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Climate Change: Calm and Collected or Critical?

Seth Nichols, Staff Writer

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Today, there are many world-wide issues: the wasting of food, the increase in poverty internationally, and the rapid depletion of our fresh water supply.

The topic and research of climate change became public around the late 1970s because scientists felt their large and growing stock of evidence exceeded the requirement for proving the theory of global warming; the scientists also felt the public should be aware of these findings. Therefore they began to release the conclusions and ideas formed from their data. Over the last 35 to 40 years, the “heated” topic of global warming, also known as climate change, has continued to grow and continues to be debated on a daily basis. The majority of people fall into two extremes, on how to deal with climate change as humans; one is what I like to call the “Fearful Philosophy.” The other opposing view on solutions for climate change would be the passive outlook, which I would like to call the “Reggae Philosophy.”

The “Fearful Philosophy” viewpoint consists mostly of those that believe climate change is something to fear, and the human race must take on extreme measures to counteract  the rising global temperature. Those that fall under this philosophy tend to take this threat as a something to fear or be extremely worried about, not to say that it is not a problem needing to be dealt with.

The “Reggae Philosophy” viewpoint advocates for allowing nature to take its course and do what it has done for years to return itself to its normal condition. The correlation between the name I have given this philosophy and the philosophy itself is that reggae tends to be a calming and relaxing genre, essentially placing the thought processes of those within this viewpoint alongside the calming beat of reggae. The people that side with this viewpoint typically see remedying this issue or topic as not as vital or imperative as other global problems like world hunger and extinction of many species.

Modern records of the Earth’s surface temperature began all the way back in 1880. However,  Earth has never been recorded as hot as this past year. In fact, the past three years have been recorded as the hottest years since the beginning of modern record-keeping of temperature. The first six months of 2016 surpassed the 20th century’s average (from Jan-May) of 13.1oC (55.5oF) by 1.08oC (1.94oF). Often times the benchmark scientists from NASA look at is the average from 1951-1980. Since 1980 no average annual temperature has dipped below the common benchmark. We must unite as a human race and become a unit in order to combat this problem. We share the world and need to work together to help preserve it. The immediate progression towards solving the foe known as climate change should not be strictly derived from angst but rather from the desire to take care of the one world given to us.

The motivation of fear should not be the only motivating factor to taking care of our world. As a human race we should not be acting out of fear. With fear comes chaos, unnecessary urgency, and ultimately unwise choices due to an unclear mind. We have seen in history a plethora of examples of rushed decisions where time and an unimpeded thought process would make the proper decision. For example, during the second World War the United States government decided to detain all Japanese-American citizens in America. The main motivation of this decision came in no other form than fear. The government feared those who had ties with Japan may act as terrorists and attack the U.S. shortly after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Today many people including me, see that the decision to detain all of those with ties to Japan, even simply having dual citizenship, was not the proper choice.

We as a human race are given this one single speck of the universe which has done so much for us and provided everything we are able to do today. We survive because the environment survives, and we should think in that way when trying to fix global warming.

Those who act in with a clear and calm mind are more likely to make a wiser decision than those who don’t. We learned at a very young age in school that if we were to ever become upset or frustrated with something to stop and think, count to ten, or just walk away giving you time to calm down. This should be the same when deciding solutions for a major problem like climate change. We must calm down look at the problem in front of us with a calm and slower thought process. Not to mention that the environment is pretty unpredictable and we still do not know all of what the environment is like. We as a human race believe we have a pretty good understanding yet we still are learning new information everyday. For example, for many  years the government advised that all wild fires be put out as soon as possible. For the obvious reason of preserving the forest and wildlife, however, fires are beneficial to the environment. They provide a fresh chance for new animals or plants to come providing a larger biodiversity. Also, putting out fires quickly begins to build up more debris that is very dry and flammable leading to the possibility of much hotter and more dangerous fires.

With all of that being said I believe we should use a more calm and detail-focused thought process rather than reach a rushed decision from fear.

Sources

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/18/science/earth/2016-hottest-year-on-record.html

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2016/5/supplemental/page-2

http://climate.nasa.gov/system/internal_resources/details/original/647_Global_Temperature_Data_File.txt

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Climate Change: Calm and Collected or Critical?