21 Public Anthropology Award Winners
the University of Kansas
in Prof. Bart Dean's
ANTH 160 & 1621 (Anthropology) Classes
Sydney Danker, Graham Dawald, Grace Michale, Sarah Gress, Julie Reboullet, Mira Felzien, Lily Kenn, Mia Kealey, Anne Nelson, Ashley Pheigaru, Taylor Mraz, Owen Burrows, Mackenzie Mahsman, Cormac Palmer, Paul Turner, Sierra Wood, Rachel Husted, Katie Buhrmeister, Reigan Crawford, Alexis Feuerborn, and Hayleigh Stoneking
Read Their Letters, Please Use Your Search Function)
Directions for Letters:
1. At the top of your letter list two specific ways the people you are addressing differ from your own position on climate change.
2. In writing your letter, ask yourself: (a) How might you frame your letter to draw those who differ from you on climate change to move toward a position that you both might share? (b) Might you find a common goal to collaborate on in respect to climate change?
Climate Change - Let's Find a Common Ground
To my fellow colleague,
I am well aware that every person is entitled to their own opinion. What I hope to accomplish by writing this letter is for us to share our opinions and come together to help make a better life for those around us. I hope we can appreciate our difference of opinions, but still have an understanding that climate change is important and should be addressed. The two beliefs you possess are;
1) You do not believe in climate change at all.
2) If climate change does actually exist, you do not believe human activity has anything to do with it – it’s the Earth’s natural climate fluctuations.
In general, the topic “climate change” tends to stress people out and cause an argument. We’ve all been hearing about it for years now, but what’s the big deal, right? Well I’m writing this to tell you it is a big deal. Climate change is something we, as guests on this planet, should be worried about. The Earth’s temperatures have increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Along with that, carbon dioxide and methane gas levels have also increased. For those statistics to be steadily increasing is incredibly unusual – not just the Earth’s normal climate fluctuations.
For those who don’t believe in climate change, I am going to take a different approach for us to hopefully come to an understanding on what climate change is and why it’s a problem. Instead of boring you with facts, I propose a fictional situation I would like you to place yourself in:
You get really sick. You visit a doctor in Texas, and they run tests on tests on tests. Weeks later you are informed you have a life-threatening disease due to a bacterial infection. You say no, that’s not possible and visit another prestigious doctor in Washington, D.C. This doctor delivers the same diagnosis. This just can’t be possible; you fly across the ocean to visit a well-known doctor in England. You get the same diagnosis as well, only this time you have 6 months to live instead of 4. Even though the hospitals are different, the methods of treatment are varied, your life span may last longer than expected, the fact still remains. You are terminally ill due to a bacterial infection.
I believe this scenario accurately depicts what’s going on in our world today. Our planet is sick. The ozone layer is depleting, there is a loss of sea ice, more intense heat waves/more droughts, and hurricanes are much stronger and more intense. Because of these changes, the world’s best scientists are exploring the reasons. The 2010 Anderegg study found that 97-98% of climate researchers publishing most actively in their field agree that global climate change is the reason, and human activity is primarily responsible. Though these scientists have different predictions on how long it will be until the Earth cannot be inhabited anymore or when climate change first developed, they all agree and have done a substantial amount of research indicating there is such a thing as climate change and that humans have a significant role in why it exists. If we trust the most distinguished doctors in regards to our lives, shouldn’t we trust the world’s most distinguished scientists (NASA, NSF, etc.) in regards to the health of where we live our lives?
It’s hard for me to understand the other side of things because there is so much evidence of human activity as the root of climate change problems. What would be the benefit of all of these scientists studying climate change and the effects of only for it to be a giant scam? I hope after reading my letter and doing some research of your own, you now believe there is such a thing as climate change. If we come to that agreement, it will be very beneficial to break down these studies as to what causes climate change and how we can help.
As for determining if humans are the root cause or not, I encourage you to read the article attached here and break down the “pro” and “con” section: https://climatechange.procon.org/. If you read through these breakdowns, there will be one argument with significantly more facts relating to why there is a huge emphasis on human activity regarding climate change. I understand your opinion as to why you don’t think human activity causes global warming, stronger storms, etc. because let’s face it, that’s a scary thought. Because if that is the problem, what on earth are we going to do about it (literally and figuratively)? I hope we can meet soon to discuss these problems and what we can do about it.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you!
Climate Change Compromise
by Graham Dawald
After reading the provided material and reflecting upon my prior knowledge on the subject of climate change, I have concluded that I believe human activity and overall industrialization are key factors in the rising of atmospheric temperatures. Specifically, the human behavior of burning coal, oil, and gas. As well as the global use of motor vehicles, heating, cooling, and cooking food. All of these things emit gases into the air, that in turn heat the earths atmosphere. Obviously, this action raises the overall temperature of the atmosphere, a result of human created greenhouse gases.
Your groups view differs from my own in two distinct ways, the first being the belief that greenhouse gases that humans generate and heat the earths atmosphere are too small to substantially change earths climate, or actually heat the earths atmosphere. The second view that differs from my own is one that says humans are as responsible for climate change as the environment is, essentially saying that the environment plays the same amount of role in climate change as the human race does.
I would strongly disagree, arguing that humans play a much larger role in the furthering of heating the earths atmosphere, than that of the environment itself. Although my views differ from that of your position, I believe there is a happy medium we could find to address both of our viewpoints needs. A compromise, or multiple, that would allow the earth to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emitting, as well as satisfying your sides needs.
While at first glance compromises do not seem all that appealing, it is my personal experience that they are extremely satisfactory because you get what you want, and the other person remains happy. This goes all the way back to the playground or recess in elementary school. At my school football was the favorite game to play, all the kids always wanted to join in on the games. So many kids that the games became too large and the ball carriers began to get hurt because of the large gang tackles that were taking place.
The compromise for this was to create two football games going on. At first there was pushback from kids because everyone wanted to play together, but everyone eventually saw the benefits as each kid was able to touch the ball more in their individual game. The teaching staff was pleased because the number of injuries during this time period significantly decreased. Each side was pleased with the results of this compromise. I know the issue of climate change is not as simple as a football game during recess, due to politics and the history of the issue itself. Though with the approach of pleasing both sides of the issue I believe one can have success through creating compromise.
My proposition is one that has two parts. The first is reducing the number of greenhouse gases emitted by placing restrictions on large factories, and the amount of gas or coal they can burn. The second part is to attempt to slow down or further analyze environmental causes of climate change through a task force in the field, or a large research team dedicated to this cause. This proposition addresses both sides view and attempts to do something about them. I believe that both sides would feel they are being represented and hopefully be able to move forward to further assist each other in creating world change.
by Grace Michale
After intense research on the subject of Climate Change I have found that while we do agree on certain things, there are key points in which our opinions differ.
