The Compass

Tension Rises with Climate Change

Peter Olden, Staff Reporter

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Climate change is a reality that isn’t going away and will follow humans for as long as they exist. Earth’s climate is changing faster than any point in the history of modern civilization, and according to scientist’s it is a result of humans and their behavior on earth. President Donald J. Trump is a firm disbeliever of climate change. In October of 2018, Trump accused global warming scientists of having a ‘political agenda’ and admitted to being unconvinced that humans were responsible for the earth’s rising temperatures. On June 1st, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement established in 2015 was designed to keep the global average surface temperature “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels,” which translates to what the earth was like before factories and greenhouse gasses. While most nations signed this agreement, the United States withdrew from it in June. What this means for the world’s future can only be told by time.

Kenneth C. Blacksmith, a science teacher in the North Clackamas School District who has a Bachelors degree in Science believes that global warming is a political ploy to drive citizens of the world into this fear of what the world can become. Blacksmith is a firm believer that what is causing the earth to heat up is not just from humans but the sun’s rotations. The closer the sun gets to the earth, the warmer it will become and vice versa. However, he says that he is more than willing to learn more about the issue.

When asked about how much he knew about climate change, Wesley Tucker, a Portland State University undergraduate residing in Oregon admitted, “I know the bare minimum. I know it’s an issue and I know that it is because of humans.” People don’t learn much about climate change in school, and that ends up resulting in them being uneducated on the issue when it really matters. Abigail Kilcommins, from Massachusetts, says “Global warming is a very real issue that is not only on a political agenda importance but for day to day life. Countries and corporations especially need to answer for their actions and take responsibility. The effects of it are already felt but the change as a whole will soon be invariably tangible.”

Climate change and global warming go hand in hand. Global warming is the long-term rising in the earth’s temperature. The greenhouse effect is what has caused this, as well. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and forests are at risk. It has been a rumor for many years that global warming would end up killing all of mankind, which is still entirely plausible if scientists and citizens do not do anything to try and stop it. According to a recent study by Ethan Cofell from Columbia University of New York, “If greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, rising temperatures and humidity wrought by global warming could expose hundreds of millions of people worldwide to potentially lethal heat stress by 2060.” It is constantly brought up in everyday life but isn’t very publicized to the world’s citizens. Many people know that it is a problem, but not a lot of them know how dangerous it is or how it is specifically affecting our earth.

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Tension Rises with Climate Change