37 Public Anthropology Award Winners
U. C. Riverside
in Prof. Worku Nida's
ANTH 001 (Cultural Anthropology) Class
Nahomy Barron, Dimah Albokhari, Nathan Kong, Billy Tsang, Charles Alaras, Goldmilton Sam, Aidan Nguyen, Anusha Barua, Margaret Chen, Cynthia Govea-Orozco, Carson Storm, Shadi Azad, Thomas Courtney, Suhas Jagannath, Shaury Moreno, Keannah Rivera, Chiristopher Young, Arnold Mercado, Tasnoom Ahamed, Sara Maul, Nahomi Mondragon Corona, Fernanda Moreno Rubio, Dion Ngo, Laura Pozar, Katrina Villarica, Chloe Wells, Kaylen Wenzel, Andrew Vo , Daniella Carlon, Deborah Reyes, Audrey Wilfong, Isabella Avila, Xavier Castro, Fabiola Ibarra, Isabel Rivas ,
Ava von Dyck, and Karina Zepeda
Read Their Letters, Please Use Your Search Function)
Developing Positve Discussions Despite Disagreements
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 despite your differences?
It's Everyone's Responsibility
by Nahomy Barron
Regardless of our gender, age or nationality, there is something that connects us all; the planet we call home. Therefore it not just a nation's responsibility, but everyone's to maintain a sustainable and healthy future. Some may argue human emissions are much too small to create an impact on the planet, while others argue that climate change isn't a global concern but a national responsibility. Through this letter I aim to demonstrate that climate change is in fact a global issue and that in order for it to be successfully reversed, it must be taken upon in global unity.
Whether we look at climate change through a scientific or political perspective it is important that we first acknowledge our impact as well as our potential to reshape the planet. Fracking, over agriculture and extraction of natural resources are ways in which we as a global community negatively impact the earth. A practice such as agriculture may only directly pollute a specific nation, but benefit many. Excessive agricultural practices result in a surplus of crops, and therefore international trade of goods. The global economy, as well as the people who consume all, benefit. So why should the specific agricultural nation be blamed for the pollution or uniquely held responsible? It's true they are the source; but not the only participants in the process.
I suggest we take upon the challenge of tracing back the food we consume. Where is it produced, packaged or branded? Find out if the nation from where it comes from is being environmentally impacted at the exchange of our consumption. Many times the land from where the goods are being exported are exploited to meet high demands, thereby making the consumer oceans away part of the problem.
But just as we are part of the problem we can become part of the solution. It all begins with knowledge. If we know the impact of our desires and consumption, then we become aware or the true impact a good we may consider insignificant, such as a coke, truly has on the planet. I encourage we take up an even a greater task: Research how as consumers we can avoid the impact of the goods we consume. Through lobbying, social media and most importantly awareness we can help improve the future of our planet. Through small steps and education, every individual can positively contribute to a global benefit.
In conclusion, I believe that as individual nations we should impose laws and regulations that benefit the environment, but that as a global community we should work even harder to create a sense of responsibility in every individual. As consumers we should become aware, as citizens active and as humans responsible for the environment.
by Dimah Albokhari
Although we may have differences in opinions of what or whom may cause climate change. it wouldn't hurt to work together to resolve it, because In the end whether climate change is caused by natural causes or humans, its still happening and its hurting the planet, the wild life, and most importantly us in the process.
You believe that
1. Humans have had nothing to do with how climate change has increased the last couple of years
2. Humans have to give up a lot to resolve this issue
I personally believe, while yes natural causes has a percentage of effecting climate change, that the people have a bigger percentage affecting the dangerously fast increasing of climate change.
so the question now is how can we resolve it? or at least try to.
We already know that climate change and global warming are happening even if it is at least in a small rate, as noted in the background material of climate change "Earths temperature has gone up about one degree in temperature in the last 100 years". It may not seem as a problem believe me the first time I read this statement I was relieved thinking that one temperature isn't much. However seeing of how that one degree difference in temperature has made change in the rising of the sea levels and also the melting of the polar ice caps I wondered what two degrees higher in the change of temperature could do to this beautiful world we live in. Keep in mind it could happen if we take our resources for granted.
The human mind has been capable of originating many different things as well as it has been on resolving issues and inventing and building stuff. Then we sure can come up with an affecting way to help our globe. Until then we can start slowly by recycling. Recycling is an amazing easy activity that everyone can do by decreasing the amount of trash one produces and to just simply throw your trash in the right place. This can help in many ways because trash is one of the biggest problems in climate change due to the chemical and green houses gasses produced by trying to get rid of trash.
We can also start eating healthier by eating our greens and drinking our water. This way factories like Coca Cola and processed food factories won't have a reason to keep manufactoring products that result in producing more air pollution that causes a huge increase in climate change. As well as we can easily learn how to plant. This way we can eat healthier and we know where the food we put in our mouths comes from by also helping our beautiful planet.
Lastly a big percentage of us know how to walk. One of the first things we learned how to do. By simply walking to places that are near by and don't require a car to get too, we can decrease air pollution by so much if we simply just take it a step at a time.
in conclusions my friends having different opinions from each other wont help climate change whether its changing because of us or because of natural causes. however by simply trying to follow these small steps we will be able to change this world for the better soon. Hopefully we can then see that then the hurricanes and the fires are not as large, or that it's not as cold or hot, it will be what a normal season is supposed to be.
Climate Change and It's Urgency
To whom this may concern,
Climate change along with global warming has been a more brought up topic recently in the media and in general, with the popularization of YouTuber MrBeast’s twenty million trees challenge by the end of 2020. However, a couple of significant points that I disagree with “the con side” are
1. Human factors and actions are one, if not the main factor, that has drastically affected climate change specifically in the last century.
2. The second point is that we as a human race should be taking actions to decrease the effects and damage that climate change has and will create no matter the financial cost, including but not limited to raising taxes to fund projects that can decrease the environmental damage being done.
Regarding my first point, the opposing side has stated that the change in climate in the last century was not due to human actions as the emissions would be too small to affect the Earth globally and the rising temperatures and ocean levels were due to natural processes and not human actions. To that point, I would like to point out that approximately 7.7 billion people are living on Earth and that number is estimated to increase. With this many people needing food, water, housing, and other products that emit greenhouse gasses, it is not an outlandish thought to think that humans can have a significantly large impact on the environment with such a large population.
While I agree that seemingly human actions might seem insignificant and little compared to mother nature and the natural forces that are created, I strongly believe that we as a human race with such a large population can and have been creating change to the climate for the worse. I also understand why accepting this may be difficult as that would imply that we as a human race would be at fault for damaging the planet and that is an immense responsibility to hold and not a pleasant one at that.
According to data from NASA, they have collected and analyzed Carbon Dioxide levels on Earth since about 800,000 years ago. The data clearly shows that Carbon Dioxide rises and falls naturally around the same levels for hundreds of thousands of years around the 1900s where it has constantly risen and has not dropped back down. Today, the Carbon Dioxide levels are higher than it has been in over 800,000 years and has continued increasing. With many other reports stating data similar to this, I cannot ignore the fact that if rising temperatures and the changing in temperatures were natural, they would have gone back down as data as shown it has hundreds of thousands of years ago. I also cannot help to realize that Carbon Dioxide levels have continually increased during the Industrial Revolution and the Technological Era which is occurring now. The correlation between these events along with other reports that show an abnormal rising in temperature that is unprecedented leads me to believe that human factors and actions have caused this.
About my second point, the opposing side has stated that combating climate change would be too costly or unfair to the citizens that need to fund this with taxes and such. My viewpoint is that Earth is our only hospitable planet that we know of and is the only planet that we have currently. Therefore, we should put Earth as a priority no matter the cost. Current taxes to the government go to many things such as fixing roads and maintaining order. However, funding that can go to saving the environment and lowering greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would not only benefit humans but would also benefit livestock and crops. Even if the rising temperatures and greenhouse gases were not due to human actions, lowering the levels should still be a priority no matter the cause.
No one likes taxes, especially my parents. Every time they receive their paycheck, it disheartens them to see the money they have earned not go to them but to the government. I think this is relatable to many working individuals but they know the money is going to a good cause and is necessary for maintaining society as we know it. If taxes were to increase more, I’m sure they would be understanding if it was for the survival and benefit of the entire planet.
Overall, I think that humans are causing this unprecedented change in climate and something needs to be done about this. Even if hypothetically humans are not the cause of this, it still should be our responsibility as a human race to help our only planet. I hope you can see my point of view and can understand my thinking.
Technology can solve it all
by Billy Tsang
To Whom it May Concern:
Climate change is a very touchy subject, one where people can be divided into 2 groups and instigate arguments across each other. Despite this, I must impose my own opinions on the matter at hand.
1) Studies indicate that the climate is drastically different than the climate of the past. Yet, what really matters is the reason for such a change: perhaps you disagree, but to me, it is humans that have become the primary reason on why such a change exists, as well as us not comprehending the severity of the situation at hand.
2) Secondly, you may not wish to alter the status quo, as it is possible that a large sacrifice, whether it be in terms of resources or technology, must be made to repair the damage dealt, which means increasing burdens on living. Simply put, you feel that it is not your problem and wish to continue with what you have today.
This letter is not to persuade you to abandon your beliefs, but to make aware of the consequence’s climate change has and see that there are solutions that will not allow us to regress our lifestyles.
I will admit that my first point is problematic: it is hard to determine what or who is the true cause of climate change. After all, so many factors are present that led up to today’s climate. However, the main issue is not who to point fingers at, but to see just how much hotter our world is getting.
The Climate Impact Lab (http://www.impactlab.org/) on start up has an interactive timeline where one can scroll left or right and get an idea of how much hotter it will become as the years go by. The scroller clearly indicates extreme temperature rises by 2099, which means the end of the 21st century will mark a new world of extreme heat. While the past can also be discovered, I am more concerned about the future of our climate, as what has been done, is done.
I have lived in the same suburban, San Diego home with my family for over 15 years, and I still remember fondly the annoyance the child me felt when waking up for school. The sheer cold was what upset me, and I knew it was cold from seeing the grass covered in white frost from the overnight cold. Yet, by the time I entered high school, the beautiful white crystal frost had vanished, as if it was only a dream of the past. With more time, someday I will never awaken to cold mornings at all, with how much heat is present.
Onto my second point: we cannot ignore the situation at hand, but we do not have to regress as well. Personally, cars and planes, as well as computers and phones are my favorite innovations we humans have created. Yet, it is clear our fossil fuel usage has become astronomical in terms of usage, as well as our dependency on these fuels. Even so, there is a technological solution that we have, but have not developed fully.
Solar energy is a great alternative to fossil fuels. By simply harnessing the power of the sun, we could easily do away with fossil fuels entirely. While it is true we do not solar power that is efficient enough to power our daily lives, other alternatives are present, such as Tesla and their electric cars. These inventions are not just revolutionary: they literally pave the road for future inventions that can replace fossil fuels, which can cut down on climate change.
Just imagine, a world where we have numerous power sources available. The huge variety would be game changing to the world by lowering the climate change issue while providing the same standards of living you and I have come to enjoy. I would consider this an investment: by just developing these institutes, we can enjoy long run benefits that would allow us to leave a better world for the next generation.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this letter: I hope it shed some light on the situation at hand and offered some potential solutions. I would enjoy very much if your own thoughts could be shared, whether it be a counter or agreement!
Action Beyond an Issue
by Charles Alaras
Climate change is a hotly contested debate around the world. From what I understand of your argument, you believe that scientists cannot observe climate change accurately yet, and that we are unsure of the causes of any degree of climate change. Nonetheless, I hope that this letter will aid in understanding climate change, and its relational effect on all of us. Although we disagree on the existence and causes of climate change, there are significant environmental effects surrounding these changes that we need to work towards mitigating.
Despite our differences in belief of climate change, it should be agreed upon that the effects of climate change and tangible and impacts our life. Some may say that current climate models are not accurate depictions, thus showing that climate change cannot tangibly have scientific observations. While this may be true, NASA states that climate change has very much affected the lives of animals and humans who suffer due to changes in the environment. I understand that even if climate change is doing harmful things to the environment, it will be difficult to enact legislation as it would completely transform our way of living. However, the effects of climate change pose a very serious threat to destroy our lifestyle through natural disaster. Others may argue that our greenhouse gas emissions are too small to have worldwide impact. However, the fact remains that greenhouse gas emissions do exist, and do affect our lives locally.
As a Californian resident, it has been very clear how greenhouse gas emissions and climate change affect my life. One of the most prominent examples was the 2011-2017 California drought. Not only was this an intensely dry time for California, it also transformed my way of living and brought on heat that saw physical ailments on my fellow residents. Another clear example of climate change are the consistent wildfires that happen and are currently ravaging Sonoma Valley, Ventura, and the Getty. This consistency has disturbed how we live and ultimately has destroyed many homes and cost countless dollars. Finally, with California having such large industrial sectors, pollution is rampant throughout the state. This leaves air quality poor and makes breathing and immunity horrid for people like me who is afflicted respiratory illness.