1) We all have reviewed and examined the research done by scientists and concluded that Earth's climate is changing. While this is a serious topic, we tend to share different opinions on the situation. I believe that human activity is responsible for the climate change that Earth is currently facing whereas you feel human activity has nothing to do with the global warming issues scientists are observing.
2) Secondly, you feel as if the changes happening with the climate would take entirely too long to solve due to the amount of resources need. You feel as if this would be a setback to today's society as far as the advancements we've made technologically.
After addressing our differences with Earth's climate change issues I hope we can understand each other's opinions more and be willing to find a solution to benefit both parties.
Addressing my first point listed, I understand how altering the lives of citizens throughout the world to benefit the Earth's climate is something that would take a lot of work and a lot of effort on every human's part, but I believe the reward our climate would see from this adjustment is worth it. According to the many articles provided on this subject, the earth has been both cooler and warmer than what it is now, but the leading issue is the rate at which the Earth is becoming warmer at.
Over the past 100 years, Earth's climate temperature has gone up about one-degree Fahrenheit. While this might not seem like a drastic change, small changes in temperature can have big effects especially in such short of time. The last time the Earth had an increase of temperature more than one-degree was in 1918 and it took 9700 years to get there. Scientists have discovered that climate change is happening at a much faster rate than it has in the past and the cause of this is because of the unprecedented amount of gas being released from greenhouses that humans are putting into the air. According to an article published by NASA, anything that consumes energy such as burning coal, driving a car, or heating and cooling your house, all have an effect on the climate.
Consuming energy and the effect it has on a climate plays a role on my second point and the lack of technology or resources wanting to be put into solving the climate change issue. Today's society revolves around driving to work or flying to business meetings, and while we all can agree this is very convenient, it does have an effect of the Earth and its climate. Scientists have suggested that we start creating more environmentally friendly technology and promoting them in a way that will appeal to all of the world, especially to those who feel they travel quite often. I believe that if money is invested into viable energy technology, we would be able to make a significant impact on the climate that only results in an improvement, no setbacks.
Climate change is affecting everyone in the world and is something that has to be addressed whether or not we see a change coming. Thousands of people lose their lives to natural disasters every year that we can't afford to overlook this constantly changing issue anymore. I hope we can come to an agreement that something needs to be done about climate change!
To the Rural Communities of West Virginia
by Sarah Gress
1. Many people in rural West Virginia think that climate change, if they do believe it is happening, is not really that influenced by human behavior and human actions.
2. They also think that by putting policies in place to prevent climate change, the economy will worsen, especially because their local economies were/are largely based in the coal and natural gas industries.
Two and a half years ago, I went on a week-long mission trip to Dunlow, West Virginia. I saw firsthand what the shift from coal to gas-based energy has done to local economies and to communities that were largely focused on coal mining. I understand the fear that another shift from gas to electric or clean energy would further disrupt these local communities and economies. I also know how rural areas, specifically in West Virginia, have been pushed aside for decades now when it comes to looking towards solutions to climate change, as well as so many other issues.
However, this is not an excuse to ignore the clear trend of global warming and its ties to human industrial activity. It is also not an excuse to misunderstand the entirety of the issue that is climate change. At the end of the day, the changing weather patterns, increases in greenhouse gases, and rises of the ocean level, as well as many more issues, affect us all. It does not matter where you come from or what you look like or what you do for a living; if we refuse to acknowledge the issue then our lives will be drastically changed, most likely for the worst.
While many opponents of policies focusing on combating climate change argue that the change in weather is not a result of human actions, but of normal changes in the earths rotation and other natural effects. However, the dramatic rise in temperature in the last one hundred years or so simply does not fit the timeline that many scientists have set up for normal shifts in climate, nor does it fit the theoretically and experimentally proven calculations of how the changes in the earths tilt should affect the planets climate. This means that there must be some other cause for climate change other than natural causes. Repeated scientific studies have tied this additional cause to human production of greenhouse gases, pollution, and deforestation.
The second aspect of climate change that needs to be understood is that there is more to it than just an increase of temperature. Climate change includes a shift towards more severe weather such as hurricanes, blizzards, and other storms, and this dangerous weather imposes a serious threat to many peoples safety. Beyond this clear consequence, climate change also has some other, less obvious effects, as it can affect the economy by altering the climate of rural areas. Global warming can lead to serious droughts as well as serious flooding, both of which affect crop growth that is essential to the United States food resource production. This negatively impacts the national economy over time; however, it is not widely recognized as an issue today because it is a gradual accumulation of an issue rather than an immediately onset problem.
Because of the two prior reasons, it is important that we come together to solve the problem of global warming and climate change. While it might be intimidating to consider, especially in terms of local economy and employment in rural areas, not doing anything at all would be much worse in the long run. In addition, while immediate negative outcomes might be observed at first, after a short period of time, the positives will largely outweigh the negatives. Yes, overcoming global warming and climate change will require radical changes, but this does not have to be a bad thing. If we are able to create sustainable solutions while setting provisions so as to ensure that the economy would be relatively stable, and keeping in mind the populations of the world that live in rural areas, we would be able to protect both humanity and the earth.
As humans, we have a responsibility to care for the land we live on and to understand the way that we affect the earth. We can no longer go on exploiting the earths natural resources. When I visited West Virginia, I loved every minute of it. I loved meeting the people and hearing their stories; I loved the local grocery store that my friends and I walked to in order to get peach Nehi soda; I loved spending time in the mountains and appreciating the nature that surrounded me. I find it hard to believe that you would be okay seeing the place you call home be destroyed by forces that you could work to prevent.
by Julie Reboullet
As a whole, I believe that the humans who inhabit this Earth are able to agree that climates all over the world have changed dramatically from the past and are continuing to change today. However, the feud typically begins over the reasons as to why this dramatic change is occurring. A hot topic of debate is whether human behaviors, specifically industrialization, are a key factor in the changing climate. I believe that human behaviors play a very large role and impact climate on a daily basis. Another feud begins when a solution is in perspective, and whether we as a society should invest money and resources to go forward with said solution. In the case of climate change, I do believe that humans should invest money, time, and resources to limit and ultimately reverse the progress of climate change. By reading this letter, I hope to inform you why I believe that humans play a key role in worsening climate change, and why we should take steps to fix it.
