Photo courtesy of whyy.org
The Amazon rainforest is burning. Thousands of animals have died in Australia’s wildfires. Polar bears are endangered due to their melting ice habitat.
Although it may not seem like it, Spring-Ford has something in common with these statistics.
March is here, and we’ve no snowfall worthy of a day off from school.
By this same time last year, we had 2 two-hour delays and one early dismissal.
See the problem?
The amount of greenhouse gases we emit has increased drastically, and our natural carbon sinks, such as forests and oceans, can’t absorb enough of these emissions. When these greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, build up in our atmosphere, they absorb the heat that releases from the Earth when it cools at night. This is called the greenhouse effect, and it is what keeps the Earth at a livable temperature.
However, our drastic increase of these gases due to burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas are trapping more and more heat into the Earth’s atmosphere and warming the planet up.
Climate change deniers will say that the climate has always naturally changed, and that this is just another one of those changes.
Yes, the climate changes naturally, and this is playing a part in our current climate change of the mid-20th century. However, according to NASA, it is changing too quickly to be explained by natural occurrences alone. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that humans are causing climate change.
The existence of climate change isn’t something debatable, it is actively occurring.
Even if it wasn’t, there is no harm in changing our habits to improve the only known planet capable of supporting life.
The planet will continue to warm at this rate without a change on our part. We will be facing flooded cities, unclean air, extinct species, and intense droughts and hurricanes.
But what can we, as everyday teenagers, do about this?
We feel helpless, especially when 71% of greenhouse gas emissions since 1988 are linked to only 100 fossil fuel companies, according to a 2017 report by the Climate Accountability Institute.
Spring-Ford High School has already contributed well to the climate change movement, by promoting sustainability through the new water bottle refillers and the prom dress and spirit-wear donations.
But we can do even better.
The Spring-Ford community can fight back against climate change by decreasing their fossil fuel use. Our school and our homes need to invest in more energy-efficient devices. They may cost more, but they’ll last a lot longer, and reduce fossil fuel use.
To reduce our gas usage (and save money), Spring-Ford can implement priority parking spots closer to the school, available only to those who carpool. I encourage those who can to take the bus to school more often: It’s not lame to save the environment.
Spring-Ford should also provide recycling bins in the hallway. There’s a reason we already have trash cans in the hallway: we produce waste. There’s no doubt that some of that waste is recyclable.
Although many students are unaware, Spring-Ford does have it’s very own Arboretum Club, one that cleans, weeds, and plants in the arboretum behind the 9th Grade Center. Being the treasurer of said club, I know it is difficult to meet consistently outside due to the weather, and this on-call scheduling may impact one’s decision to join.
However, no matter how many times you can attend, we appreciate your efforts, because you’re still working to make a difference environmentally, albeit small.
For those old enough to vote, support politicians who are willing to make changes in support of the fight against global warming.
We all need to work together to save our planet.
Climate change isn’t and shouldn’t be a partisan issue, it is affecting everyone equally on Earth. If we, as citizens, don’t act soon, we will face devastation like no other. The corporations who largely contribute to climate change are feeding and profiting off of our indifference and apathy.
Start caring about Earth, if not for nature’s sake, then for yours.