As you can see, despite disagreements on climate change, it is important that we collectively act on its pertinent effects on our environment. As previously shown, natural disasters are the most destructive forces that could decimate large areas and leave many homeless or suffering. It is important that we look beyond climate change to find tangible solutions to heal our environment. Along with that, many places are becoming uninhabitable for wildlife because of these drastic changes in weather patterns. So much nature and wildlife on the planet is becoming subject to death due to their environments also being destroyed. Finally, current living conditions are generally unfavorable due to pollution, dirt, and illness. We live in a time where the actions we make today can have lasting effects for the next generation.
To conclude, although climate change is disagreed upon, there is public knowledge that our environment is suffering locally throughout many parts of the world. In the same way that we can make negative impacts on factors like habitability, air quality, and living, we can make positive, conscious choices to band together and fight the environmental suffering that translates into our present lives.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and I hope that through better awareness of this pressing issue, we can jointly work towards healing the world.
Climate Change From The Effects of Industrialization
by Goldmilton Sam
To whom it may concern,
Climate change has been a topic discussed for many years now and the reason for that may be due to our difference in opinions on the topic. Our beliefs and ideas we hold about topics may differ from one another due to our cultural background so it's completely reasonable for us as a society to hold different opinions on different topics, including climate change. People hold many different views on climate change whether it be CO2 is causing climate change, CO2 will be absorbed, climate change is man-man, or if climate change is natural. People who hold believe in one or more of these all have valid arguments and tested science to back these claims up. Climate change has been talked about in the media and school for as long as I can remember, learning about the topic for so long I've come to hold my own opinions on the topic.
1) My first opinion is one we can both agree on, that climate change is real. An opinion of climate change we all can share is that climate change is a natural occurrence. But I also believe that man-mad climate change is real and one of the biggest causes, which is an opinion we may not share.
2) Secondly it is said that greenhouse gases released by humans is absorbed by oceans and plants which everyone knows to be true. Many still say that our planet today can absorb all our emissions but my opinions differ from this. I do believe that our planet absorbs a big amount of our emissions but with our industrial advancements today it is a lot harsher on our planet.
We know that climate change is indeed a natural occurrence, that over years of human history the climate has fluctuated constantly causing years to be colder or hotter than normal. They say that this occurrence tends to happen over hundreds of years but I believe that we are letting off more man-made pollution than before and it is causing more climate problems. I remember back in 2011 my hometown of Hayward had hit record lows in the winter that there was snow accumulating on our fields, the news during that time had stated that temperatures in Hayward had not dropped that low in about sixty years. Just eight years later California is facing record high temperatures cause multiple wild fire outbreaks across the state. In just eight years there has been a drastic change in earth's climate. There could be multiple reasons for this change but I believe its man-made using China's factories as an example. Since 2013 China had been using a chemical called CFC-11 which is known to chemically dissolve protective ozone layer.
When greenhouse gases are trapped within the ozone layer it attracts the heat of the sun warming up our planet until they are absorbed. Some may argue that there are already high amounts of CO2 in our air and that our planet can absorb it, which I completely agree with. The fact that our planet can absorb CO2 which can help us draw the conclusion that this cant cause climate change, but there are other greenhouse gases worse than CO2. Long-lived greenhouse gases, such as CFC’s and N2O’s, have become more concerning and research has shown that these greenhouse gases have increased by 43% since 1990 in our atmosphere.
The opinions of the other party are still completely valid but I believe with these new chemicals and are rapidly changing climate we should look into these new factors. We could look into these factories and the chemicals that go into making their products. If new evidence comes to light, we could put some type of regulation to prevent environmental impact from these chemicals.
Stopping Climate Change Together
by Aidan Nguyen
It has come to my attention that our opinions on the issue of climate change align on the most important aspects of the issue, but differ in several key factors;
1) For example, most importantly, we do agree on the simple fact that, indeed, the climate is changing, but the important factor we disagree on is that you believe that the measures required to address and fix the issue would be too taxing on the Earth's resources and funds, and may even be too uncertain to even deal with.
2) Furthermore, another difference in our beliefs is in the causes of the climate change itself: I believe that human activity is a key factor in the rise of temperature in the past century, but you believe that human activities are not a significant factor, if even a factor at all, in the rise of global temperatures.
First and foremost, I hope the contents of this letter can help both of us come to an understanding on each other's opinions, and help us to reach a common ground on the issue of climate change.
In conjunction with point number 1, I understand why you may believe that our efforts may be too expensive, and our understanding of the issue too uncertain because of the effects of climate change not directly affecting your day-to-day activities, and those around you who argue it may just not be worth it to fix. Honestly, I would feel the same way if I didn't have more knowledge on the issue, but the fact of the matter is that climate change is affecting the earth negatively, and will only to continue to harm the environment and Earth over time. Recent issues such as rising sea levels, temperature stratification, and species extinction are some of the effects of climate change, and will only continue to worsen if this issue continues to remain unchecked. When I was young, climate change wasn't an issue that I thought of on a regular basis because it didn't affect me or those around me, but after extensive research I know the negative impact of it on the Earth and our future generations if nothing significant is done about it.
In point number 2, it makes sense that some of you may believe that human activities, such as the 15 scientists who dismissed the US National Climate Assessment as untrue, because of the fact that no one wants to be at blame for the continued degradation of our home: the Earth. Subsequently, it isn't any one individuals fault, not even yours, but in fact our population as a whole. The fact is that 97%-98% of climate researchers from a 2010 Anderegg study do believe that human activity is the primary cause for climate change. For example, viewing a graph of climate change vs. carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution shows that the two trend lines are almost identical. As carbon dioxide emissions increase, so does global temperature. This shows the significance of human activities, such as the consumption of fossil fuels, on the global climate change.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and consider my ideas; it is very important for us, and the furthered success of the human race, that we consider each other's ideas and discuss them to an agreed upon middle ground.
The Fault in Us
by Anusha Barua
Throughout our friendship, I have discovered that our opinions on serious topics are often similar, but our opinions on climate change are contrasting. You believe that humans do not play a significant part in the increase of global warming, and that they are not a root cause of the temperature increasing, so I am writing to explain why and how humans are one of the biggest causes for climate change.
The first reason why I think humans contribute to climate change is that daily human activities produce greenhouse gases. Activities such as driving vehicles fueled by burning fossil fuels, adding trash to landfills, deforestation, and more emit huge amounts of methane, carbon, and other gases which accumulates and influences the climate. Since greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, our planet gets warmer due to the emission of these gases. There are over a billion people living on this planet, and many of them carry out some kind of activity each day that releases greenhouse gases. For example, billions of people use some mode of transportation in their daily lives that burns fossil fuels and emits fumes into the atmosphere. As more and more of these gases are released into the atmosphere, more heat is held which results in a warmer climate for the planet. Also since so many people each day use something that emits greenhouse gases, the rate of climate change has been increasing rapidly over the past few years.
Each day in my hometown of Los Angeles, I see a high amount of traffic. Several cars wait in line while releasing pollution. The pollution eventually builds up and unfortunately over the mountains, I can see a large cloud of smog. By the amount of smog I see, I can tell that humans are the reason for the buildup since we are the only living beings that are able to operate vehicles. If you think about it, this means that a high level of pollutants must be released into the air each day because I am only mentioning one city where this happens. There are thousands of cities around the world where irritants are emitted into the air daily, which is resulting in climate change. I admire those that take alternate ways of transportation such as biking, using the bus, or carpooling since they are not adding to the pollution. I try to walk anywhere I can to help reduce the amount of chemicals in the air.
The second reason why I believe humans are the main cause of climate change is the effect of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. During the Industrial Revolution, factories replaced traditional work ways. Factory owners hired workers to run machines that worked through the burning of fossil fuels such as coal. As these factories operated, high amounts of smog, pollutants, soot, and chemicals were released into the air leading to pollution. The high amount of pollution began to deteriorate the ozone layer leading to the formation of a hole. Through this hole, solar radiation is able to go through and heat the atmosphere which causes a change in the climate. The temperature rises and results in global warming. This was a huge beginning for the start of climate change. As one of the outcomes, glaciers in the European Alps began to melt. Climate change would not have accelerated as much if the people had not worked in multiple factories that released so much irritants into the air.
All in all, humans have been and will continue to use machines and factories or do daily activities that emit greenhouse gases and chemicals into the atmosphere causing climate change. I believe that we can try slowing down the rate of climate change if more people use other modes of transportation, recycle, and use renewable sources of energy. If multiple people do these small tasks, it may help the planet. I hope that more people will become aware of this issue and will try their best to reduce emissions of chemicals into the air. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope this does not affect our friendship!
Conversation on Climate Change
by Margaret Chen
Climate change has been a topic of heated debate for quite some time and in recent years, that topic has become more prevalent than ever in the national conversation and around the globe. In this controversy, people have taken sides and there has been much disagreement. I believe that climate change is being driven by humans who are shaping the environment at an accelerated rate. I think that the activities we are generating are leading to more intense changes and that they’re occurring at a faster pace since the Industrial Revolution than at any other time in history. But there are those who believe humans aren’t responsible for the differences in climate we are experiencing. After all, the planet has always been experiencing periods of intense heating and cooling, such as around the time of the Ice Age, so this may look like another period of intense change that isn’t going to last.
Also, I think that scientific studies are numerous in stressing that Earth is being transformed by the actions of humans. Studies have repeatedly found that environmental changes have been created by humans through research on the causes of the receding ozone layer and global warming. Other people think the studies are faulty and inconsistent, with not enough data to support the argument that humans are the sole cause of effects such as global warming. They may also think the research is being funded by think tanks or lobbying groups who are clearly biased sources.
Human activity’s impact on the environment has increased greatly since the Industrial Age. Studies have found that the expertise of scientists with evidence supporting climate change is higher than those that disagree it is an issue caused by humans. In addition, 83.5% of scientists studying climate say that recent global changes are due to humans and only 24 out of 13,950 peer-reviewed studies disagreed that climate change and global warming are current problems created by humans. Research has found that the greenhouse effect has been directly impacted by agriculture and burning fossil fuels, which have released billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide and methane. Whatever your political views or stance on public policies, I think we can both agree our natural environment is being altered in lasting ways.
I still remember hearing conversations from my peers when I was growing up and elections were taking place for the former president, Barack Obama. Climate change and the environment were topics discussed then, but they were mentioned briefly compared to other issues, such as health care, and I still heard from classmates who disagreed that global warming was scientifically supported. In the current international and national political climate, I constantly see news about global warming and climate change as an issue world governments have to answer to. There are consistent headlines about natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, which seem to be quickened by human actions. On a local scale, I have noticed that there seem to be more wildfires in the region where I live than in previous years. Internationally, political leaders are increasingly called to respond to climate change’s effects and lower emissions created and released by humans.
Intense natural disasters and storms are constantly on the rise now and pollution from human industrialization is still problematic to the atmosphere and environment. Since we live on and share the same planet, no matter our stance on climate change, we should all be working towards a more sustainable future. By lowering pollution, reducing emission levels, and promoting renewable energy options, we can provide a better environment for the generations after us.
The Concerns of Climate Change
by Cynthia Govea-Orozco
To my fellow friends,
Have you taken a breath of fresh air today? It’s quite remarkable how beautiful this planet we live in is. Its beauty is illustrated in all of our surroundings, through every tree standing high, the breathtaking views it has to offer, yet for sometime now climate change has marked some of the beauty this earth offers.
1. To begin, the evidence we have both examined has shown how rapid earth is changing hand in hand to the impacts of climate change. While I understand this may not seem like a national crisis to you, I believe that it is crucial we view this as a national/global crisis.
2.Furthermore, the evidence displayed has granted us a deeper look at just how much climate change has impacted earth. I am aware you believe that climate change and human activity have no correlation, but after reviewing the evidence, I believe that humans play a crucial role in the impacts of climate change,
With this letter I hope we can both take a step back together to understand each other's differences. I can only hope we can find common ground and bring productive action to the issues of climate change.
In continuation to my first response, I acknowledge that we both can agree with the simple fact that climate change is real and its comes with real consequences. As we know the earth has intensified in the pace of warmth it’s experiencing. According to an article in the The New York Times there’s evidence that as of 2017 the earth has warmed up by two degrees fahrenheit since the 1880s.
Although, two degrees may not be a very alarming number, and certainly it’s not a number that seems to scream out national crisis, it’s a low number that comes with many consequences. I understand that earth has always had changes in warmth and coolness throughout time, but the impact we are seeing in today’s world is very alarming. Since the earth has warmed up there has been a major impact on glaciers melting and the oceans rising.
We can already see animals being forced to leave natural habitats because of the impact of climate change. For example, since the melting of the glaciers, arctic mammals have been highly impacted. A national crisis would allow for everyone to be more alert and aware of one’s own contributions to the crisis this planet can potentially be facing.
Climate change may not seem like a national crisis because it’s impact is not overnight, but as we continue to move forward with no true direction the impact will be felt in a much more intensified manner. Some scientists claim that if we get about eight degrees fahrenheit more warm the earth may not be able to sustain a large human population.
Which leads me to my second point, I genuinely believe human activity has greatly impacted climate change. I know climate change is said to be all naturally caused, but there is evidence that points to how we, humans, have also contributed to the rapid changes of climate. One of those being the amount of carbon emission that is put into the atmosphere by humans.