When looking at climate change in general, it is impossible to credit humans with 100% of the blame – there are certainly other factors contributing to this issue, however, industrialization has created a noticeable dent throughout time. The Earth’s climate is known to naturally change, but the rate at which this is happening now is the most concerning part. Since the start of industrialization, scientists have evidence to show that the concentration of carbon dioxide within the atmosphere has increased substantially – 30% since the pre-industrial era. As carbon dioxide concentrations increase, the greenhouse effect is strengthened which in return causes the warming of the planet. Humans rely on fossil fuels daily for tasks like driving a car or warming the water for your shower – things that many of us have become accustomed to and would not live happily without. However, upon taking this into your thoughts, think of what we could all do individually to make a greater impact as a whole. Whether its carpooling or taking a shorter shower, every little thing that you do does indeed affect the planet. The mindset that your actions won’t make a difference because nobody else will follow is simply holding humanity back from limiting the impact of human behavior on climate change. Instead, if everyone adopts the mindset that every action counts, society as a whole could begin to reverse the rapidly increasing rate. Another leading factor that humans play a part in is the use of land. As the population increases, more forests and trees are being cut down at an alarming rate to make room for homes and agriculture. This all leads to the warming of the planet. Because it has been scientifically proven that these specific actions commit by humans are contributing to the planet, it is also our responsibility to give back to the planet and invest the time and resources it takes to slow this process down. Although it may cost society a large amount of resources, money, or time, it is worth it to keep our planet healthy and inhabitable for the hundreds of years to come.
Humans have encountered life changing issues that we have overcome and found solutions that better society as a whole – climate change can be one of these life changing issues. I urge every individual that reads this letter and disagrees, to analyze the evidence brought forth by scientists and look at opposing viewpoints with an open mind – together we can make a difference.
Climate Change - An Urgent Issue
by Mira Felzien
Dear friends and colleagues,
I write to those of you who are of the mindset that climate change is not primarily caused by human actions. I address this topic in particular because I do not agree with your logic and I sincerely hope that this letter will allow us to better understand each other's positions and possibly find a common goal that we may collaborate on in respect to climate change.
While we both have come to the conclusion that climate change is indeed a reality for our world today, here are two specific ways in which my position on climate change differs from your own:
1.First, your position states that human activity is not primarily responsible for global climate change. I disagree and believe that we are primarily responsibly and that our actions have catalyzed a positive feedback loop in regards to natural warming trends.
2. Second, your position claims that there is nothing we can or should do to reverse the effects of climate change slow them down. I disagree, as I believe it is our duty as humans to take responsibility for the disservice we have done to our planet and we must do all we can to combat climate change for the health and wellbeing of ourselves and of future generations.
To start out I would like to address my position, that human activity is the primary cause of global climate change. The earth has undergone many stages of warming and cooling, but we cannot simply blame current warming trends on natural heating and cooling cycles. Yes, to a certain degree the earth may be going through a warmer stage, but I believe wholeheartedly that human activity has accelerated this change. Today temperatures are increasing at a rate far more rapid than we have ever seen or experienced before, and this change in temperature is directly correlated with human produced greenhouse gas emissions.
There has long been a scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human actions. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, “Human-caused climate change very likely increased the severity of heat waves that plagued India, Pakistan, Europe, East Africa, East Asia, and Australia in 2015” (https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/scientists-strong-evidence-human-caused-climate-change-intensified-2015-heat-waves). Increased temperatures not only promote heat waves, but they also bring droughts, crop failures, rising sea levels, and they can intensify tropical storms. I once heard a quote in regards to climate change, “What if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?” Hypothetically, even if climate change is not caused by human activity, it is still in our best interest to tackle this issue now.
This brings me to my next point, that we must make efforts to reverse or at least slow the effects of climate change. Tackling a global issue as large as climate change is not an easy feat, but it is possible with modern technology and it is necessary to protect future generations. We need to transition from our dependence on fossil fuels to a reliance on renewable energy such as wind, solar, hydropower, and biofuels. In order to significantly slow and reduce the implications of climate change, the IPCC estimates that we will need to be carbon neutral by the year 2050. This is a great challenge, but if we work together as a planet this plan is achievable (https://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/pr_181008_P48_spm.shtml).
If we do not make a change, there will be negative effects on both our personal livelihoods and the livelihoods of future generations as well. Even within the last decade health risks associated with climate change have skyrocketed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Asthma prevalence increased from 7.3% in 2001 to 8.4% in 2010” (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db94.htm). Today, more children are being diagnosed with asthma than ever before and we can expect this trend to continue if we keep haphazardly polluting our atmosphere. Personally, I was diagnosed with asthma in 2017 and this has changed my life dramatically. This has been a source of anxiety in my life as I now take a daily inhaler, I have difficulty exercising, and I am constantly worried about what could potentially trigger an attack. If we do not make an effort to combat climate change now, diagnoses such as asthma will be the least of our problems.
Thank you for reading my letter and considering the points I have addressed, I hope my position could help us come to a point of mutual agreement and collaboration.
The Importance of Believing in Climate Change
by Lily Kenn
I suppose the reason why I first believed in the effects of Climate Change is because I was told about its existence by my parents. It may have been brought up at school, with friends, or anywhere really. So, when I asked my parents what it meant, they told me the earth was slowly heating up when it wasn’t supposed to. It wasn’t until later, late middle school or high school maybe, that I learned more about the facts and statistics and that humans are the cause. I learned that overwhelmingly, it is because of human action and inaction both that our earth has changed so much since the Industrial Revolution, even more so since the 1950s. It is because of who my source was – my parents – that I first believed in Climate Change. For those who learned from their friends, family, or someone else they trust and believe that Climate Change is not real, I can understand why they hold that worldview. However, it is vital to our survival as a planet, much less as people, that we all believe in Climate change and band together to fight the roots of this global problem.
Climate Change does not just mean our earth is getting warmer. It means that ice and snow are melting at the poles causing ocean levels to rise, crops are growing and dying at different times, and that the gases entering the atmosphere at increased rates changes how it absorbs and contains the heat from the sun’s rays (NASA). The data tracked by reading ice from the artic combined with weather reports since the creation of thermometers show that the earth is indeed heating up, at least in part due to human activity because of industrialization. While humans did have an impact on the environment before the 1800s, the Industrial Revolution saw a massive increase in emissions of gases like CO2, which in the atmosphere can trap more heat than what escapes. This output of gases, called greenhouse gases, has only increased since then. However, it is also important to note that even though humans are, to be honest, a main component of Climate Change, humans can also be the solution.
We have the tools at our disposal already to reverse some of the effects of Climate Change. What cities can do is create buildings that are more environmentally sustaining, such as buildings like those in Mexico City which help to dissipate greenhouse gases, or like those in many American cities which are covered in vertical gardens that helps to absorb CO2 and disperse oxygen. What corporations such as the farming industry can do is change how they grow their produce and how they sell it; personally, I would love to see a mass agricultural strike against corporations that sell farmers incredibly toxic pesticides and then force them to buy their self-terminating seeds to grow crops that only grow once. And finally, what people can do is be more aware of their environmental impact. I am aware that this one can be tricky, as many people rely on food and other products that can be made and sold cheaply. However, if enough people can gather together and protest the lack of action from the sources of these products, and by extension the lack of action against Climate Change, I think we can start to take down this looming force.
