Climate change is not a joke

Climate change is not a joke

Barbara Rucci

April may be a month of fun pranks and spring memories, but the month is also used for reflection about our actions regarding the world we live in. While we may not want to take many things seriously throughout the month of fools, the current political climate stresses that the wellbeing of the environment is not a joke.

Americans hold divided beliefs when it comes to how climate change influences the Earth. President Donald Trump’s administration decided not to renew the charter of the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment’s in 2017, which was originally created by the Obama administration in 2015. However, the committee members have started meeting to consider the future of environmental change. According to KSAT12, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently invited the committee to reconvene and become known as the Science to Climate Action Network, and most of the original members decided to continue working together. Despite the current debate about climate change, scientific evidence shows that the earth is being negatively affected.

While natural causes such as the sun and volcanoes do contribute to climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that “human activity has been the dominant cause of warming since the mid-20th Century.” The fossil fuels we not only use but depend on influence our environment and the flow of climate change in negative ways. Fortunately, there are ways University students can help reduce its effects. Things as small as leaving our chargers plugged into the socket longer than needed and forgetting to turn off the lights snowball into the big-picture damage of climate change.

When asked about how students can work against climate change, University Professor Michael Finewood says, “I would say reduce your consumption and carbon footprint as much as reasonably possible.” One practical goal for University students is to diminish their dependence on fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are a large component of climate change because they are used in excess. They are necessary for everyday productivity and survival such as transportation, electricity, and heating. The damage has already started to show, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine claim that the United States gets 81 percent of its energy from fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas.

Instead of relying on these harmful substances, students can support organizations that allow them to utilize renewable and clean sources of energy. Since this practice can be challenging for individuals, there are ways to support businesses who fight for a greener world. This could mean investing in an environmentally-friendly vehicle, using solar-powered lights, or eliminating the use of plastic bags and water bottles by carrying our own reusable ones.

Slowing climate change is a challenge, but all it takes is an intentional commitment to make sure we follow through in taking these helpful actions. It is useful to consider the future of our planet by protecting it accordingly now.