Since the first industrial revolution the rapid growth of industries and technological advances have increased the amount of carbon emission that is let out. On top of it all, humans continue to destroy massive acres of forest in order to expand and build. The forest which are being destroyed are the same ones that take more than a quarter of the carbon emissions put into the atmosphere by humans.
In addition, climate change is making the oceans rise, and humans are filling it up with trash. As an active backpacker we were all taught something called “LNT” which stands for “Leave No Trace”. LNT embodies this notion of treating the earth with respect and leave everything as we found it. Sometimes as humans we get very caught up in our everyday life and forget to appreciate the nature around us and what it would be if we didn't have it.
Everything we consume, we wear, we use, it all ultimately has played a role in climate change. From the methane produced by the cows some decide to eat to the everyday items used produced by massive factories that let out gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Although our perspectives may differ, I know we can find common ground to fight the impacts of climate change. The first step is understanding that we both accept the reality of climate change weather it's only naturally caused or not. Accepting the cause together is only the beginning to bring change.
Thank you for taking the time to hear me out. I look forward to reading your thoughts revolving this issue.
The Effects of Climate Change
by Carson Storm
To whom it may concern,
One of many heated debates going on in this country at the moment is the debate on climate change. Whatever your views on it, it is undeniable that the planet has changed in certain ways within a relatively short span of time. One of the biggest arguments against climate change is that is does not really affect anyone, nor will it in a massive way any time soon. Regardless if it be the weather or the health quality of the air surrounding an area, I would like to offer my rebuttal to these skepticisms.
Growing up in Southern California, it has always been warm. But something I have come to notice is the fact that, in recent years, our summers have begun to take over fall and spring. We get a few short bursts of winter weather in the form of 50- and 60-degree cold followed by 8 or so months of hot, intense, 90- and 100-degree weather. It has not rained on my house since last March or so, and now it is November, still bright, sunny, and 80 degrees outside. I never recall it being this ridiculously hot this late in the year as a child, and it is only worsening with each year that passes. While the effects of climate change may seem small and insignificant, they really do affect us in huge ways over a span of just a few years. In time, if nothing is done to prevent climate change, perhaps it will just be summer all year round. Which, when put that way, may sound enjoyable. However, nobody enjoys a summer of blistering 100-degree heat every day of their lives, which is something that as a native Californian I have had to grow accustomed to, and may become a not-too-distant reality that has the potential to spread around the world.
Additionally, some have come to argue that climate change is not a product of human activities. While I must admit that I am no scientist, I have no scientific data to back up whether or not that is true, at the very least you must be able to understand that there is nothing wrong with taking preemptive measures in the hopes of preventing a phenomenon such as climate change. Looking to cities such as Los Angeles or Beijing, which are some of the most densely populated cities on the planet, they are also some of the most polluted, smog-ridden places on the face of the earth. It is not a coincidence that these densely populated and heavily industrialized areas are so polluted, it is clearly because of the gases and chemicals the inhabitants of these places having been pumping into the air, considerably impacting the environment around them. Chinese citizens have grown accustomed to wearing face masks to go out in public because of this, and if nothing is done about it, that may become a norm here in the United States as well, an essential public admittance of the fact that the earth has been contaminated with gases that would not be in the air if these places weren’t so densely populated.
It is incredibly evident that certain changes need to be made to prevent the worsening of climate change, and whatever one's views on the matter may be, there is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to make the world a better and healthier place for us to live in. For without it, we would not have lives at all.
Addressing the Need For Proper Scientific Conduct
and Legislation in Regards to Climate Change
by Shadi Azad
To whom it may concern,
Throughout the past few decades climate change and climate change related activism seems to be at the forefront of media coverage and at the forefront of many people's minds. However rather than a debate solely centered on scientific research and accuracy, the arguments around climate change have become largely politicized and influenced by a bias related to industry, rather than looking at the facts. In order to examine my side of the climate change debate I believe it is necessary to address two major points,
1. The overwhelming scientific evidence points to climate change being caused by human activity, and those who disagree may be doing so due to their vested interests in the industries that feed into the climate change itself.
2. The United States need to take a decided stance and begin passing environmental legislation in order to mitigate climate change to the highest degree possible, and to therefore set an example for other world powers.
As someone with no specialized political interests in the coal, natural gas, or industrial farming industry, I can step back and observe the obvious detriments to the environment that these industries cause, without feeling that my livelihood is being threatened. Unfortunately, that is a crucial part of this debate. The voices we should be basing our climate legislation on should not be fossil fuel or agricultural industry company heads or scientists with funding from said companies, it should be scientists unconnected to the industries which most agree would attribute most to methane gas release, and therefore to climate change. This is to eliminate a communication bias in which scientists involved in certain communities that are pro-industry in regards to climate change present facts that are meant to sway listeners to falsely identify the conclusions of the facts. One could say this would be a censure of free speech, however the government needs to find a way to, not shut down the voices of scientists, but instead empower the voices of accredited and accomplished scientists who do not accept money from lobbying.
Additionally, the argument can be made that climate change is just not the important enough to be at the forefront of American spending. This is a dangerous assumption, as it means that we, as the American people, are simply complicit in the eyes of the climate crisis that is currently happening. With sea levels rising and natural disasters on the rise due to our thinning ozone and rising temperatures, the planet Earth itself seems to be a time bomb and as humans we are running the time lower and lower. When given the chance to mitigate these life changing disasters happening now and in the years to come, to say that it is simply not "important" enough is to deny the importance of human life itself. And lastly, a point I see made constantly by my colleagues and constituents is that climate change is important, but other countries, such as China, are responsible for the bulk of methane gas outputs anyway, and so why do they not take action? And to that I say we live in a very different society, with completely democratic elections as opposed to the ruling communist part in China, Americans have the power to make change, and so the change needs to start with us.
Letter concerning climate change
by Thomas Courtney
I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you and getting to know you over these past few letters. Even though we have gotten along well, and seem to agree on a plethora of social and political topics, there is one topic at which we have not agreed on that I wish to address. The topic in question is climate change.
Upon analyzing your views that you have already given me, it seems that there are two big factors that separate your view from mine. The first of which being that human causation is not an important factor to acknowledge as a possible reason as to why climate change has occurred (1). The second being that the steps necessary to stop climate change are too expensive and not worth pursuing since our data on these changes affecting climate change positively are not 100% conclusive (2). With this letter I do not plan on trying to just bombard you with data and list off dozens of reasons on why I think you’re wrong. Being aggressive like that is no way to have a meaningful conversation. My intentions are to just give you some logical reasons why I think it would be wise to reconsider your adamant position.
First off, I am glad we can at least agree that climate change is real and temperatures have been rising in the recent years at rates never seen before. We know that as humans we are emitting more greenhouse gases then ever before. With increasing industrialization there is no denying we are at an all time high on greenhouse gas emission. I mean just look at our freeways that we take to go to work! The traffic levels are insane, compared to twenty years ago! What used to be just a “few songs on the radio” long trip, has now become a “listen to an entire album and might as well read an entire novel while your at it” trip! This increase in human caused gas emissions has been a consistent increasing factor along with the increasing temperatures involved with climate change. Even though there may not be definite evidence that humans are direct cause, it is not completely improbable.
1) There are a good amount of scientists who claim that there’s no way human emissions, at their small levels, could actually be the main contributing factor to climate change. While I will admit that they do provide some convincing evidence, there’s also just as many scientists who are providing just as much scientific info and evidence into why these factors can be a real cause. These scientists are accredited researchers and are way smarter than us, so you must admit that saying that such a large group of scientists are completely wrong on their studies seems a little farfetched. I’m not saying that one group is more right than the other, but simply saying that its reasonable to at least assume both sides must have some true evidence to support their claims. I know I said I wouldn’t throw statistics at you but here is one: more than 95% of researchers who are specializing in climate change, are advocating that humans are a significant attribution to these changes. Now I don’t think that 100% of the studies done on climate change are accurate, and there is without a doubt some false data being thrown around, but these are people who dedicate their lives work to studying climate change so I would say it’s safe to admit that at least some of what they are saying has validity to it.
2) Now concerning your second objection, lets say that humans are at least a somewhat significant cause of global warming. With that being the case you are saying that the costs to produce actual change are not worth it. You say that we would be investing far more resources compared to the actual benefits they will give. Now while I agree that the current popular solutions to reduce global warming are not cheap by any means, I think that if we are right and it does work, the pay off will be worth more than any monetary value. Think of the affect that global warming is having on the environment and the current and potential affects it will have on us as human beings. We have seen ocean levels rising, and temperatures drastically increasing. If this continues it can lead to flooding; entire areas occupied by human beings being destroyed and thousands of lives either ending or being affected terribly. If we could save even one human life wouldn’t that be worth whatever the cost?
Temperatures are also increasing alarmingly. We’ve already seen this take a massive toll on crops and animals all around the globe with there being a decrease in their production. If crops start getting harder to grow and livestock starts getting harder to raise, the joy we both have in going to grocery stores and picking up healthy fresh meat and produce may cease to exist. Chemically made, and preserved foods would become even more prominent... . I’ve even experienced some of these affects first hand. I have always been a big fan of fishing as you know, and over the past decade the amount of fish and especially healthy fish have been declining in noticeable numbers due to the increase in temperature making their environment uninhabitable. If these trends continue fishing as a sport in general may cease to exist due to the scarcity of fish. Don’t you want your kids to be able to go explore nature, pick fruit off trees, visit the oceans and mountains, go fishing, and see wildlife? Isn’t preserving the earth we live on for the purpose of not only saving current human lives, but also making future lives better, worth whatever the cost - even if it only helps a little bit? Even though it may be expensive and costly, a small change that could save or better a human life in the present or future, is priceless.
I hope this will help you think about and perhaps reconsider your viewpoint at least slightly so you will be more willing to help us fight climate change together in the future.
Hope to hear from you soon
For the Future of America
by Suhas Jagannath
To whom it may concern,
Since the last decade, climate change has been an issue on the minds of every American constantly. It is usually brought up with a political context and thus, people feel very strongly about their standpoint in the matter. While we may agree that climate change is actually occurring, we may disagree on the fact that:
1. Human generated greenhouse gasses are a significant portion of what is causing climate change today, and that in order to prevent further damage we should reduce our emissions as much as possible.
2. To say that there is nothing that we can do about climate change is wrong. By putting “progress” ahead of climate change, there will not be a world to make progress in.
I hope that through this letter you can see why my point of view has validity and that climate change is a very real problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
While climate change cannot be directly linked to a single factor, “most scientists say that humans can change climate too,” through everyday tasks. It is true that the Earth’s natural climate gets hotter in a cycle each year. However, the rate at which the climate has been changing is unprecedented and alarming. Climate change is not a story or a fake narrative. It is driven by hard facts and studied by scientists. Feelings and emotions have nothing to do with climate change. If you see the rate at which murders occur in a city, you wouldn’t decide to just let it happen because there’s nothing else you can do. On the contrary, politicians would fight tooth and nail in order to stop it. The same applies to climate change.
In order for us to have a future to live in, we need to stop climate change any way possible. When “97-98% of climate researchers,” believe that, “human activity is primarily responsible for global climate change,” we should be listening to them. Instead many choose to believe in the 2-3% of scientists that would lead them astray. While there may be a history of climate change fluctuations, this most reason global climate change is increasing temperatures at a much faster rate than every before. That alone should be enough of a shock to make anyone believe that humans are causing global climate change.
Some may say that making changes to the United States is not worth it and will slow our technological progress compared to the rest of the international countries. Rather, it is our duty as Americans to keep our land safe and inhabitable for future generations to come. In fact, the American dream is closely linked with climate change. The American Dream is to build a family and a space to live in that will be good for generations to come, and to provide better for your kids than your parents could. By reducing human caused climate change we can ensure that our American Dream will live on.
Overall, I feel that our country needs to take action against climate change as soon as possible, or it will be too late for our future generations. We must come together and find a solution. The future generations depend on it.
What I Stand For Is What I Stand On (CLIMATE CHANGE)
by Shaury Moreno
To Whom It May Concern,
The cause of climate is a controversial matter, several might say that climate change was not instigated by human involvement and others may disagree and say the contrary, there are numerous reasons to support either side making this debate contentious. However, like a census, we can agree and say that the intensification of globalization has definitely changed the world and will continue to so forth, in permanent ways.
With this said, I’d like to share my view that is: Human activities have triggered climate change in the last century and second, resolutions to these triggers can be expensive, but newer advancements can aid to replace existing technology and reduce or obliterate the damaging effects they cause on climate.
In response to my first point, you might disagree and voice that society is not at accountability for climate change. You might also say that Earth is a large planet that is very much capable of slight gas emissions and that the foremost cause of it, is just a natural process. Yes, based on these reasons, it’s rational and likely to think that the fluctuation of the sun and the ocean could be the real reason behind climate change.
My reply to this is, taking note that Earth’s temperature has increased 1-degree Fahrenheit in the last 100 years, and taking into consideration the number of inhabitants on Earth, an estimate roughly about 7.6 billion people, we can undoubtedly point out as to why it has increased. Why? You might ask, one of the various reasons is because only just a century ago, there was only one kind of automobile anyone could drive or purchase! And today, we have so numerous brands and models, and millions of people who use cars as their key source of transportation. It is difficult to say that there is no apparent association between the two.
