Climate change is happening. It’s undeniable. The general temperature of the earth has jumped .7 degrees Celsius in the past century. While this may not seem significant, the Earth warmed only 4 to 7 degrees Celsius over about 5000 years coming out of its last ice age.
It’s true that we must consider the fact that the earth has gone through several periods of global change in the climate, but never at this fast pace. We can’t deny that humans have had a huge impact on the climate in the emissions we have produced and our general carbon footprint as a species.
The consequences that our planet will face are scary. Melting ice caps, rising sea levels, heat waves, heavy rainfall, droughts and floods are just some of the byproducts of climate change we will see likely within the next 100 years.
Humans have been a large part of causing climate change. We need to be part of the cause of stopping it. The problem is, like most issues, our government is divided on what to do. But with the United States ranking as the second largest global emissions producer in the world, our government should be taking the most reasonable action possible to lower our carbon dioxide emissions given the foreseeable consequences.
This can no longer be a partisan issue. We need to start recognizing the damaging impact we have had on this planet. We can’t just push climate change out of the way as an issue that we can worry about when the time comes — because it will be here before we know it. It’s time to start being proactive, regardless of what the party lines say we should think.
A big reason why a lot of people are against making any official changes in the laws regarding climate change is the effect that it will have on businesses. Implementing laws that will create significant changes in slowing down climate change, like lowering our use of fossil fuels and producing less waste, will have large negative affects on big businesses and corporations.
But just 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of the global emissions on Earth. It isn’t just our actions as individuals, it is the actions of businesses that are out of the general public’s control.
When it comes to corporations, generally I understand why people believe they should be able to do what they feel is right for their business to prosper. But no businesses are going to be able to prosper in a couple hundred years on a planet that can no longer sustain us.
It’s time to put this planet before our ideals. Sometimes the most important step to reaching a solution is admitting we are wrong. For the past three decades we have put dealing with climate change on hold because we don’t want to deal with the notion that we have maybe been handling this wrong. As of now, it’s not too late. We can start trying to stop the predicted changes and implement ways to better take care of the earth. We only have one planet; let’s make sure we don’t take it for granted.
Mikayla Rochelle is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.