By no means is this all we will have to do to fully heal our planet. I honestly do not know if that is even possible. But I want to try. I want to try and reverse any effects of Climate Change that I can because I live on earth in the here and now, and this issue is affecting the earth right now. I want to try because I know there will be generations after me who should have a right to live in a world that won’t collapse. And I want to try because I have some compassion for the fate of others and whether they survive in this quickly changing environment or not, and I hope that everyone else can have some too.
by Mia Kealey
1.Climate change is not primarily occurring due to human activities.
2. The Earth will go through a cooling period in 2030.
Although everyone agrees that climate change is occurring, there is debate over what seems to be the cause of this climate change. Many argue that humans are to blame due to the atmospheric greenhouse gases that they produce. However, some argue that the greenhouse gasses are not substantial enough to cause the climate change, and that this change is natural. After doing my own research, I strongly believe that climate change is due to humans, and this change is not a natural process.
The first reason I believe climate change is due to human activity is that the Earth has been getting warmer throughout the 20th century. The con side argues that this rise in temperature is within the normal range of temperature fluctuation, but it’s rising and hasn’t come back down. The temperature also hasn’t risen this much since 1000 A.D. That’s alarming! The con side goes further to say that in around 20 years, the earth will go through a period of cooling. But if we haven’t experienced this type of global warming in over 1,000 years, there’s no way they can be for sure that it’s going to cool down.
Another issue that comes up with the fact that this degree of global warming hasn’t happened for over 1,000 years is the fact that greenhouse gases cannot be disproven to be a factor of this heating. 1,000 years ago, there was no greenhouse gases, so even though there was a cooling period after that, there might not be now if greenhouse gases are the problem. The only true way to tell what is to blame here is to wait until 2030 to see if there truly is a cooling period or not.
An argument that climate change debaters have revolves around the effects of climate change. The pro side states that sea levels are rising at an exorbitant rate because of the climate change, while the con states that the sea levels have been rising steadily for millennia. The pro side does not dispute this, but instead states that the rate has increased at an extremely alarming rate since climate change has occurred.
Climate change is occurring due to human activity and this has been shown from the fact that temperatures have not risen this much since 1000 A.D. and are a result of greenhouse gas emissions. We need to look into ways to reduce the emissions because this is a serious issue that will be affecting our near future.
Climate Change Stance
by Anne Nelson
Throughout most of our schooling during the years, we have all had classes discuss the subject of climate change. The common description for climate change is the gradual increase of the temperature of the atmosphere on Earth through the years. Just since the 20th century the Earth has increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. There are many results to climate change including temperature increase, seal levels rising, ice melting, and stronger storms. Like any topic, there are two sides that are debated about the cause of climate change and whether it is real or not.
Side 1: The vast majority of scientists and humans believe that climate change can be directly linked to the emission of gases into the atmosphere. Human activities include the emission of greenhouse gases by factories, the burning of fossil fuel and other carbon-based materials, along with many other activities. It is believed that the gases that humans are emitting into the environment have gradually gotten into the atmosphere and is causing the global warming, ocean levels rising, ice caps melting, less rain, and more powerful storms.
Side 2: Although most scientists agree that climate change is due to human activities, they are scientists who side with natural processes being the reason behind climate change. As mentioned in the background information, 47% of climatologists challenge the idea that humans are the cause for climate change. The opposing side to humans being behind climate change believes that humans have not played a role in climate change. They believe that the Earths gradual increase in temperature is due to relationships between natural processes such as ocean currents and how the suns heat affects that.
Personally, I side with humans being the main cause of climate change. While I do believe that the Earths gradual increase in temperature has something to do with climate change, I believe that human activities are the main cause.
I grew up in Ohio, and I can always remember the weather. The weather always fit in with what season it was. The winter was cold and snowy, the summer was hot, spring was rainy, and the fall was brisk. Over the past few years, this has changed a bit, due to climate change. Snow is a rare occurrence, and when it happens there is not much or it will be in the fall or spring. The summers are gruesomely hot, reaching over 100 degrees on some days. There is rarely fall or spring weather, it just shifts between hot and cold. Overall, the weather is extremely unpredictable now, contradicting the past. I don’t find it surprising given how much advancement humans have made in making everyday lifestyle easier.
The world is always advancing. As we’ve all grown up, society has made many advancements, which is one of the reasons I believe humans cause climate change. In the modern day-and-age humans have everything at our fingertips. Our specific generation has grown up in a technologically advanced world, having the possibility of getting almost anything. I-phones, the Internet, Google, cars, online shipping, airplanes, and mass production of many goods in factories are all things that we have been able to enjoy. Most everything we use has either been made in a factory, uses gas, electricity, emits radiation, or travels long distances, which all contributes to climate change. The modern day and age lifestyle is only making climate change accelerate.
Although I do side with human activities being the main reason behind climate change, I believe it is only accelerating the process. Like opposers, I can see how natural processes would be behind climate change, but I believe that human activities are causing it to happen faster, dangerously fast. Everything has two sides to it, yet with this specific topic I think both are right. Despite the fact that I am preliminarily on the side of human actions causing climate change, Earths natural processes definitely cause a small amount.
Thank you for listening to my stance. I hope to hear many other thoughts on the issue and expand my knowledge.
Issue of Climate Change
by Ashley Pheigaru
I am addressing you today because it has come to my attention that, while your group does indeed believe in Climate Change, you do not agree with the idea that human activity is the main factor that influences Earth’s ever-changing climate like I myself do. In addition, I have learned that you do not think the issue of Earth’s rapidly increasing climate is worth working to solve because it is much too expensive. However, this is another point that I would, unfortunately, have to disagree with.
To discuss the first point that was made, I should first start out by saying I understand how it can be difficult to determine causes for such a large and complex global issue like climate change. Especially when there are several differing reports on the subject from scientists around the world. However, I must bring up the fact that most scientists do support the idea that human activity has had a large impact on the global climate. Over eighty percent of climate scientists agree that our activity is having a negative effect on the climate.
If you truly do not believe that humans have the largest impact on climate, I encourage you to instead think about our actions on an individual basis rather than one big picture. Our process of deforestation to build infrastructure will do nothing to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Businesses are still allowed to pollute the air which only adds to the increasing amount of greenhouse gases. Not to mention the fact that polluting bodies of water harm the local wildlife. These actions might not seem dangerous at the moment, as it is just a part of day-to-day life, but the consequences of these operations build up over time.
It is my opinion that the best option would be to develop new procedures to prevent, or at least slow down, the negative effects our routines have on the environment. Don’t you think so?
Addressing the second point, the topic of possible financial outcomes that may occur due to costly global warming prevention efforts is tiring to discuss. I realize that a large amount of taxpayer money is used in the United States to develop new eco-friendly products and that number is only expected to grow as our environmental issues do. Considering that the United States is expected to spend over $30 billion every year in the future, it makes sense why people would adamantly oppose spending such a significant amount of money on an endeavor with results not immediately noticeable.
