losing their habitats. They are starving. The ice in their habitat is melting. They don’t know how to survive in these new, denatured environments. Though this is upsetting, we turn a blind eye to these problems because places like Antarctica seem worlds away. We don’t realize that the world is deteriorating all around us. We need to recognize these faults in how we treat our planet and do what we can to fix them before there is irreversible damage.

NASA defines climate change as “a change in the usual weather found in a place.” Although this description seems harmless, the actual effects are leading to a dying planet. 

Evidence of climate change is happening all around us. Due to the harshly changing environments, there is a substantial effect on the survival of animals. According to a study conducted by the National Park Service in 2021, animals are finding it difficult to find food. Additionally, the Earth’s biological clock is set off due to rising temperatures setting bloom earlier in the year which is ruining timing for pollination. This throws off the entire cycle of the food chain. When the time of the bloom and pollination is not synchronized, this directly affects the predators of the flowers and leads to a domino effect following that.

Even if the effects on wildlife still are not creating concern, climate change is greatly affecting the health and survival of humans. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the changes in climate can expose us to new diseases. Diseases we don’t have any knowledge of and therefore, it is likely that we don’t have the medical knowledge to treat them. Climate change is especially detrimental for specific groups that have compromised immune systems or are more susceptible to getting sick. Not only is climate change endangering our health, but it is endangering our survival. The EPA also states, “Climate change will likely increase the frequency and strength of extreme events (such as floods, droughts, and storms) that threaten human health and safety”. It is no longer a question of the viability of our environment,  now the survival of one other lies within the decisions we make.

What can we do? It is important for us as news consumers and citizens to examine what we are reading and question it. Just because laws or bills are being passed, does not always mean that all aspects were carefully considered in the process. We need to reject ideas that hurt our planet and work to repair them.

Very recently, a bill called The Willow Project was passed. The Willow Project is an oil drilling project in a reserve in Alaska. Right off the bat, we know that oil/petroleum is adding to CO2 emissions in the atmosphere which is another big contributor to climate change, and it is on a reserve which is the land of the natives. As Defenders of Wildlife puts it, “The project will still add about 260 million metric tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere over the next 30 years.” Now, looking at this from an environmental standpoint, how was this decision ever justified? 

A lot of negatively affecting climate projects are masked by their positives. These are meant to mislead the public into thinking that this is the one and only option. Sure, it is creating more jobs, and sure we need to find more gas resources to support our lifestyle, but we need to step back and look at how these ‘positives’ are adding to the negative environmental struggle and are enabling the continuation of climate change.

Constantly question, especially when the world is relying so desperately on us for its survival. Encourage further review to look at other solutions for the problem at hand instead of ones that continue to stack the burden on the world that we inhabit. With this, we need to be empathetic toward the environment and research the effect our decisions will have on the environment. We have put this world through so much and it is time we take responsibility for our wrongdoings and try to reverse the effects of climate change before it is too late.