In all my life living in the city, I had never witnessed snow or ice partake in the winter, the only way we would physically see the snow was when my family would take my sister and me to the Big Bear mountains, where it snowed. It was only until last winter of 2018 when I noticed the thick sheet of ice on my car’s windshield and the white frost on my front lawn. Here in California, we are recognized to have high temperatures, many fires, and nice cool winters, but never snow. I’d like to say that it makes me feel excited, but most importantly concerned about what this could indicate.
Concerning my second point, I mentioned that I believe that new advancements can lessen and/or replace pre-existing technology that is adding to the worsening situation of climate change. Technology that is manufactured to substitute is electric cars, hybrid cars, compressed- natural gas-fueled, and more. California has required an increasing quantity of these cars for the reason that environmental concerns such as climate change, in this case, have made it their priority to find alternatives.
You might say that purchasing these cars is too expensive, however, there is no doubt that gas prices are over the roof right now, as a commuting college student who also works and goes to school every day, who also spends around $200 a month on gas. I’d say that electric vehicles are sounding pretty convincing. In this idea, imagine the number of gas people is emitting into the air daily times a millions!
How can we not be the source of climate change?
With this said, I hope we can come to unison and do better for planet earth!
It's Our Own Doing, We Must Take Action
by Keannah Rivera
To my fellow human beings,
From what I have found on the subject of climate change is that our opinions do not differ whether it exists or not as many people have witnessed the drastic change, but rather on two points.
1. Contrasting to what you may think, as a biology major who has learned about ecology and its six different levels, I believe that human activity is a major player and if not the primary player to the rapid increase of global warming.
2. Another point we may disagree on is that you may think that it is not our, or more so, the United States’ responsibility to take such measures to address the problem.
Regarding the first point, I would like to point out that although global warming has been naturally occurring way before the industrial revolution, the rate at which it is recently occurring is increasing at an alarming rate. Scientists commonly predict global warming through the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration. As you may already know, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and a few others are known as greenhouse gases. According to the greenhouse effect, these gases trap the heat in the atmosphere from the sun and cause a rise in temperature on Earth. This does not mean that greenhouse gases are all that bad because without them, the average surface temperature of the Earth would be -18 degrees celsius, or -0.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The excessive amount of them is what is inherently detrimental. The more gases found in the air, the more heat trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. We discharge excess amounts of greenhouse gases in our everyday lives. Carbon dioxide is released from our cars, animal agriculture, and the largest source from all human activity, the burning of fossil fuels. When comparing the carbon dioxide emission from a natural disaster such as a volcanic eruption versus human activities, climate.gov, states that human activities emit 60 or more times the amount released by volcanoes each year.
Now you may think, how can we possibly get rid of these greenhouse gases? Although there are plenty of ways to prevent the build up of these gases such as stop driving our cars or burning less fossil fuels, the most effective way we can get rid of the built up gases already in our atmosphere is to stop deforestation and promote tree growth. Humans are cutting down trees in forests in order to make homes or provide land for cattle to graze, but they are not realizing that by doing so, they are also adding onto the effects of global warming. Trees–and plants in general–are natural entities in which they directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.
Onto my second position, compared to other countries, it seems that the United States is the most alarmed, and rightly so. The United States and China are the leading countries in annual carbon emissions. I’m no political expert, but statistics show that many people from other countries closely follow any news about America. This goes onto show that the U.S. has the platform to spread awareness about the dangers of climate change to almost every part of the world. Although it is not our responsibility alone to fight against climate change, it is our responsibility to inform and alert others especially when we have a position to do so. Especially as one of the leading countries in carbon emission, being an example and encouraging others to follow will allow us to combat the horrendous long term effects of climate change together.
Sure it may be costly, but we cannot afford the rising sea levels submerging any more homes and taking away any more lives by intense heat waves. Climate change affects all of us, but those living in poverty especially in third world countries are most affected even though they are the least at fault. The effects of global warming personally hits home. In my home country, the Philippines, has several coastal towns already sunken. Places where people normally walked and children played are now submerged underwater. Instead of walking to places, now they must swim or take boats to get from place to place. My fellow Filipinos are now limited in the places they can stand and live on. It is scary to think that my own country (and many others) may soon be gone from the surface.
If we do nothing about it, the long term results of our actions may provide an end to humanity as the environment becomes more unlivable.
I would like to sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my opinions concerning global warming. I look forward to reading about your own opinions and thoughts about the issue and hope we can work together to find a more effective way in fighting against climate change.
Climate Change Pro
by Chiristopher Young
To whom it may concern:
It seems that although we have reviewed the same data, you and I have attained vastly differing opinions based on our analysis. I believe that our disagreement stems from differences regarding the following two points.
1. We disagree over whether or not humans are the primary cause of ongoing observed trends of climate change.
2. We disagree over whether or not humans can affect significant change for the better regarding the climate
In regards to the first point, I will agree that it is difficult to empirically determine exactly to what extent humans have contributed, but I contend that there is no factor that contributes to climate change more than human actions. While it is true that the Earth has experienced periods of global warming and cooling to the extent of causing mass extinctions, the scale on which it is occurring now has no comparison in the history of the Earth. In the past 100 years, the Earth's average temperature has risen about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this may sound insignificant on a day to day basis, it's important to note that the energy needed to heat the world - oceans and all - is about 5 exaJoules, or 5E18 Joules. This is enough energy to power the United States power grid for 400 million years. In comparison, the last time the Earth was this hot, it took 9700 years to increase the Earth's average temperature the same amount. We haven't had any solar flares, super-volcanic eruptions, or meteor strikes. The rise in temperature is directly connected to the increase of greenhouse gasses which in turn hinder the Earth's natural process of emitting heat into space.
I'll admit, I was in the same boat as you for a long time. I never really thought about climate change, until I started noticing the effects first hand. I'd been an avid hiker for a long time, and one of my favorite hikes was a short one through a forest, which ended at the bottom of a waterfall. I'd go on this hike every few years, and every time, I'd have a picnic at the bottom, along with many others who loved sitting at the bottom. About two years ago, I took some friends, but noticed that most of the streams leading to the waterfall had dried up. Spots where I had once had to jump across rocks to keep from getting wet had become stone paths. Once we got to the waterfall, in the middle of Spring, we realized that it had dried up. Nobody decided to stay at the bottom. Everyone who came saw the lack of the feature, and left the way they had come.
So what can we do about it? Most people feel as though small things they enact in their daily lives don't have any effect on climate change on the whole, and to an extent, they're right. Agriculture in the US accounts for 79% of the total water consumption, with industry accounting for another 20%. Only 90 corporations were responsible for 66% of all carbon emissions in the world. However, there are some steps that humans can take to enact change. First, we have to realize that companies should and will always act in the interest of profits, in the same way that government should act in the interest of the general public. By officially recognizing climate change and passing legislature that would require corporate action to reduce wasteful use of resources and excessive emissions, we can reduce our emissions. We humans caused the problem, we can work out on how to fix it.
It's true, causing change is difficult, but that is no reason not to try. I think that we all feel a responsibility to leave the world a better place for the next generation, and we can't do that unless the air we breathe is safe to breathe, and the world we live in can handle us living in it.
by Arnold Mercado
The earth's climate is changing. My sole intention of this letter is to find a common goal so we can collaborate and begin to address climate change. After gaining some knowledge and drawing from different perspectives about climate change, I can appreciate the differences we have in this subject. I believe we can agree on most things when it comes to climate change but the two notable differences we have are:
1. I believe that we are at fault and the main cause of the climate change, and that natural processes don't affect it as much. While on the other hand you don't believe it is the main cause or that we even play a major role in causing climate change, and believe that natural processes are the reason for climate change.
2. The other notable difference we have is even that you don't believe it is worth the risk or the resources to solve to try to solve this problem as it could potentially do more harm than good and could set us further back not just in climate change, but our everyday lives.
I am not an expert by any means on this subject so I will not try to pretend to be one. I don't want to change your views on these aspects, but what I do want is for us to find common ground.
For this first issue, the data examined can't prove nor disprove for certain either of our stances on this. I can accept that you believe that natural processes are a significant cause in climate change. The environment can be so unpredictable we can't be certain that things will get better on their own or that they wont get worse, regardless of what kind of measurements are taken. I believe that we can agree that human activity and natural processes are both factors in climate change, regardless of which is most significant. By acknowledging this we can work together to find a solution that takes into consideration both these factors.
In regards to the other difference, I can understand why you wouldn't want to risk our progress and the resources that would be needed to solve this issue as there is no guarantee that this a long term solution. However I am certain that we as humans can cause change unlike the global patterns for which we have no control over. I believe we can take matters into our own hands. I also want to believe we share a common goal in wanting to protect our future and continue to make progress. In my culture, family is what we value most. I think about how my family took me to big bear for the first time and I got to play in the snow and how much I loved it. It's things like that if we take for granted, can be taken away from us. I want to make sure the earth is in a good position for my kid and grand kids to be able to have these experiences. I want to set an example and influence them to also want to help make this world a better place. I think we can also agree that we would do anything for our loved ones and make any sacrifice. This will allow us to overlook any differences and be successful.
So I would like to thank you for hearing me out and I ask you to think about what motivates you in life, what you look forward to. Draw from that and let us come together to try to find a solution to this problem to make sure that our future is protected and everything comes to fruition. I look forward to working with you.
The Dangers Imposed By Climate Change
by Tasnoom Ahamed
To Whom It May Concern,
Climate change has been a serious ongoing debate among people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and social classes. The debate has been a topic of discussion for all different types of people- starting from politicians in national debates to regular friends in everyday conversations. Not everyone agrees on this issue and its authenticity, and instead, they offer contrasting views and opinions. Although there are many reasons to agree or disagree on the legitimacy of climate change happening and its causes, two fundamental reasons manifest to be the primary reason:
Contrary to my personal beliefs that human activities are accelerating the rate at which climate change is happening, some people believe that human activities should not be held accountable for the changes in climate patterns. Instead, they argue that the quantity of damage that humans are causing is insignificantly small to be a problem.
On the other hand, another reason people believe that climate change is not a major problem is that the Earth has been changing its climate since its birth. They argue that the climate of the planet has been constantly changing itself since its creation- such as the melting of the ice that occurred 13,000 years ago or the sudden excessive cold years during 1650, 1770, and 1850. Therefore, they consider the sudden change and warming up of the planet not to be a serious problem, but more of natural phenomena. I, personally, disagree with this view and believe that human activities, to some levels, are contributing to global warming and are changing the climate of the planet.
Although I respect the diversity of our ideas and perspectives on this issue, which I believe are important in contributing to a better cause, I hope that by writing this letter, we can find a common cause to address this issue for the best outcome.
Going back to my most recent point mentioned above, I agree that the planet has been constantly changing its climate since its creation, but in recent years, human activities have accelerated the dangerously impacts of it. Based on the geological data, the planet will change its climate, regardless of any action we take or not. There only difference its the rate of change. Human activities, such as the factories releasing carbon dioxide in the system and the emission of gas from cars and vehicles and factories are accelerating the rate of climate change. Therefore, we should take serious precautions as we are affecting the change on some levels.
Many people argue that human activities alone are not enough to cause serious problems and that the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases is only in a very small quantity. Regardless of this, the radius of the planet is around 4,000 miles and there is power 7.5 billion people inhabiting the planet. Many countries, such as the United States of America, Brazil, China, India, and many others, have an intensive number of factories that release an enormous amount of chemicals. Altogether, even in small portions, it can accumulate to a bigger sum and affect the composition of the planet in a serious manner.
I am a strong supporter of climate change because of the visible temperature changes that are presenting in Southern California. When I moved to California six years ago, the overall weather used to be a bit colder. In the six years that I have lived there, I realized that the weather got hotter and hotter every year and that the time it rained was becoming significantly lesser and shorter. For example, during my first year, back in 2013, it rained a couple of times for two or three days. Now, in 2019, it barely rains once a year, and it lasts usually around two hours or less. This gradual change in the climate is imposing a serious risk for the environment and the people that inhabit it. The number of people diagnosed with skin cancer due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation is increasing at a constant yearly rate. We are constantly at risk of having a serious drought, which can impair plants and cultivation and leave many people without water to drink or shower with.
Fighting against climate change and limiting its effects will not be easy, but if everyone takes small steps to decrease the number of human effects, we can have a drastic positive effect. For example, I would urge people to take public transportation to work or school island of riding the bus, which can limit the number of fossil fuels we use. For example, I know many countries signed a pact to limit the number of extraneous gas that their factories release in the atmosphere. A few years later, I read somewhere else, that many countries are violating this agreement and release an abundant amount of chemicals. We should collectively try to enforce these laws, for example, by reshaping the agreement and make it stricter. In the new version, countries have a set number of factories they can own and each be limited to a certain number of chemicals and quality. For example, most of us have so many clothes we do not even need or wear, therefore it should not be a problem if some clothing factories close up to contribute to the global cause. Many textbooks are now PDF versions and online format and few are printed on papers. Should it not be wise to close some of these industries that are not extremely and influentially necessary to protect our planet and contribute to everyone’s wellbeing?
These are some of my opinions and ideas of climate change, and I would love to hear about yours. I appreciate for taking the time to read my letter and give it some con consideration.