On the other hand, though, if we as a collective group simply choose to ignore the rising problems, they will only become worse and therefore cost more to fix or to back-track. Personally, I would prefer if my tax money was used for something that could potentially decrease the amount of destruction we see in our environment. Switching to more innovative solutions could be beneficial in the grand scheme of things. For example, in the case of fossil fuels, we already know that we will eventually run out of them and must find a replacement… This begs the question why not start that transition now?
If you were to compare pictures of the United States from 100 years ago to today, you would notice a drastic difference. We changed our environment with every structure built and roads paved. I urge you to think about how our constant development of land has impacted the environment.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this letter and I hope that a compromise can be reached between everyone soon.
Climate Change Letter
by Taylor Mraz
Fellow humans inhabiting this earth,
It is quite obvious how the matters of the environment have become controversial. They are even incorporated in the platforms of our political leaders. Various parties support juxtaposing evidence, or lack thereof, of climate change. Although this disagreement does not occur only amongst the elected, but between us everyday citizens as well.
For one, I think we can both agree that the climate on Earth is changing. Maybe we do not think it could change at the same rate, but regardless, it is changing. However, I have to believe that its’ main causes are because of human activity, yet the opposing would argue that humans simply do not emit a significant amount of greenhouses gases to have such an effect. It is absolutely mind boggling to think of the magnitude of the people currently inhabiting this earth. Although planet earth is one of the greatest phenomenas, it seems impossible to conclude that humans do not have a slight impact on the nature that surrounds us.
Secondly, the Con side of the climate change argument would say that the science community does not have a sufficient amount of data to take concrete steps that are not likely solve the problems of increasing global temperatures. Yet I do not think the data we currently have can be underscored and disregarded; there is no denying that at least some credible data does exist. In addition to this data, I would argue that taking concrete steps towards combating global warning could be considered data in it of itself. Scientists would then be able to analyze the results in order to create improved methods. I do not think it is fair to not even attempt the impossible because of the fear of ineffectiveness of said steps.
Personally, I am not keen to scientific terms or data which causes me to get lost in the arguments of global warming. However, I am still able to understand the effects of global warming by simply comparing my own experiences with the weather. Last year, I specifically remember my friends and I celebrating a nice, sunny, 80 degree day at a local lake in the middle of November. We were all completely blow away by the warmth during a time when we should have been dressed in a winter coat and sledding down the hills on campus. It is telling that I can remember this day because it was unprecedented. This helped me reach the conclusion that the weather is becoming warmer faster which helps prompt discussions of why. We are fully aware of what is happening, but need to advocate for a solution.
Some Thoughts on Climate Change
by Owen Burrows
My fellow college students,
Although many of us agree that climate change exists and that humans are at least a contributing factor to it, there are two key issues on which we disagree. The first difference of opinion is that I do not feel that we as humans have sufficient data to support any effective course of action. The second is that I believe nuclear power is a more practical solution than the sustainable sources of solar, wind, and hydropower..
A large majority of climate researchers, over ninety percent, agree that humans are the primary contributors to climate change. This is not an unreasonable conclusion, given the massive increases in carbon dioxide levels since the Industrial Revolution. However, it is important to look to the past for perspective on this issue. The notion that something must be true because it is supported by recent scientific research does not always hold true. For example, As recently as the 1970s, it was believed that Earth was cooling, not warming. Without further research, attempting to "fix" the climate may do more harm than good. After all, if scientists in the 1970s tried to fix the problem of global cooling, they may have ended up exacerbating global warming.
Because of the difficulty of finding an effective method to combat climate change, I believe it would be a better long-term solution to focus on improving energy-based technologies than to try to limit current power usage. Much of the resistance towards environmentalism comes from the perceived antagonism of environmentalism towards fossil fuel industries. If the people associated with those industries did not see climate change as a threat to their livelihoods, they would be more likely to accept it. If focus was shifted away from criticizing fossil fuel consumption and towards finding feasible alternatives, more people would be on board with environmentalism.
Unfortunately, even among environmentalists, nuclear power, the most effective replacement for fossil fuel, is seen in a negative light. Due to highly publicized nuclear meltdowns such as the Chernobyl meltdown, people on both sides of the climate change issue see nuclear power as dangerous and uncontrollable. This is despite the fact that nuclear power is a more viable alternative to fossil fuels than other "green" sources of energy. Energy sources such as solar or wind power are simply to unreliable to be depended on as humanity's primary source of power, depending heavily on certain weather and climate patterns, which, as I noted earlier, are notoriously unpredictable. Because of this reluctance to develop nuclear power, the technologies associated with it are lacking. For example, if fusion energy could be harnessed, it could provide a clean power source with even more energy potential than fossil fuels.
Overall, I believe that the key to solving the issue of climate change is to learn as much as we can, both about the planet and about our own capabilities. If we can remove the barriers of political alliance to learn more about this problem together, we will stand the best chance to overcome it.
My Belief Differences on Climate Change
by Mackenzie Mahsman
From reading your studies and concluded views, I have found we agree on many points with regards to climate change. I do have to say I have found two points regarding climate change that I disagree with:
1.) The first is that scientists are striving to find a prevention of climate change, but it is quite inevitable. The green house gasses rise, yes, as well as the population continues to increase and there is no way we can prevent climate change with the combination of these two factors.
2.) The second is that scientists only research data that will support their theory of climate change, so that they can keep their jobs, positions, and continue researching climate change. They find research that will specifically support their view, rather than taking overall and general observations and evidence.
By sending you this letter, my genuine goal is to help one another not only understand one another’s beliefs, but to also come up with a combination of our ideas to conclude a point we both agree on.
To add to the first point, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have concluded that humanity is not taking caution to their repeated warnings, and that the world’s heavy use of fossil fuels, including the emission of carbon dioxide, are now increasing, rather than declining by 25 to 40 percent, as they initially recommended. The escalation in energy consumption in China, India, and the developing world has overwhelmed some reductions of emissions in Europe and the United States. Within the future years, the IPCC have predicted that "the fundamental drivers of emissions growth are expected to persist." Mankind will probably uncontrollably exceed the CO2 targets that the IPCC says will bring dangerous consequences, and see global warming exceed 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than twice the global warming seen so far. The climate will get a lot weirder. With the route humanity is taking, climate change is inevitable.
In elaboration of the second point, I am referring to the collaboration between publication bias, public perception, scientific general agreement and policy that is very skeptical to read. If the results shown scientific publications are actually a general aspect of the scientific literature regarding global warming, our tactics are based on a one-way biased course of new information, rather than one that has a level distribution of changing current forecasts or suggestions of climate change in either a positive or negative direction. This bias, committed by scientists, exists despite the climate research community’s statement that this belief does not, so climate change research and statistics are not nearly as accurate as one may think.
Thank you for listening to my thoughts! I appreciate you giving your stances on global warming and listening to mine, too. I hope we can stay in contact and find a view we can agree on that puts our individual ideas together.
