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Viewpoint: What We Can Do About Climate Change

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Courtesy of UWL Outdoor Connection

Courtesy of UWL Outdoor Connection

Courtesy of UWL Outdoor Connection

Callie Heinrich, Sports Reporter

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This week, the last week of November, I ditched my winter coat, as I was way too hot walking to class. No, not because I was running late and practically sprinting up the stairs of centennial, but because this week the temperature reached the mid-fifties.  

Average temperatures today are much warmer than they were a century ago. In fact, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the first six months of 2017 were the second warmest on record. 

As individuals living in a fast-paced and ever growing society it is hard to see how our everyday actions impact the environment. Driving to class or work or leaving our lights on are simple acts we might not think anything of. And yet that is part of the reason why climate change is the most pressing issue of our time.  

There is no argument against climate change, as the evidence for it is compelling, and quite frankly terrifying. According to the National Wildlife Foundation, the United States is the second largest contributor of CO2 emission, yet it is only home to just 4.4% of the world’s population. 

That means, if everyone in the world lived the way people in the U.S. do, it would take four Earths to provide enough resources for everyone.  

Yet, the United States is the only industrialized country not part of the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to combat global warming by decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, released into the atmosphere.  

The United States is not only refusing to accept that climate change is an issue, but continues to isolate our country in a world that is moving forward, together, to overcome the climate crisis. This is not only politically dangerous, but also embarrassing. 

Although the Trump administration has denied the facts supporting climate change, that doesn’t mean we have to. It also means as college students and this country’s future leaders, we still can make an impact.  

Eat wisely by eating at least one meat-free meal a day, since 18 percent of greenhouses gases come from meat and dairy production according to the Food and Agricultural Organization. Otherwise, be energy efficient, trim your waste, opt for renewable power sources, or chose to walk or bike instead of drive.  

Climate change is undeniably real and continues to threaten the world we live in. Although many believe that the lifestyle and choices we make in our lives is rather insignificant compared to the grand scheme of things, remember this, the longer we wait to act, the harder it will be to fix.  

“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it” – Jay Inslee 

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Viewpoint: What We Can Do About Climate Change