Is it Hot in Here Or is it Just Me?


Ah, winter: the time when snow falls and covers the land in a cold white blanket. Some say it’s the most wonderful time of year, yet looking outside, it feels like spring. What exactly did everyone think would happen to the pollution that’s been dominating the air since the Industrial Revolution; it would drift away and make one beautiful rainbow in the clear blue sky? With the New Year in swing, it’s time that people finally take action on climate change.

In 2016, it would be nice if people started making more of an effort to take care of our environment.  No one is expecting the American people to destroy power plants or anything quite as extreme. However, would it kill Americans to ride a bike instead of driving?

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states that while it’s normal for local temperatures to fluctuate, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history within the past 50 years.  Global warming has brought droughts, wildfires, dust storms, floods, and, obviously, an alarming decline in snow accumulation.

Think that’s bad? In 2003, extreme heat waves resulted in over 20,000 deaths in Europe.  If the loss of human life isn’t enough to make Americans do something about climate change, then maybe the penguins, polar bears, seals, reindeer, and every other species on the planet will.  According to scientists, the Arctic’s perennial polar ice cap is declining at a rate of nine percent per decade.

A polar bear balances on a breakaway ice cap amid the melting Arctic shore. Source:
A polar bear balances on a breakaway ice cap amid the melting Arctic shore.

We have the tools to help our planet. It’s time we band together and take up the fight against climate change.  It can be something as simple as choosing a fluorescent bulb over an incandescent one. The NRDC says that by putting cleaner cars and modern electricity generators into widespread use, we can cut pollution. We can also use more reliable sources such as wind, sunlight, and geothermal energy.

Congress is currently considering proposals to cap carbon dioxide emissions and other heat-trapping pollutants.  And whoever wins the 2016 presidential election can pass laws to help keep our environment clean. But with this year’s candidates, who knows what will happen?

Hopefully, the New Year will bring awareness to this pressing issue. Americans need to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint, even if that means just making a small donation to the EPA or the NRDC.  In 2016, pay less attention to twerking, what color a certain dress is, and Kim and Kanye’s ridiculous baby names. Concentrate a little more on making our environment safe again.