An Address to my Fellow Americans
about our Changing Climate
by Cormac Palmer
My Fellow Americans,
In these heavily polarized times, it can be difficult to have a civil discussion about the issues that affect us all. The gradual rising of the average global temperature, and the resulting climate change, is one of these issues. Today, I merely wish to have a discussion about the facts, the causes, and the solutions to the changing of Earth’s climate.
Specifically, I wish to address those people who believe that:
a) Climate change is not caused by human activities, is caused to a negligible amount by human activities, and/or is not happening at all, and
b) That even if it really is happening, fixing it would require so many resources and so much government intervention that it would no longer be worth doing if we were to maintain our modern lifestyle.
I hope that through a look at history and present scientific consensus, we can, if not come to an agreement, then at least understand the logic behind each other’s ideas.
It should first be asserted that climate change is indeed happening. There is overwhelming evidence that the average global temperature has risen since the beginning of such recording in the early 20th century. This does not necessarily mean warmer weather, since day-to-day weather and longer-term climate are two different concepts, and in fact higher average temperatures are more often correlated to more extreme weather. This means colder and heavier snowstorms, more frequent and powerful hurricanes, and more devastating droughts across the planet, including here in the United States. The increased instability and higher energy that extra heat causes for the weather system leads to these more intense natural phenomena, such as the devastating hurricanes that hit Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico in late 2017. The alternating heat waves and deep freezes that have hit the country in the last decade (the 10 hottest years on record have all been after 2006) are also a result of this.
There is also evidence that this rate of change is unprecedented in Earth’s history. As many sceptics have rightfully pointed out, Earth’s average global temperature has varied widely over its history. This we know from chemical analysis of rocks and ice cores. However, it is through these means that we also know that the current temperature rise we are seeing is happening far faster than ever before. The time that this rapid change started also lines up fairly well with the start of the industrial revolution, when we as a species started putting an increasing amount of carbon into the air. The change has also risen since then at a similar rate to car use, industry, and coal-powered electricity use. This clearly indicates that there is a link between what humans are doing and the changing climate.
But these are all facts, and they don’t reach the more immediate worries of many people; that fixing this problem would require government regulation of individual citizens’ activity or even a mass-scale return to a pre-industrial way of life. Neither of those are what I or anyone else wants. I love my modern, post-industrial life, with electricity and fast transportation and cheap meat. And fortunately, we need not worry that we have to somehow lose these things to save the planet. Private companies are already responding to the demand for cleaner and more efficient vehicles and more sustainable food methods. We don’t need to change our entire way of life to solve climate change. Some simple civic responsibility, combined with the American ability for innovation and investment, can adapt our modern world into one that can bring the world back to the old days of clean air, pleasant weather, and bountiful food.
Climate Change Issues
by Paul Turner
The Earth's climate is changing. This is fairly widely accepted. Two things that are less widely accepted, however, are:
1. Whether or not human activity is the driving force behind climate change. I think that humans are indeed the main contributing factor to the dramatic climate change that we are seeing today, while other people believe that the climate change we see is simply the result of the natural climatic cycles of the earth.
2. Whether or not action is justified to halt or slow the process of climate change. I think that action is not only justified but that inaction is morally reprehensible. Others think that the action required to prevent climate change wouldn't be worth it, stating that, for example, people in certain industries might lose their jobs.
In regards to the first disagreement, I want to acknowledge that there are indeed long-term climate cycles that the Earth goes through. These long-term cycles operate over long, long periods of time - far too long to account for the extremely rapid changes that we have seen since the industrial revolution. In addition, the climate change we see has been accelerating as industrial activity expands and more and more greenhouse gases are emitted. This rapid warming and exponential acceleration cannot be explained by the natural cycles that the Earth goes through.
In regards to the second disagreement, I understand concerns about the negative impacts of the economic restructuring which would be required to prevent disastrous climate change. Coal miners and oil field workers would indeed lose their jobs and would have to find other careers in which to support themselves and their dependents. Losing a job is bad, but the negative effects of climate change are significantly, significantly worse than unemployment. Rising sea levels would mean millions displaced from coastal cities and forced to look for other places to live. The industrialized world already can't seem to handle the refugee crisis going on today, and adding a potentially astronomical number of climate refugees (remember, most of the world's population is concentrated in coastal areas) would only make things worse. Climate refugees would only be the tip of the (melting) iceberg. Frequent, deadly heat waves. Severe droughts in the areas which produce the world's food. More extreme and frequent dramatic weather events. People will lose jobs, but if their industries continue on as they are, the consequences will be significantly worse. There is no good option between an uncomfortable restructuring of global economies and dramatic climate change, but the effects of climate change will be much broader reaching and much longer lasting, making it the only reasonable choice.
I hope this short letter has made it clear what is stake, and I hope you have considered my positions. With any luck we can all come to an agreement about the seriousness of these issues and the necessity of a response to them.
A Letter for Change
by Sierra Wood
I understand that the there are many issues that the population of the world has disagreed upon and therefore unintentionally divided itself upon. However, I have faith that this letter can spark an alliance between two groups like yourself and me on the massive issue of climate change.
To start, I would like to respectfully share my point of view for the causes of climate change, although they may differ from the beliefs that you may hold about this subject. Firstly, I would like to make clear my opinion on the influence that mankind has had on our planet and how, in contrast to your previously stated views, the impact we have had on the altering of this climate change has been clearly represented in the evidence of the collection of atmospheric greenhouse gasses. Secondly, I will share my views on what kind of power mankind possesses to take steps toward improving this problem and how especially necessary our action is in this predicament facing our world today.
In regards to my first point, I believe it is important to mention that I am not, what one may call, a treehugger. In fact, I believe that this term has led millions of people to give the word a negative connotation. For whatever reason, this term that describes a person who is passionate on keeping our earth healthy and clean has been used against the argument of improving the environment of our planet. For this reason, this term is not one that I assign to myself for this very reason of the issue of climate change not being taken seriously, and I am sure I can speak for many others for the very same reason. However, when looking at facts of our earth being affected by climate change, this issue is not to be taken lightly. I want to first address the fact that humans have indeed had a massive impact on the climate change that we face today. The Anderegg study done in 2010 concluded that nearly 98% of climate researchers agreed that human activity on the planet was the primary influence of climate change. For some this may seem to be a stretch of information, stating that humans are the largest contributor to this problem, however, a survey conducted by German Scientists Bay and Von Storch showed that almost 84% of scientists studying the earth’s climate believed it to be true that humans are the cause for “most of recent” global warming, which is much more likely when considering humans have only been on the planet for a fraction of the life of Earth, and some major factors to this global warming have become apparent in the past decades, including the inescapable statistics of the earth’s temperature increasing by a whole Fahrenheit degree in the past century.