Why Caring About Your Home Means
Caring About Planet Earth
by Sara Maul
Depending on geographic location and culture, home can mean a variety of things. For me, home is more than a place to rest my head. Home is where I build memories, where I am surrounded by loved ones, and where I refuel for the next day. Despite of what home means to you, we can agree that our physical home is made possible due to the existence of the planet. From a biological perspective, we only exist because Earth exists. Therefore, as human beings who share the same planet, most of us agree that Earth is going through climate changes. While the cause of climate change is debatable, it is in our best interest to find a common ground that can help us work together to ensure the well-being and prosperity of our shared home. Although I believe that our commonality is stronger than our differences, this letter will present two points in which our perspectives differ.
The first opposing perspective doubts that the amount of climate research which has been conducted can help human beings understand how to reduce global climate impacts. I argue that the smallest step towards understanding our environment can add up to a larger understanding of the world. Additionally, the second opposing perspective questions the involvement and financial investment of human beings in addressing climate change issues. I believe that even if we are unsure that expensive or experimental methods will solve climate change problems, it is vital for humanity’s existence to attempt various solutions.
As previously stated, the first viewpoint argues that there is doubt about humanity’s ability to decrease global temperatures. Science skeptics question the reliability of climate change models and wonder if the scientific community has collected enough information for humans to effectively combat climate change. It is understandable to question man-made things. Though, it seems unreasonable to reject an opportunity for worldwide progress on the chance that scientists might be wrong. Although humans make mistakes, we also learn from them. By collectively supporting scientific efforts to combat climate change, the causes can be further explored and narrowed down. Without scientific inquiry, the 21st century would not have been possible. Thanks to developments like the steam engine and nano technology, our civilization has advanced further than any group of humans that have ever lived. Perhaps not everyone has been supportive of modern advancements, but society has reaped the benefits. Similarly, although not everyone supports climate change science, it is in the best interest of the world to endorse it.
Furthermore, many question the steps that should be taken to combat climate change despite how expensive and successful proposed solutions may be. Understandably, it appears wasteful to invest time and resources into projects that have a small probability of helping. However, we already approach many issues in society that way. For instance, sick people take a chance when they listen to their doctor’s diagnosis. In many occasions, doctors have been known to make mistakes. Regardless, clinic waiting rooms fill up during flu season. Individuals still rush to see a doctor when they are ill or injured. Despite the number of medical errors made each year, people still seek medical attention. Doctors are trusted because they possess knowledge that they worked hard to acquire. Therefore, it makes sense to give climate science the same opportunity to seek successful solutions.
In conclusion, we may disagree on certain points about climate change, but can agree that recent fluctuations in climate are affecting our home. I urge you to view climate change issues from a wider perspective and view all of Earth as part of your home. It needs us to take care of it the same way that it takes care of us. In our homes we take measure to preserve the structure of our environment. The maintenance of our homes ensures that we have comfortable and livable shelter. Thus, the same logic can be applied to the well-being of the world.
The First Step in Solving Climate Change
by Nahomi Mondragon Corona
Dear College Peer,
By this point in our lives, it is nearly impossible that one of us has not heard of the many controversies surrounding climate change. I’m sure that you and I are very unique students due to the different ways we were raised and therefore, have our own beliefs and opinions on the subject of climate change. I hope that through this letter we can discuss our points of view and attempt to come to a general agreement on the subject, however, I must state that our views differ in two ways:
1- Foremost, you believe that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by humans do not have a tremendous impact on the world climate. Furthermore, you believe that climate change is mostly due to the natural cycle of the Earth.
2- Secondly, you believe that sea-level rise is a common trend that can be seen dating back to thousands of years in the past and has little to do with current human activities.
I would first like to point out that something we can agree on is that there has been a change in weather and temperature when comparing it to past experiences or records. Furthermore, I definitely agree that declaring a big statement such as “humans are causing climate change” is hard to prove because industrialization began relatively not too long ago. Proving a statement like that becomes even harder when putting into perspective the amount of time humans have been on the planet and the many extreme cycles the Earth has gone through. This becomes the perfect transition to my first point I mentioned above.
Even though I believe that climate change is mainly due to human activities and the way we live our everyday lives, I do not believe that we need to put all of our focus on arguing about the validity of research that claims to prove humans are the cause of climate change. Our planet has historically cycled through many extreme climate patterns over hundreds and thousands of years. However, I know that you and I can both agree that the rate at which our planet is warming is worrisome and has caused much destruction. When the blazing fires took over California last year I had family members that had to temporarily move in with me because they were evacuated from their homes. The California Department of Forestry has reported that California experienced the most destructive and deadliest fires in its history in 2017 and 2018. More than 100 lives were lost and thousands of homes were destroyed. When our plant exponentially warms, it becomes harder to contain fires due to the dryness of vegetation. These reports are undeniable facts and even if we don’t agree on the cause of climate change, I’m sure that we agree something needs to be done to fix this issue.
Secondly, I agree with you in fact that there is scientific research that proves sea-level rise is not a new phenomenon and has actually occurred since the last ice age on this planet ended. Once again the argument of how fast the poles are melting is important when referring to this subject. We can argue all day about our different beliefs in why sea-level rise has accelerated, however, this will not help the hundreds of people who have been displaced due to loss of land. The National Geographic has reported that between 1963 and 2012, almost half of deaths from the Atlantic hurricanes were caused by storm surges. There is no doubt that thousands of people will continue to be displaced if sea-levels continue to rise at the levels they are now.
Climate change has caused extreme weather patterns to become more common. Extreme weather patterns brings expensive destruction, displacement of families, and even death. I believe that you and I can work on a project that can help mitigate the impact of climate change in our region. Maybe no concrete research will ever prove 100% whether humans caused global climate change or not. However, you and I are seeing the severe effects and destruction that higher temperatures are bringing in our lifetime. I hope we can put less importance in our differences and focus more on how we can take the first steps in implementing change together with our unique ways of thinking. Please let me know what you think, thank you!
Dear People who don’t believe in Global Warming
by Fernanda Moreno Rubio
There are multiple things that differ from you and me. Two of these things are that you believe that humans haven’t had as much impact on climate and that there is no real evidence that proves that humans are the ones causing climate change.
Instead of trying to find who to blame for climate change we should be working together to keep our earth alive. We can acknowledge that if nothing changes there is no going back. It is the only planet we have and it's not just a matter for us who are alive now but for our future generations. For those who don’t believe that climate change is happening all that can really be said is that, why is it still hot Halloween. We can argue and blame different things for climate change but at least we are acknowledging the fact that we need to do something to save our planet.
As a student and barely adult there are multiple things that I put off but caring about the environment isn’t one of them. Growing up in California all I have known for most of my life have been sunny days and blue skies. But as I grew up there were even hotter days and little to no rain. The only weather we did have started to disappear and it just seems that every day it got hotter and hotter. Once I reached high school my many concerns weren’t the planet but as I got older I realized how important it is for us to protect our planet. Not only do we live on it but so will our grandchildren. Giving our grandchildren and their children the opportunity to grow up on a planet, not on the verge of dying would be a great gift.
Protecting our planet can be as simple as working together to create a solution by changing small things in our life. There are multiple ways to decrease greenhouse gases. One way could be to decrease the amount of beef/dairy products we consume. This doesn't mean that we have to stop eating meat overall but just reducing it to twice a week. As for dairy, there are many alternatives for milk, and in reality, the way we consume milk is a bit unnatural but that's a different topic. Overall there all multiple ways that we can help our planet by just making small changes to our everyday life.
Debate on the Existence and Origin of Climate Change
by Dion Ngo
To the reader,
Like so many other issues pressing the world in the 21st century, climate change joins the ranks of those highly contested in the public eye, such as the legality/morality of abortion and the current status of African Americans and their rights in the United States. Climate change, like the aforementioned examples, is an issue that has found itself heavily divided by partisan lines. Over 95% of liberal Democrats think that climate change is happening, in contrast to only 40% of Republicans. but it does not need be so divisive. Finding room for discourse between the two interested parties is integral to finding a solution that satisfies the needs and concerns of everyone.
My personal stance upon this issue is one of an empirical observer. In an age of misguided media headlines and uncertainty as to the legitimacy of information being distributed, it is important that thorough research is done before confirming one’s stance upon any singular issue. As it currently stands, I believe that climate change is the result of human industrialization since the 19th century, and I firmly believe that it is a pressing issue to the future of human civilization, although you may disagree with me on that point.
I can find two specific instances in which we disagree with each other. One facet of the argument concerns itself with the validity of the data surrounding climate change itself. Another facet, assuming that climate change does exist, is the feasibility and cost of combating it at all. By presenting my takes on these two questions, I hope that we both gain new insight into the question of climate change. We can always agree to disagree, if you conclude that my points are inadequate.
Firstly, there is the matter of the validity of data pointing towards climate change, such as theoretical climate models and research statistics. When dealing with systems as complex as the Earth itself, it can be difficult to pinpoint specific variables with certainty as how they impact the system. For example, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere depends on a great deal of factors, such as human carbon emissions, ocean CO2 absorption, and other elements of the carbon cycle. A common argument against the current climate models is exactly this point; the evidence supporting climate change is said to be inconclusive and unreliable. After all, according to chaos theory, these systems that govern global temperatures are highly sensitive to initial conditions, with a plethora of outcomes that we need to sift through to determine the truth. Much like meteorological forecasts, which fail to predict the weather mere weeks ahead, it must be impossible to correctly predict the state of the Earth years into the future, right?
The sheer amount of statistics and scientific findings supporting the existence of climate change must have some bearing when one considers the existence and origin of climate change today. 97-98% of active climate researchers today believe that humans are the source of climate change. The warming rate of the Earth has reached unprecedented levels, faster than any period over the last 1700 years. It is on the back of this research that these climate models are built upon. Although they may not be able to tell exactly where and how climate change will affect a geographic area, they can accurately determine the impending global effects. An anecdote that I can provide relating to climate change and its impact on me is the increasing prevalence of wildfires in my native state of California. I remember the news of homes burning down and mudslides occurring in the wake of heavy rainfall. At one point, my school was advised to stay inside as a result of the smoke of nearby fires drifting to us, negatively impacting our air quality. It was crazy how the sun was dimmed out by the onset of the dark smoke. At the time of this writing, the Getty Fire in LA county has recently caused many evacuations and closures. Overall, the signs all point towards climate change already affecting us negatively.
Secondly, the feasibility of combating climate change can be called into question when considering the scale of the endeavor, as well as the weighing of the costs and benefits in doing so. Human history and activity may seem insignificant especially when viewing Earth’s history in geological time scales, but it is the fact that humans have had such a profound impact on the Earth in such a short amount of time that answers the question of feasibility. In less than 200 years, humans went from the fastest mode of transportation being horseback riding to landing on the Moon. Any ecological limitation, any physical barrier, all has been conquered by human ingenuity. Diseases such as smallpox and the bubonic plague, which ravaged human communities, are nothing more than an afterthought now. I myself marvel at the things people have been able to do. I am able to travel to my aunts and uncles across the country in the matter of hours. Humans have mastered all that have stood in our way, and I intend climate change to be just another hurdle on our path forward into the unknown.
So why hesitate at the scale of the mountain to be climbed? We know what is happening in our world, and we have the means to enact change. We live in exciting times, with new technologies and innovations happening every day. For example, electric vehicles that reduce overall carbon emissions are already out on the road, they just need to be improved in terms of affordability and reliability to become competitive with traditional cars. Think of it as an investment; in the short term, there will be some loss, especially in the industries that we have to distance ourselves from, such as fossil fuels. After all, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. However, the potential to move forward is undeniable and will reap benefits for our descendants, who deserve a habitable and clean Earth just as much as we do. I have the utmost faith in science and technology being able to deliver us to a better world. The future, quite literally, is tomorrow.
I hope that my letter was able to convey my passion upon this subject. My intention is that I've been able to provide some substance and new insight into your opinion on climate change, and I hope that, despite our differences, that we will be able to move forward concerning divisive topics like this. Thank you for reading.
The Only Planet We Have
by Laura Pozar
To whom it may concern,
Recently, we have experienced the various changes taking place in our planet. We can all agree that climate change has become increasingly severe. It has been a constant challenge to bring people with opposing beliefs to join together to find a potential solution. There is two particular points on which opinions seem to take different directions;
1. Even with the constant information that has been gathered and presented to you from past and present years, you still don’t believe that human activity has had a lot of effect on climate change.
2. Secondly, it’s difficult to address climate change without noticing that finding a solution would be extremely expensive. It would require all the available resources, and involvement from people. You think it would be a waste of time to use all the resources because you can’t even be sure that the solutions would work in the end.
I’m not an expert on climate change, nor am I familiar with all the evidence and data collected by experts. However, I do hope that this letter helps us come to terms with one another’s opinions and we find a solution to climate change.
The reason I say that human activity has caused climate change to worsen is because we constantly contribute to greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gas is trapped heat released into the atmosphere. It’s one of the most “significant driver of observed climate change” (United States Environmental Protection Agency).
