Newsflash: Global Warming is Real, and you Can Help Stop It

Trinity Vessels, Copy Editor

Earth Day, the 24 hours where we recycle a little more, hug a tree and maybe post a plant picture on Instagram, is over. However, the climate change crisis continues and is worsening everyday.

According to the International State of the Climate in a 2017 report , “Since 1901, the planet’s surface has warmed by 0.7–0.9° Celsius (1.3–1.6° Fahrenheit) per century, but the rate of warming has nearly doubled since 1975 to 1.5–1.8° Celsius (2.7–3.2° Fahrenheit) per century.” While the difference may seem small, the exponential rate by which temperatures are increasing and will continue to increase if something isn’t done is alarming.

For years, political leaders have argued over global warming’s existence and our deadline to change. In 1990, author George Marshall claimed we had 5,000 days to save the planet; in 2008, the New Economics Foundation stated it was 100 months.

Amidst all the arguing, people are forgetting what’s important: action. “The deadlines aren’t the problem. It’s our failure to heed them,” CNN reporter John D. Sutter stated in his article titled “We’re losing the war on climate change.”

So, if action is so desperately needed, what we should we do?

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is the slogan we often hear in science class. But how many of us actually make an effort to help the environment on a daily basis? Senior Sydney Huffman thinks we aren’t and said “I think as citizens we need to be more educated and do more in our everyday lives [to help].”

While recycling is a wonderful lifestyle change to make, individuals actually aren’t the only problem—multi-billion dollar companies are as well. Earth Science teacher Stefani Chase is passionate about helping the environment and makes an effort to instill beneficial environmental habits into her students. She stated that humans are acting as catalysts to climate change—everyone is to blame—but companies are more aware of what they’re doing than the average person and choose not to make a change.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “63% of all industrial carbon dioxide and methane released [into] the atmosphere can be traced to fossil fuel and cement production by just 90 entities.” Yes, you read that correctly. Out of the 7.53 billion people on the Earth, just 90 companies are responsible for over half of fossil fuel and cement production. (Some of the top offenders include Chevron, Shell and Exxon-Mobil.)

Now that we know who to point the finger at (all of us), here’s some changes everyday people and especially large companies and businesses need to implement before it’s too late.

Infographic Credit Trinity Vessells

At the end of the day, everyone is responsible for the current destruction of our planet, and we all need to do something about it. The next time you throw a plastic water bottle in the trash when you could’ve recycled it, remember the impact your decision will make.