When we think about the industrial revolution, we may think of business, money, assembly lines, and other things that have brought many parts of the world to a very successful point for all people, businesses and citizens alike. There is also a dark side to this success that we humans are taking advantage of that is also harming the planet little by little. This other side paints a picture of smog-filled skies, the endless burning of the fuels, and the slowly disintegrating natural beauty that the Earth has to offer us. Seeing all of this happen right before our eyes does not get by without shock. In every form of the word, pollution has never been seen in a more immense way than in this time period our society has been living in. With all of this information provided by experts in the field, statistics from the last decades and the mere image of all of this occurring before us has no possibility of all being coincidental when it comes to the change in climate on the Earth.
I want to secondly address what can be done to try to solve this issue that is ever so present in our lives. When speaking of this matter, it is important to approach it with a clear view of the responsibility involved. It is also important to accept that this job to be done, taking action toward this issue, is solely our own responsibility, for we as humans have been one of the major contributors to the change in climate. I understand that it is easy to see the cure for this climate change is simply to let the earth “do its thing” and adjust itself like it has in the past with previous significant climate changes. However, if we have the power and resources to take action now then we would be defying our own home planet if we said no to doing so.
Helping our planet goes beyond so much more than spreading news about what is happening to our planet. To speak about the possibility of what can be done acts more as a roadblock to our success than it does as a stepping stone. At the same time, no action toward solving the issue of climate change is too small. It is conceived by the general public that the only way to propel the progress toward helping this issue is to hand it over to the larger corporations and organizations that spend thousands of dollars on reforms. On the contrary, it is the simplest ways of every person doing their part that create the largest impact in helping an issue like this and also in influencing others to do the same. I remember all the way back to elementary school, as I am sure you do as well, learning about how to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!” and how the small actions a young child like me makes can still produce an ultimate outcome that can create a better and safer life for the generation after ours.
I sincerely hope that the information and views I have presented in this letter have lead you to find a new perception on the issue of climate change and hope for the future, which I sincerely believe there is if we only decide to open our eyes right now. With the staggering facts that are involved and the clear mindset that we are all able to obtain, climate change is just one of many major issues that can bring our world together to form a cohesive human race and an alliance of peace and prosperity.
Climate and Our Future
by Rachel Husted
Climate change and its complexity have recently been a hot topic; in which, most of us have chosen a side according to the information we have obtained. We are both aware that our world is changing within the frame of this change.
1) However, we are on different sides of the spectrum when it comes to our analysis of evidence that shows the progression in changes to the earth. You believe that as humans we are not the sole reason for the increase in the earth’s temperature or the results that climate fluctuation has upon the environment.
2) You see that the information provided in the studies of climate change have too many components. I understand you see all the different variables as an issue, believing that there is no way to pull accurate information when things are overly complex.
I see both those points are valid in their own right. I hope you can take in considerations my views in this debate, so we may be able to come to a common understanding on the issue that affects us all in some way or another.
We are all aware that historically temperatures have fluctuated, the natural increases and decreases of the earth’s temperature have been dictated by the earth’s rotational patterns and interaction with the sun. The issue here is we are not supposed to be in a warming period but a cooling one. After thousands of years of this predictable pattern in what ways have things changed? Despite our differences, I think we owe it to future generations to investigate the ways we can improve problems that may arise.
Even now due to the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990 children don’t know what its like to live in a city that is covered by a permanent cloud of haze caused by industrial admissions. (https://www.epa.gov) I grew up during 1980’s and 1990's and can remember what it was like going from a rural area to a larger city and feeling the air quality change. Breathing was more difficult while allergies and respiratory illnesses acted up. After years of holding corporations accountable for the byproducts they produced; there is a clear improvement to our environment and a decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Even though some former UN IPCC scientists do not believe humans are the cause of climate change, that does not dismiss the fact that 97-98% of climate researcher’s publishing most actively in their field believe we are contributing to the rise in global temperatures in some way.
Isn’t the notion of making thing better for our children outweigh a debate of who’s right or wrong in what is causing climate change. If something can improve the well-being of future generations why not take the incentive now. Our society has progressed over the decades in many aspects, especially in our children’s well being. We give our children vaccinations or keep them away from others that are ill as a precaution in keeping them safe. Why not take that state of mind and apply it to the world we are passing down to them.
Change is difficult for everyone, but making changes in one’s habits can make a big difference. We can look into ways of providing the public with information about doing small things like recycling, looking at how our products are made, getting involved in community discussions, and being conscious of how our actions that MAY effect climate change. These things do not start off effecting economies or lifestyles, but slowly change and process in to the societal norm. Showing future generations, we cared about what we leave them will give them an example to do better.
Thank you for investing your time on the issue of climate change and hopefully we may further this dialog in the future.
Climate Change Project
by Katie Buhrmeister
As far as climate change goes, I believe that there are and always will be opposing views as to whether or not it exists, and why. When it comes to picking sides, I will admit that I struggle. I am a very open-minded and agreeable person. I like to believe that both sides of almost any argument have validity. However, in the case of climate change, I will take the pro-side, believing that climate change does indeed exist and the majority of it is human-caused. Due to this conclusion, I disagree with the following views of the con-side: the view that human-generated greenhouse gas emissions are not substantial enough to cause climate change and that humans are not the majority cause of climate change.
Again, I like to see validity in almost every argument, therefore, I would like for the opposing view to see validity in my argument as well. I hope to provide insight on why I stand with the pro-side and show the con-side the validity of this side as well.
In regards to the first argument of the con-side, I believe that the greenhouse gas emissions are quite a significant cause of the current state of global warming. I understand that the earth naturally heats up and cools down, but there has been a significant rise in the temperature of the earth in the past couple hundreds of years that can be very well explained by the rise in burning fossil fuels and contemporary agriculture. According to the article in climatechange.procon.org, the levels of CO2 reached a high of 400 ppm in 2013. CO2 is released from cement production and the burning of fossil fuels. Methane is responsible for one-fifth of global warming since 1750 and is released during fossil fuel production and agriculture. These, and many other greenhouse gasses trap heat in the atmosphere for years, and even decades.
This leads me to my next argument, that it makes perfect sense that this rise in atmospheric heat would be mostly human-caused. The significant rise in greenhouse gasses began right around the time of the industrial revolution. Since then, agriculture, machinery, fossil fuels, and technology have been an ever-growing and significant part of humankind. It gets more advanced by the day and is a daily part of almost every life on earth. With the rise in advanced agriculture, factories, machinery, etc, comes a rise in the release of the gasses that heat our earth. According to an article by worldometers, there are over 1 billion cars on earth right now. These cars release significant amounts of C02 into our air. With a current population of 7.7 billion people, it takes unimaginable amounts of technology to sustain our wants and needs.
Current human life is a significant cause of climate change, specifically the release of greenhouse gasses. With the ever-evolving and ever-growing population, comes ever-growing technology with it. If we do not evolve more efficient ways of living, the rise in atmospheric heat will only get worse and worse.
Mother Nature Need Our Help
by Reigan Crawford
Hello my peers,
All of us writing these letters can agree on one thing; that the Earth's climate has changed over the years that even we have been alive, and over the centuries the climate has changed drastically.