We are constantly burning fossil fuel because most products we use run on it. Both Gasoline and electricity are produced by burning fossil fuel. Electricity and transportations also produce the most greenhouse gas emissions. This results in significant increase of climate change because the burning of fossil fuel and release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere make earth become warmer. We can’t ignore that the use of automobiles is causing harm to the planet. Not only does it affect the planet, it also harms the air quality we breathe in. The use of electricity is causing a lot of harm towards earth too. We regularly use electricity and the demand to produce more keeps increasing. We live in a modernized world where almost every product requires electricity. I’m aware that it’s impossible to stop using automobiles and electricity from one day to another. Most of us are dependent on automobiles and electricity. However, it’s important that we learn the effects its taking on our planet. We should start thinking about small changes that could help our planet in the long run.
Also, we have all felt the change in temperatures all over the world. This should be an indicator of how we are affecting our planet. Last year, we had the strongest wave of heat in California. I live in Coachella Valley. Coachella Valley is known for its heat during the summer, but 2018 was one of the hottest ever. The Coachella Valley "was the only site in the U.S. that experienced the highest average temperature" (Desert Sun). In July, the thermometer hit 122º F. It was unbearable to go outside for more than an hour. It was also dangerous for field workers to work in these high temperatures. My parents are field workers, so, they were exposed to the intense temperatures. I would constantly worry when they had to leave for work. In the news, there was cases shown of workers that had died at their jobs because of the intense heat. I didn’t want the same to happen to my parents. It was horrible having to support the effects the temperatures had brought to my hometown. We can’t let the temperatures to keep rising. These temperatures are many people, places, and animals.
We have used all the possible resources offered by the planet. Why not give back to the planet by stopping climate change. We have made great improvements in technologies. Offering advanced technologies and other resources to scientists would make finding a solution to climate change much faster. I know it would be frustrating not seeing immediate results from the start but the would be found. Success is moving forward; failure is static. Not doing anything will just bring more problems than we are facing now.
Investing in environmental technologies would be an excellent start to start making change. Solar panels are great examples of the money you could save and be friendly to the environment. Solar panels are pretty expensive, but calculating the savings you get in the future pays off. We should invest more in these types of technologies.
Overall, climate change should be brought to the attention of the whole world. I believe we could definitely find a solution to climate change by working as a team and coming to terms with one another’s opinions.
We're All In This Together
by Katrina Villarica
Climate change is a rather controversial topic, is it not? It has inspired many a debate over internet forums and on live television shows, and it brings me here, writing a letter about that very same topic to cover our differing views on climate change.
It is my understanding that there are two ways in which our views on climate change differ:
I. While you agree that climate change is a very real thing, you do not agree that us humans are a significant part of the reason why.
II. While you agree that slowing down climate change is important, you do not believe that it is worth it to pour money that could be used for other, perhaps more pressing issues, into finding solutions that may or may not even work.
On the topic of my first point, I would like to point out that in 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association released that 2014 was their hottest year that they have ever recorded ever since they started doing so in 1880, and that the 10 hottest years were also recorded in between the years of 1998 and 2014. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was also recorded to be 415.3 PPM in 2019, around 100 PPM more than the first time it was recorded back in the 1950’s, and as opposed to the fluctuation between 100 and 300 PPM it was in the past 650,000 years.
What could have happened in those years between 1998 and 2014? What could have happened in between those past 650,000 years and 2019? Simply put: us. Those years are rather recent (I know people born in 1998!), and unless troglodytes were driving cars and building coal-fired power plants, there is no other culprit besides us and our own emissions. Natural climate change could not have caused these things, as it might have taken at least 1,000 years—if not more—for the base PPM of CO2 in the atmosphere to increase by a steady 10, and out of the 2.5°F that the average temperature of earth increased in the past 250 years, 1.5°F of that happened within the last 50.
There does need to be action taken towards helping stem the onset of climate change, of that I am sure we can all agree, but I also understand why people would be hesitant to have their money put towards things that can only be seen as promises, things on which we cannot be 100% sure would help us to combat climate change. I do think, however, that we should take that chance even if it is not 100% certain. Nothing is perfect on the first try. There can and will be mistakes, but from those mistakes we can learn and we can grow and develop new and improved technology to help us tackle this problem.
Plus, any help is better than no help. If a project promises to help us reduce our greenhouse emissions by 10% but only ends up doing it by 5%, that is still not an entirely small number by any means. Is it disappointing that it could not get to the full 10%? Perhaps, but at least we know that it is possible, and with more time, research, and funding, we could eventually reach that goal.
Just like you, I want to make sure that our grass is always green, and our skies are always blue. I want to make sure that our descendants can enjoy the beauty of the planet without worrying about the ice caps melting or rising amount of CO2 in the air. I want to make sure that our planet stays alive.
The Battle Against Climate Change
by Chloe Wells
To begin with, I believe that we can concur that regardless of your stance on climate change, it continues to become a more pressing issue used in political discourse today. I am hopeful that the outcome of this letter allows us to find common ground, regarding climate change that we can both agree on.
Although the definitive answer to the question of climate change may only be revealed in the distant future, our dismissal of its potentially catastrophic results requires us to develop a solution. While others ignore the potential problem, their dismissal may result in societies' loss of time that could have been utilized for proper research and problem-solving. I differ from many on the solution to fix this potential problem, in which I believe:
1) While fossil fuels do have an adverse effect on our environment. A full-scale departure from our use of fossil fuels is not feasible.
2) There are other energy sources that appear on the surface to be a better option. These other sources also have negative impacts on the environment, some yet to be quantified and learned to be dealt with.
To elaborate on my first point I will focus on the economic impacts a departure from fossil fuels would have. The world's economy is driven by its use. For instance, places like Algeria, Venezuela, and Nigeria are all petrostates. Meaning that their economy relies on the production of oil, and without it would cause a complete societal and economic collapse. Although the United States is more diverse with its industry there are about 1.39 million people in the US that work directly in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the business. The number of other jobs that would be lost is difficult to quantify due to the broad reach and affect the industry has. My family would be personally affected by this abandonment. For over 100 years my family has worked in the oil business. Life for my family would change drastically and have massive impacts to our way of life. In conversations with my father, he feels the public is not well informed. Compliance with AQMD, EPA, and other governmental laws is paramount in daily operations. A dedicated commitment to minimizing impacts on community and environment has been achieved through almost two centuries of lessons learned. Lessons that have yet to be learned in alternative fuel arenas.
To my second point, energy sources such as lithium batteries seem to have a high rate of approval. Their use in everything from cars to laptops and phones would seem to make them a turn-key solution to many of the world's energy needs. Unfortunately, this particular energy source actually contributes to global warming by polluting the air through its mining operations. Furthermore, extracting the resource requires as much as 500 thousand gallons of water per ton of lithium. In the lithium triangle, which is comprised of Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina the mines are located in areas that already have a water shortage. So the excessive use of water in these areas could have adverse effects on the local communities. In fact, some fear that lithium mining could deplete the area of all water. Pollution and water shortages are two known negative effects, but we are still unaware of the long term consequences olf lithium mining.
In closing, I believe moderation is the proper approach to solving this problem. Taking a stance too far on either side of the argument does not provide a solution and more importantly does not provide a compromise. A realistic approach to the utilization of a variety of fuel sources will ensure that man kinds effect on the environment and to each other can be made manageable.
The Increasing Impact and Rapid Rate of Climate Change
by Kaylen Wenzel
To whom it may concern,
After the past decade, the controversy around climate change has rapidly grown and spread throughout the country resulting in heated debates. I am not an expert on the climate, but I do believe that the crisis of climate change is very relevant and important to every single individual living on this planet. There are notable positions in which we may have our differences in our opinions:
1. We may all agree that climate change has increased throughout history. However, you may disagree that human activity is not the main result of climate change or not an important issue, especially with the gradual increase throughout the previous years.
2.You may also believe that if humans are the primary cause of climate change or global warming, we might digress in our technological advances to become more economically friendly.
I do understand your position on climate change as it is influenced by the politics and environment around you, and I do hope that with understanding our differences in our positions that we may come to a solution or a common ground that we can all agree on.
It is very difficult to pinpoint the cause of global warming with full certainty, however, it is rather important to address the rate at which climate change is occurring. It is important to note the changes in temperature through the increase of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane which alter the temperature, and natural cycles (e.g. hydrologic cycle). Its valuable to note that many of the emissions of these gases are from human activity. These gases result in the burning of many fossil fuels for gas and oils to help our economy grow. We burn many fossil fuels with our technological advancements such as our needs of transportation with cars or factories. These increases in temperature have altered many of the different environments found on the earth. For example, the melting of the ice glaciers on the poles of the earth has caused increased sea levels in the ocean. Not only has the increased temperature affected the environment, it has also affected many of the living species by altering their living conditions and making it incapable for survival (Think of the species living in colder temperatures such as polar bears). Climate change can also alter and impact our agricultural crop yield and cause a major decrease in valuable food resources. By knowing climate change not only impacts us, but everything around us gives this issue importance as we should take consideration and put thought into this crisis.
Throughout human history, we have made many technological advances such as transportation with cars, new advancements with agriculture, and the many designs and construction of buildings. Many of these technologies require the burning of fossil fuels for necessities, such as oil, and these resources are now becoming very limited to us as we consume so rapidly. However, human civilization has adapted to the different environments and with our technological advances as we've created previously, we can create more economically friendly technologies suitable for the atmosphere and environment of the earth. For example, people have already made eco-friendly products to help decrease climate change by shifting to electric vehicles or having solar power energy. It may seem that climate change is a huge crisis that cannot be altered, however, if every individual gave their time and effort to be more economically friendly, there would be a difference in the growing temperatures of climate change. With the participation of the United States and the possibility of the government creating laws to resort to more increases in eco friendly technology, the innovations will be more accessible to the average person, and more countries would possibly participate in this change.
Thank you for listening and hearing out my position on this issue! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these issues and hope we can come to a solution or agreement.
by Andrew Vo
Whether it be through advances in technology or our changing environment, it is agreeable that the Earth will be constantly changing. However, this pace of change is occurring at an unnatural rate in which many species on this planet are placed in danger, including us humans. This topic of global warming is highly controversial in the sense that we become polarized to two sides;
1) To an extent, many agree that the Earth is changing in weather, temperature, physical environment, etc. However when discussing about climate change/global warming, we either agree or disagree that humans as a whole are the main cause of this rapid pace of climate change.
2) On another note, even if we all agree upon the subject of climate change, some believe putting effort in lessening or "reversing" climate change would be too costly.
Personally, I do not understand why opponents of climate change seem to refuse to want to do anything about climate change. If this is the case, should we just allow the Earth to become unlivable? Should we ignore the fact that there are other people on this planet who live much different conditions to face the extreme consequences of climate change? This topic of global warming/climate change is not just about you or me, it is about everyone on this planet.
In order to understand this situation better, we need to look at history. One of the most famous time periods that date significant changes to Earth's climate is the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century. While technology and living standards for humans significantly improved, the environment took impact in compensation. The burning of fossil fuels significantly increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since the revolution. As a result, on a scientific level, carbon dioxide along with other greenhouse gases yield the well-known greenhouse effect. As time goes on, the greenhouse effect has not improved at all as seen with phenomenons like increasing global average temperature. Had the Industrial Revolution not occur, would the Earth be different in the modern era? Possibly, though it is difficult to tell whether the Earth would be better or worse.
In this modern era, the environment still continues to suffer. Today, we are still burning fossil fuels for human production which releases greenhouse gases; the continual increment of greenhouse gases affect our oceans. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide which causes the water to become more acidic. As a result, the consequence of acidifying the ocean puts marine life in danger. In some parts of the globe, the acidic ocean has already taken a toll. For example, acidification has made it difficult for plankton to thrive and has lead to the bleaching of coral systems in the Great Barrier Reef. This significantly impacts the marine ecosystems and the food chain which affects humans in various ways such as tourism and fishery. Furthermore, our shameful acts of deforestation, such as the Brazilian president's decision on making room for cattle farms, supports the increase of greenhouse gases. As many of us know, plants store and absorb carbon dioxide. With the population of plants decreasing, the population of carbon dioxide only becomes denser in the atmosphere which contributes to the green house effect.
While not directly related to climate change, human industrialization is extremely destructive. From the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill to the unresolved Great Pacific Garbage Patch, we have and still witness disasters. These disasters will continue to have long-lasting negative consequences on us. For instance, the garbage patch does affect our food chain. Aside from marine animals dying due to plastic debris, other animals will ingest micro-plastics that does not get digested. So, when we fish for seafood, the chances of us consuming these micro-plastics-infested fish will become more likely as more and more plastics become more improperly displaced in the ocean. In addition, it has been predicted that more than fifty percent of the fish population will be replaced by plastics if we continue to let the plastic mess to grow.
Second, this climate change issue is not just a United States problem. Instead, it is a global problem. Climate change affects everyone, we should not be focusing on a single group or country to solve this climate issue. Industrial countries like China and the United States need to contribute in resolving the global warming/climate change issue. While it does take financial resources to do something about climate change, something has to be done. If not, when are we going to resolve this dilemma? Do we take action when we are on the brink of destruction or death? Do we take action when the situations become so dire? If so, would that not cost more money than actually creating resolutions now? We, as inhabitants of this planet, need to do something. While many western countries have turned to carbon emission-free alternatives and environment-saving movements, it is not enough. More effective solutions could be passing environmental legislation and setting environmental restrictions in multiple, if not all, countries. Perhaps we could find alternatives to energy sources; we already have environment friendly energy sources such as solar power and wind power. If we continue to delay our efforts to reduce climate change, the aftermath is only going to become more costly than if we were to take action immediately.