1.) We are both writing this letter because we are addressing a common issue, climate change; where we differ is you do not believe that humans play a crucial rule in the issue of climate change.
2.) Personally, I believe that humans are the primary reason for the climate changing; more importantly that there are plenty of ways that we can help restore the Earth's climate by changing small tasks we do everyday.
Now, you may not agree but I hope that by reading this letter you will see my point of view. Likewise I hope reading other students letters will help broaden my understanding of climate change.
I am not saying I know a whole bunch about the climate because I really don't, I have never really sat down and read about climate change or thought deeply about the topic; but, after reading I started to think even over the nineteen years I have been alive the climate (especially in my small southwest Kansas town) has changed a ton.
To address the first point, I don't know how the climate has changed and I cannot say that I'm 100% sure that humans are at fault, but what I do know is that the little task we do every singe day have an impact on Earth. For instance, keeping the water running when you are brushing your teeth may not seem like a huge deal. In fact the Appomattox River Water Authority wrote that if a family of four keeps the faucet running while brushing their teeth for just two minutes a day that family will waste approximately 600 gallons of water a month-- over 7,200 gallons a year (http://arwava.org/water-conservation/). Conserving water is crucial to saving our planet, with the rising water temperatures, evaporation is happening and it will not happen in our lifetime but maybe in our grandchildren or great grandchildren's lives, water will be scarce and the oceans will be dry. Another thing we can do is stop using plastic, when plastic is left in landfills the bottle releases chemicals into the air which can lead to a change in climate.
Secondly, I'm sure you have noticed the crazy weather patterns in your hometown and if you haven't let me tell you about the weather in my hometown. On Monday it will be sunny and 95 degrees with a light breeze (perfect weather in my opinion), on Tuesday there is defiantly a possibility that it will only be 50 degrees and the sky will be gloomy. I remember two years ago it didn't snow or rain all winter long, and only half the winter was actually cold the other half it was warm enough to wear shorts outside. Spring got unusually hot (85 degrees by the end of February) but sill no rain, then all of a sudden during the middle of may we had ten inches of snow and the temperature dropped back down to the 30s for a week or so.
We all need to stop and take a second to breathe in the air, its not fresh its polluted, so plant a tree or a ride your bike or even walk to school, work, or even to go get a coffee.
Thank you for reading what I have to say, I really hope you understand that our world will never be the same if we as humans don't rally together all around the world to help save our planet.
Letter to the Con Side
by Alexis Feuerborn
Dear Con Side,
Throughout the years, studies have shown that close to one-hundred percent of climate researchers would agree that human activity is the root cause for global climate change. The majority of this pollution is coming from different gases and oils, such as fossil fuels, coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline. We as humans use these every day, and though they may be small on their own, there is a great deal when you consider the number of people using each one. This causes an immense amount of damage to our climate.
Coming from a person that lives in a smaller town and knows the need for diesel, I also know the hard it can have on the environment around me. There are more people than you might know who need diesel on a daily basis. Even in such a small town the numbers are big. When you take into consideration larger towns, those numbers increased tremendously. This is just diesel and the same goes for gas which are both extremely harmful to the earth's atmosphere.
Some might argue that the human-generated greenhouse gas emissions are “too small to substantially change the Earth’s climate”. This statement would likely be true if there were only one of each damaging product on this Earth. But because there are multiple of each, they cause a lot more damage than some might think. An example that might make this easier to comprehend is to imagine you are sitting in a room with only one person and you are listening to them talk. Easy right? But if there were 30 people in that same room talking it would become much more difficult to listen closely or hear anyone at all.
“They say the theory of human-caused global climate change is based on questionable measurements, faulty climate models, and misleading science…” This is an understandable viewpoint, but does not necessarily give any answers regarding why there is a climate change in the first place. Basically, they are just saying that science is wrong without giving any form of evidence to back that statement up. It is hard to believe this statement due to the fact that it is coming from scientists who are arguing against the authenticity of science.
In my final analysis, I conclude that the increasingly severe climate changes are due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels, driving cars, boats, motorcycles, etc. Humans themselves are the root cause of this because of the excessive amounts they use these dangerous resources in.
A Letter to Conservatives
by Hayleigh Stoneking
Climate change is not the only thing there is for us to disagree on, although it is at the top of important issues. Climate change is time sensitive, and if we do not figure out a way to agree on a common ground, I am afraid we might cause more irreversible damage. We do not see eye to eye on two main ideas regarding climate change;
1.) First, in my opinion, climate change is a result of negative human interaction with the environment where us as a society have neglected our planet. Comparing my view points to yours, it is typically for you to rebuttal my argument with, “Humans are not the cause of climate change, it is a complete natural occurrence that we cannot and do not effect.”
2.) Second, as I stated in my first point, I believe humans are the primary cause of climate change, and whereas you think it is natural, I think we need to change our bad habits. The longer we allow ourselves and those around us to treat our planet this way, the worse condition it will be for future generations to come.
My main purpose for this letter is to convey my opinion in a way that does not seem attacking, and to understand your side of climate change to hopefully broaden my horizons and mind. I want to have an open-mind while still looking at the facts.
The first thing I want to start with in the rest of the letter is that I do understand your position on this topic. It is hard to narrow down all the issues surrounding climate change into one main problem, especially saying it is all because of how humans affect the atmosphere. Climate change is extremely intricate and even scientists cannot determine the root factor behind it all, but there are many factors and statistics that can point us in a general direction.
Climate change is linked to the Earth’s temperature, which the average has risen by over one degree Fahrenheit in the past century – which does not seem like a lot but compared to the seven degrees it has risen since the last ice age we can see a rapid change. To many this change does not seem important, or do not understand, but to me I see the effect this can have on my grandchildren, or even my own children. I do not want to raise a future generation in a society that is failing nature and itself.
Trying to see a perspective on an issue that you have already previously decided against with your own opinion can be difficult, but I think it is important to listen, understand, and maybe decided on a middle-ground that satisfies both conditions. When thinking of climate change often the Paris Agreement is brought up. The Paris Agreement is a hard topic for those of opposite political views to discuss because of the drastically different opinions, on one hand, yours, it is thought that it is a waste of money and resources for no outcome, and in my opinion, it is one of the main things in the world saving our planet. Instead of the Paris Agreement, coming up with a plan or agreement for both sides might be difficult, but I think it consists of utilizing resources to maybe prevent or at least cut back on greenhouse gases, but finding a cheap, cost friendly way of doing so. I do not know for sure what the exact solution could be, as I do not have the knowledge to make huge changes and do extensive research on results.
If there was an opportunity for people of different sides on the argument to get together, that would be the most beneficial, if either side is willing to sit back and listen. It takes two to make a team, and it takes a team to solve problems. We need to look at the price we will pay in the future if we do not pay the actual price now.