Throughout my life time in southern California, it has been constantly getting hotter year after year. As I get older, I notice the lack of rain California get during the so-called wet season; I notice the hot temperatures in the winter and autumn months; I notice how often it gets dry; I notice the many wildfires that occur every year, burning California from top to bottom. Despite all these conditions existing for quite some time, they still appear to be unnatural, personally. Clearly, the destruction of these fires are costly. So, why not do something about it beforehand to prevent future fires rather than keep spending money on fixing these fires? Protesting to legislators is free, emailing or writing a letter to a representative is accessible to many, voting is free as long as one is a citizen, and starting a petition is low cost. There are many ways for everyone to contribute to the climate change movement.
There is not much time left to save the Earth from devastation. To those who refuse to help the climate change movement or are unsure of what to do, what solutions do we have when the Earth becomes nearly inhabitable? There are people out there like Greta Thunberg who worry about the future of the planet and yet some of us are letting it go to waste because they refuse to acknowledge or refuse to do anything about the effects of climate change. Just because it is not affecting you or other people in your close circle, it does not mean other people from other places are not suffering the effects.
An Open Mind About Climate Change
by Daniella Carlon
To Whom It May Concern,
I am a second year college student. I am a believer in climate change and that humans are greatly contributing to its existence. Though I understand we might disagree on some major aspects of climate change and whether or not humans are responsible for it, I think it could be beneficial to us if we adopted an open minded approach to the others perspective. I’d like to share a little about myself to make this a bit more personal. I come from a lower middle class Mexican household. I am a strong advocate for the environment and I take very strong steps toward reducing my carbon footprint in my personal life. I am a firm believer in practicing what you preach.
Now, transitioning to some of the differing opinions we have on the topic of climate change, I would like to outline our two main points of disagreement.
1. The main cause(s) of climate change
2. Whether or not we, as humans, are responsible for fixing it
Regarding my first point, I would like to bring your attention to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) research that explains how the greenhouse gas levels have increased and decreased for years and how climate has changed in the past, which can be explained by the variations in Earth’s orbit. However, the greenhouse gas levels have spiked significantly since the 1950’s which can be attributed to humans’ increased burning of fossil fuels. NASA claims that human activity is most likely to blame for this increase in greenhouse gas levels with 95% probability, (NASA). One might think that this could still be incorrect or that human activity is unrelated to the increased levels of greenhouse gases. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their report where it is stated that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million in the last 150 years due to the industrial activities that we depend on, (NASA). Assuming we can agree that climate change exists, regardless of whether or not we share the perspective that humans are the main cause of the recent spike in increased greenhouse gas levels, the question of whether or not we should take action persists.
Let us take your stance on human responsibility regarding climate change and say that humans are not the cause for Earth’s change in climate. The effects of climate change are still present and ever so harmful. For example, the increase in sea levels affects the inhabitants of coastal cities. Additionally, heat waves, droughts, and the melting of glaciers all have a detrimental impact on crops, animals and future generations alike. Assuming that humans have had zero influence in the climate changing, why should we not take steps toward helping the environment anyway? I can understand that it would require many changes, big and small, however, when thinking about your current or future grandchildren, wouldn’t you want to tell them that you did all you could ensure that they had a habitable planet for them to live on? According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, climate change can negatively affect air quality and even have an impact on other air pollutants. We are in a very critical period where we have the power to alter the future in such a drastic way for our children and grandchildren. Furthermore, climate change affects the crops and the harvesting of crops so our grandchildren’s access to healthy food will also be altered. These scenarios are not meant to guilt anyone into anything, but rather to show you a very possible outcome of us not attempting to reduce our carbon footprint.
In the discussion of possible solutions, or rather modifications to our current lifestyles, there are many, both big and small. Small changes such as recycling and taking shorter showers can have a huge impact over time. Bigger changes such as reducing, if not completely stopping, your consumption of animal products and not buying from businesses that produce items that can be considered “fast fashion” are more necessary. These changes are necessary whether or not you believe that humans have caused climate change because the Earth is changing and we owe it to future generations to help fix the Earth. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, it requires some lifestyle changes. Perhaps we won’t see our efforts being as helpful as they will soon be, but when our grandchildren have access to fruits and vegetables and are not contracting any diseases from the bad air quality, hopefully we’ll know that we had a part in that.
What divides us on climate change
by Deborah Reyes
Climate change is a very controversial topic. I do think that most topics are controversial because we are all so unique and have different life experiences that lead us onto different paths. This is also very true for climate change. Most people arguing against climate change say that greenhouse gases are too small to change the earth’s climate and believe that the earth is able to absorb all levels of gases. They also don’t believe a lot of the scientific research done in proving that the warming of the planet has been caused by humans. To me, that seems fair enough because in a strong sense, the second point still believes in climate change, just not that it was caused by humans.
I like to compare this argument to going to see your doctor. You are seeing a well educated and trained person in the medical field. Due to their knowledge and educational background, you believe what they tell you and trust what they are telling you. Most of the time their diagnosis is not doubted. Why is it not the same for scientists studying climate change? Possibly because there a few scientists that are also against the idea that climate change is caused by humans. This doesn’t fully result from scientific work. It can also be because they are just humans like us and have their own beliefs framed from their own culture and how they grew up. There are a lot of factors that go into why a person has the morals and beliefs they do.
We argue as complete opposites seeing that pro climate change people think that human behavior, especially the use of resources has to be affecting the planet negatively. These minerals, gases and other elements that were here before us does not have a never-ending supply seeing that we are running out of them. Our daily lives in society give the perspective that we can never run out of gas and other resources and that we have nothing to worry about, when the truth is, we only have maybe 50 years until we run out of fossil fuel. We will have many instant and drastic changes since most of us aren’t preparing or concerned about this happening.
We can all agree that we are all human and share this planet, but sadly “share” doesn’t mean what it should. The United States is only 5% of the world’s population and yet we use 40% of its resources. I read a story in Anthropology about where a can of coke comes from. There was a Coca Cola plant built in an Indian city. Before the plant was built, this city flourished with crops and water. Unfortunately, it takes 9 liters of water to make a coke. The plant sucked up so much of the water that all of their crops died, and their water level had dropped so low, over 400 feet down, that they had to start traveling over 3 miles everyday to get water. The point of this story is that we don’t really think about how these tiny little things we enjoy such as a can of coke can affect an entire city or even country somewhere else.
I ask myself this all the time, why am I so quick to defend something I believe in just from hearsay? Not having done an ounce of research and I will support and defend that belief wholeheartedly. I do this simply because of hegemony. Most people do this because of hegemony. We just know that whatever is mostly accepted by society is what we should follow. Most arguments, even ones that aren’t about climate change, we make polar opposite points. There is rarely an in-between. It is hard and almost impossible for people to fully agree on anything, even people studying and having expertise in the same field. I feel like we divide ourselves as much as possible. If it isn’t due to wealth and prestige, maybe race, or states, cities, sports teams, any likes and dislikes, we divide.
I think a common goal we can try to agree on that won’t make any drastic changes in our lives would be trying to use less plastic. This alone will help the air quality for all of us along with keeping our oceans that we love to visit beautiful and clean. No one wants to take a picture or relax at a beach filled with nasty trash water. We want it to be beautiful and relaxing so we must treat it with the care it needs. There are so many alternatives now to plastic, the main one being a reusable water bottle that this task is almost too easy. Whether it is or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is still making a huge difference in the world just from this simple switch. Who knows where we can go from there…
One Planet, One Chance
by Audrey Wilfong
To whom it may concern,
Recently, there has been a debate on not whether climate change is happening, but on what is causing the climate to change. I believe that human activities, not natural changes, are the leading contributor to climate change, and that we need to find a happy medium when talking about what changes we need to make when it comes to reducing gas emissions. Two fundamental differences between human activity believers and natural change believers are their ideas about whether scientific data is accurate and if it is accurate, how expensive it would be to make everyday changes to lessen gas emissions. I have noticed that:
1. Some people are wondering if the data about climate change is accurate since there are many different models for analyzing emissions and their effects. Even if some results differ from other results in the short term, the general, long term consensus is still that humans have had a significant impact on climate change.
2. Some people are worried that it will be expensive to reduce gas emissions, but small changes that anyone can do don’t have to be expensive. For example, walking, biking, and ride sharing lessen the amount of car emissions going into the atmosphere for no extra cost. You don’t have to pay anything when you decide to walk or bike to school or work instead of driving.
The reason I am a believer in human activity leading to climate change is that I live in one of the biggest traffic jam centers of the world. Growing up in Southern California relatively close to Los Angeles, I consistently sat in traffic no matter where I went. Every time I sat in traffic, I had a sudden realization that every other car and truck on the freeway was also releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I think we can all agree that that many vehicles releasing that much gas cannot be good for the atmosphere. I believe that change starts with the individual, and that is why I made the conscious decision not to bring a car to college with me. I took the leap and decided to walk everywhere on campus, because I didn’t want to be a participant in excessive gas emissions.
Furthermore, I am afraid for the state of the Earth and its inhabitants if we keep burning fossil fuels at the rate we are. Burning fossil fuels, which is what we do when we drive cars, causes “loss of sea ice” and “sea level rise.” Nowhere is this more evident than in Greenland where icebergs that have been around for hundreds and thousands of years are starting to melt and cause the ocean levels to rise. According to NASA’s findings, the ocean has risen nearly three inches yearly since 1992. At this rate, communities, especially the majority of those living on the coast for economic reasons, are going to end up underwater. Some of the United States’ biggest cities are located on the coast, but a rise in ocean levels will push millions of people further inland. This mass migration inland will lead to major changes, and life as we know it will be forever altered.
The good news is that it is never too late to reverse what has been done. The war against climate change has begun, and we need to have the guts to save our planet before it is too late. This will only happen if we come together and combat the effects. Please take the time to think about what you can do to save the world and perhaps join the fight. Thank you for listening to my point of view, and I hope that we can form an alliance when it comes to saving our planet.
Climate ChangeTo whom it may concern
by Isabella Avila
In this modern day and age one of the most heated arguments is the one on climate change. Although I do understand the rational behind different opinions, there are two that completely differ from my view.
1. The first one being that humans are “too small” to be able to create the changing of climate on our Earth as we know it, and that the real change in our environment is due to the sun’s and ocean’s current. Although I do agree that humans are not the only reason for the change in our temperature, I disagree that we have no partake in the matter due to fossil fuels and our carbon footprint.
2. Another opinion that we clash on is many believe Earth is capable enough to receive the changing of temperature and because of this information we shouldn’t worry about the certain state our planet is in. I don’t necessarily agree with this fact wholeheartedly, I do agree that Earth is able to receive some of the heat and store it, however our planet cannot keep on doing this act forever.
While I do understand that you believe that humans are “too small” of an object to cause so much damage to our planet, there are about 7.53 billion of us on Earth today. Fossil fuels from oil companies, carbon dioxide that oozes out of clothing, and food companies that make our life more luxurious are some of the main reasons why we have caused our planet so much harm today. There are 7.53 billion of us today and according to Greenliving, “The average American's carbon footprint per person in 2014 was 21.5 metric tons CO2 according to the University of Michigan. This an increase of 7% in 25 years.” (https://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/What_Is_the_Average_Carbon_Footprint) Imagine, there are 7.53 billion of us and each one of us are giving out 21.5 metric tons, each. Imagine in the future, with more of us, machines and companies how much that will increase, and worsen if we ignore the problem now.
In one day, I drive my car from school to home to the store, not to mention all the wastes I can pile up with single use plastics from starbucks cups to sandwich wrappers. I am trying to reduce this and my carbon footprint, although I do agree with your point that we have many other factors involved in climate change such as sea levels rising. In order to do our part to combat this change we have to first acknowledge that humans are the ones who need to change. A sea creature will not be able to combat these changes in our earth, but as the dominant species we should change our ways to help the creatures who are less fortunate than us. But in order to do all of these heroic things and make the world a safe place for future generations, we must first acknowledge the harm we cause.
Many people in my generation are afraid to have children, however the reason why is something unique from previous generations. It’s not so much standard things like pain of birth or having to change diapers, it’s the fear they will not have a healthy planet. Going back to my second reason why we clash on opinions is because the planet is not capable of holding this excess amount of heat, as a result the climate changes and the sea level rises. Who would want to worry about their children or future grandchildren living on an Earth that is dying? When I was younger I never remembered a time when schools had to be closed due to poor air quality or summers becoming unbearably hot. According to BBC, warmer water due to the Sun exerting more heat, actually causes the water to hold less carbon dioxide therefore causing more heat in our atmosphere which can lead to plants, animals, and agriculture to suffer. (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20151130-how-hot-could-the-earth-get) Thus, this shows how our planet is already proving it can’t take any more heat. If we keep on ignoring the signs our beautiful planet is going to slowly die in front of our eyes.
To conclude, thank you for taking your time and reading this letter even if my opinions were different than yours. I am happy to note that we both still have similar opinions, one notable one being that humans are at fault for our changing climate. I hope one day I will receive a letter from you to understand your side of this matter.
Differing opinions on climate change
by Xavier Castro
I hope to present some information on the differing opinions on climate change and maybe come to some sort of understanding on why opinions on this topic seem to vary so widely.
If we begin by looking at the things that both sides of the debate on climate change agree on is that there has been an increase in global temperatures as well as an increase in greenhouse gasses in the last couple of centuries. The correlation of these is understood but it is important to note that these two are by no means the only or even the main factors of global climate change.
My opinion may differ from the opposing view in that while I believe that climate change is largely caused by human industrialization, I also believe that we do not have enough data to take drastic steps specially if they involve legislation. Another issue to point out is the expense and uncertainness of the results of the proposed steps.
One way that I like to relate to the narrative of climate change is to the old idea that the ocean was too vast to be affected by human activities. The last couple of decades have shown that that is not the case. We have clearly caused changes in the ocean from overfishing to the vast amounts of trash that are constantly being poured into the ocean by polluted rivers.
Another point that seems to receive an overall unanimous consensus is the changes that can already be seen such as the melting of polar glaciers. While there still may be many people that argue whether we know enough about the cause, the recession of the ice and the increase in the length of summer seem to be self-evident. One example that helps to separate what we know for sure and what we can only predict is the rise of the sea level. Scientist have a history of being wrong. It is part of the scientific method after all, but the apocalyptic predictions that have come out of some climate change advocates are not helping anyone. Predictions such as massive widespread starvation by the end of the 20th century as well as estimations of sea levels rising and completely engulfing entire states or countries may seem drastic but they are what many scientists for the last century have been claiming.
The truth of the matter is that humans have been conscious of their effect on the earth’s entire biosphere for just some odd decades. This is the blink of an eye in terms of the age of the planet. And against the belief of many, we have already made changes to how we produce energy in the short time since we became aware of its inherent problems.
I urge anyone that is forming their own opinion on the matter to drop idea that the two opposing views of the world are incompatible. There is a large amount of overlap in both sides.
I really hope that if we focus on the facts that we seem to agree on, such as the higher levels of greenhouse gasses and rises in global temperatures, we can work together to lower them and make the world more habitable for the future.
Many people that claim to be sceptics seem to think that this will increase the regulation of companies and will also be killing many fossil fuel industries. They worry that a shift towards a greener government or economy will only unnecessarily grow the government and increase taxes for our nation when this is a worldwide problem, but the truth is that he government has already begun massively implementing renewable energy sources for their own infrastructure, and they have done this for cost efficiency as well as environmental impact.
I urge the sceptic and believer alike to see it as a way that the consumer can directly impact the world by choosing to buy products that are made in an eco-friendly way. This is essentially a form of voting, similar to the recent revolution in the food industry that brought huge increases in the market for foods labeled organic, non-gmo and pesticide free. If by shifting the focus to a consumer market of eco friendly goods and a reuse instead of replace mentality I believe we can work together to decrease greenhouse emission and make the world a more habitable place for future generations.
The Climate Change Debate
by Fabiola Ibarra
To my fellow humans on this beloved earth,
When it comes to climate change, we see two positions in the US. The first position, which is the one I take, is that climate change is caused by human production of CO2. The second position is that climate change is occurring because we are in a natural cycle of high temperate, not because high levels of CO2 manufactured by humans. Those believing that climate change is not a human byproduct, believe that the warming of the climate could be caused by earths distance from the sun or ocean’s currents. They believe that humans, animals, and nature will adjust to the changes created by this “natural” climate change. Those that believe that humans are responsible for climate change highly disagree with these points. We believe that the high level of CO2 in our ozone layer is creating a barrier and trapping in heat. As heat levels rise, so does sea levels. Along with these changes comes changes in current patterns, glaciers melting, coral reef dying, habitat loss, hotter summers, colder winters, and many more changes. These drastic changes are caused by the high levels of CO2 that are a result of industrialization. Coal and oil mining, burning fuel, deforestation, meat production and other factors. Industrialization and climate change are recent occurrences which is why it is easy to understand that the two are tied together. However, because climate change positions are often tied with politics, it is difficult for the two positions to see eye to eye.
With this letter, I hope we can come to better understand our respective so that we can find a way in which we can combat the rate of change and impact our climate is having on our earth. We should not focus on which idea ties with which political party, but focus on what is best for our future, family, life, and earth.
As I have grown up, I have begun to notice changes in the weather. While summers have always been hot in California, I never remember them going past 100 degrees where I live. This summer, the weather got up to 112 degrees. The warm weather seems to go for longer too. During this time, I would always wear jackets and we tend to have cooler weather. However, just two weeks ago it was 90 degrees in mid-October! The idea of seasons has seem to be less and less apparent as I grow up. What has become more apparent is the idea that those who believe in climate change are typically considered “liberals”. So when new research surfaces, those who do not consider themselves liberals will stray away from this “liberal idea” of climate change. We need to understand that science should not be tied with politics. In this way, the real reasons of climate change can be reached to a wider audience.
Our president, Donald J Trump, does not believe that climate change is cause by humans. So those who support Trump are likely to not believe either. It is important that we stop believing climate change is a “liberal” or “conservative” idea and consider the fact that our world is changing. The older generation can attest to this change. The same way they can attest to the changes brought by industrialization and innovation. There are more cars, land, factories, meat production, that all contribute to the higher level of CO2. There are less forests, animal species, open lands, seasons, because of the high levels of CO2 There is no denying these changes. People of all ages and political parties can agree. Which is why I hope we can come to an agreement and stop thinking that believing in human made climate change will change your political stance. Because climate change is not political, it is a scientific fact. If we can come together, we can really make an impactful change and improve our environment for a better and healthier future.
Who considers climate change as a crisis?
by Isabel Rivas
As you may know the topic of climate change is quite a relevant topic in today’s public world. This conversation has become so large and prominent that everyone, despite some resistance, has an opinion on the matter. People have the right to their own opinions but there are topics in which my thought process is different.
1.)Even if you don’t believe human activity is a primary factor of climate change, people still don’t believe that climate change is real.
2.)The United States should make more of an effort to collaborate with countries on climate change matters.
To clarify my first topic, many say that with the amount of data that scientists do have, it is just not reliable to make a long term prediction. To that, I would like to bring up events that are quite significant to people’s lives. Currently, I am living in the United States, a place that is classified as a first world country. It has come to the point in which late summer and early autumn are now known as hurricane season in the east and fire season in the west. One side of the country is getting flooded while the other is getting burned up. You don’t need science to tell you the effects climate changes are doing to people’s lives. Yet the reason why there are people who still don’t consider climate change is because they are afraid to have a different opinion than peers surrounding them. The article titled “Why We Are Poles Apart on Climate Change” by Dan Kahan, puts this situation into perspective. In the article, it states “People whose beliefs are at odds with those of the people with whom they share their basic cultural commitments risk being labelled as weird and obnoxious in the eyes of those on whom they depend for social and financial support.” The solution to this problem is to create a better way of communicating with each other. It will not be easy because of prior stated circumstances but helping the public understand what is going on in this world.
As for my second topic, the description of my position is as follows: The United States government has been very reluctant to collaborate with other countries and it can serve as a huge setback for the climate crisis. The Paris Agreement was created in 2015 as an initiative to invest more actions needed to create a more sustainable environment. With the new United States administration efforts to withdraw from the agreement have been sent into motion. I understand that the United States is not the top contributor to greenhouse gases but it is the third most populated area. There are roughly 300 million people who live in America, about 50 to 70 percent of the population believe that climate change is real. Considering that the United States claims “To be for the people, by the people”, contributing to the climate change initiative would satisfy the population’s beliefs.
The impact of climate change will affect worldwide and communication is key. Hearing other people’s perspectives will greatly benefit the communication gap. I only wish to have shed a bit of light on these topics. I am not a scientist but am someone who would like to help people reach a common agreement.
Please read, important letter
by Ava von Dyck
To whom it may concern,
The planet is dying. This, I feel is a well known fact now. The excess in devastating natural disasters, such as the almost constant fires in California and record breaking hurricanes like Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Katrina, just to name a few. The frequency of these happenings is only increasing each year. As someone who grew up in Florida, I have been affected by every hurricane listed, and now living in California I am living with the threat of blazing fires. I do blame humans for this change, and I believe the planet is fighting back.
There are several arguments from the opposing side, such as that humans are not the source of climate change, and the temperature increase is only from the planets natural fluctuation over time, as well as that sustainable energy is too expensive or unattainable.
In response to the first argument I mentioned, the facts that support humans being the cause of climate change far outweigh the latter. The makeup of our atmosphere is mostly nitrogen and oxygen, leaving carbon dioxide to be a trace gas. The highest fluctuation of the temperature pre-human was due to the 150-300ppm range of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The amount of CO2 now is above 408ppm, and creeping up to a point where irreversible damage will be inflicted to the planet. We have far exceeded a “natural phenomenon” or natural fluctuation. The insane increase can be boiled down to the industrial burning of fossil fuels, with China producing around 30% of pollution, and the methane produced by the cattle industry. Another big issue is the deforestation that humans take part in, as plants are responsible for absorbing 25% of the CO2. Taking away so many plants puts a much larger strain on the ocean, which is also responsible for absorbing a large part of the carbon dioxide. With so much more being released, the excess CO2 being absorbed by the ocean is causing a drop in pH, making the ocean more acidic and killing coral and phytoplankton, which hinders our food sources of fish as well as O2 production.
In regards to if we have the data and funds to take steps to reverse this, we do. There are many places on Earth where steps have already been taken, and whole cities that run on renewable energy. Aspen, Colorado runs solely off of hydropower and wind power just as several other cities do. Singapore burns their trash and uses the energy produced to run their country, as well as filter the air. The cost in the beginning may be expensive, but it would pay off in the long run. In some cities, houses that use solar panels are able to completely power their own homes, as well as other structures in the city. It is doable. We can fix this. Time is just running out, so the time is now. Improvements in public transportation, finding alternatives for gas, switching homes to run off of solar power, and so many more things could make such an impact. The sun could easily provide enough energy for the whole world. A scientist from UC Berkeley completed a study where he discovered that if we covered 43,000 square miles of the 3.6 million in the Sahara Desert with solar panels, there easily would be enough power created to support the entire planet. This fact alone is enough to prove that renewable energy is, in fact, enough.
Thus far, my letter has been full of facts. However, facts aren’t everything. In the span of my 19 years of life, I have seen the rapid progression of the Earth’s deterioration. In the past 5 years alone, I personally have witnessed several record breaking hurricanes that only get stronger each year. I have seen the death of the Great Barrier Reef, fires engulf California, and the destruction of the Amazon. The future generations should not have to watch their planet die. As many climate scientists and activists alike have said, “there is no planet B”. We are lucky enough to live on an anomaly. There is quite literally nowhere like home. There are simple steps that most people should be taking, such as reusable bags and straws, and there are definitely steps the government and big businesses need to begin taking. The planet is dying, but we can save it.
Sincerely, A concerned Earth dweller
by Karina Zepeda
To whom it may concern,
As we all know, climate change has been a controversial topic amongst our dearest and across the world. It has become a topic that many find to be opposed to.
In my opinion, climate change is an issue that needs immediate action to be taken.
First, I would like to address the existence of climate change and the toll it has taken on the human population. I understand that you may believe climate change exists but it is not as damaging or threatening source for us to find a solution for it.
Second, I believe that the main cause of climate change is human activity we have been involved in that has caused such dramatic changes in our climate. It should be humanity that tries to restore peace in the climate but the problem may consist of how and what resources are needed to carry out the vision. Some people may disagree with taxation but the plan would only consist of taxing the rich, not those who can’t afford it.
I hope that after you finish reading my letter, we can come to a better understanding of climate change and hopefully see each other's perspectives on the issue.
Climate change has been something discussed in the past years because it has become very visible to the human eye. By living in Southern California for over a decade I have noticed the changes in the weather. I find it suitable for the government to have some type of limitation on greenhouses or do something for us to make progress instead of ignoring the issue. In the article by CBS News, “This will only get worse in the future": Experts see a direct line between California wildfires and climate change”, it is said that 15 of the 20 largest California fires took place since 2000. California is the only place I’ve known and been able to call home but seeing the horrible conditions it has been going through is devastating. This is serious. California has been through a lot, just this state alone not counting the rest of the West or East Coast. California is now known for its wildfires and I find it so crazy to think that the place I grew up with is slowly destroying itself. I don’t want to keep growing up in a place that suffers through wildfires due to the dramatic changes in our climate, let alone have my children grow up in a world that has polluted
For us to keep on thriving in our everyday activities we first need a place to live in. If we as humans don’t save ourselves who will? I doubt magic will occur and save us all from the terrible conditions we are living through. As people who work hard for our money, I understand that it may be difficult for low-income households to support our environment and even the middle class but the wealthy class can do so much. There should be additional taxation on the 1 percent to help find a solution for climate change. Taxing those who don’t have anything to lose can be the solution to our problem. The lower and middle class are the ones who contribute less to the problem of climate change because of their financial abilities. This change is necessary for us.
I am certain that together as intellectual people we will find a solution to what we can do as humans to help better our current climate situation and change it for the better. It is necessary to take action and remain reasonable with our desired pathway.