Social Issue: Climate Change

Michael Dunn

Michael Dunn, Aiden Marion, and Matiaya Odom

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






271 Views

Climate change, the increase of global temperatures over time, has been a controversial issue in the recent years. Some believe that rising temperatures are due to human actions while others believe it is naturally happening over time. We recently had a chance to talk with local meteorologist Spinks Megginson in order to gain more insight on this topic.

Michael Dunn
Picture of trees in Southern Alabama.

The issue has become very divisive throughout the years with two differing theories of why it is happening. For example, meteorologist Spinks Megginson told us about how “it’s become such a politicized thing that it’s something that we as meteorologists are better to, not avoid, but you know, in terms of my public products, we try not to delve too deeply into it.” Which makes it harder for research to get done on the topic when funding and interest is not available.

 

Climate change is also harder to prove when a large quantity of variables could be influencing on the environment. Spinks Megginson tells us this:

“In terms of direct effects, it’s really really hard to make a correlation between an extreme weather event, for example, take Hurricane Harvey last year that affected Houston, affected millions of people, 40 plus inches of rain in the greater Houston area and you’ll see a headline that says, ‘Well Hurricane Harvey is caused by Climate Change.’ That’s a stretch because again, if weather is my mood, personality is my climate, you can’t really correlate the two directly. Now, you know, if you dig into it and you see if there are more major hurricanes forming because of, potentially of, climate change, that’s one thing, but to say that one weather event is caused by climate change… I don’t think you can successfully view that.” Which could lead to real studies being hidden or ignored when claims about climate change are not based on evidence.

Michael Dunn
Picture of a red flower growing in Southern Alabama.

Many studies attribute the release of CO2 emissions to the rise in global temperatures. According to NASA, “the planets average temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the last 19th century.” This evidence could suggest that the rise of Industrialization has caused the global temperature to increase more than it would have occurred if humans had not industrialized. For example, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of ocean waters has increased close to 30 percent (NASA).

Michael Dunn
Red lilies growing in rural Alabama.

Another theory is that climate change is occurring naturally, and that human activities is not causing the global temperature to rise. According to an interview in Chicago Tribune with environmental researcher Steve Goreham, he states his theory is that water vapor causes global warming not carbon dioxide, and that it is a part of Earth’s normal cycle. Goreham believes that the issue is a misdirection of public resources. If he is correct, we could be going after the wrong issue, but a geologist, Kristine White, strongly disagreed with his point (Chicago Tribune). Naturally occurring climate change is another example of how climate change is difficult to talk about.

Why should the ordinary person care about climate change? It is important to ask that question because some believe that it is not their problem to deal with. The ordinary person should care about climate change because we only have on Earth to live on; therefore, it is important to continue to care for our planet. We asked Spinks Megginson this question and here’s what he had to say:

“Well, I think it goes back to being a good steward of the things we have been given and moreover on that point, whatever camp you are in, I think there are all things we should do to make the world a better place and I think, especially around here, you know, we don’t have the recycling programs that folks have in other parts of the country. But, recycling is a really great thing and having the patience and the persistence to recycle is something really good that can help the planet. I think too that it is really really important to use common sense, you know, just like I’m in this interview, I didn’t leave my car running, emitting carbon dioxide and everything else. And moreover it saves money. I think that in the fray people forget about common sense. And so, there’s little things that we all can do to make our world a better place, and moreover regardless of which camp you subscribe to in the climate change debate, per say. I think that everyone has something they can do to contribute to making the world a better place.”

Therefore we should all try to do our part to maintain our planet from irreversible changes.

Michael Dunn
Purple flower with two lovebugs.

Climate change may be a divisive social issue, but it is very important to work together with others to continue researching to see if humans are causing the issue and if so see what we can do about it. We should all try to do our part by keeping trash out of waterways, reducing the amount of resources wasted, and being open to discussion on the issue with others. Some may have different sides on an issue, but we share one world, and together we can make it a better place for future generations to come.

Sources:

 

Casas, Gloria. “Author’s Alternative Theory of Climate Change Spurs Discussion.”

Chicago Tribune, 25 Feb. 2017,

www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/news/ct-ecn-elgin-library-climate-change-st-0226-20170225-story.html.

 

“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?” NASA, NASA, 8 Aug. 2018,

climate.nasa.gov/evidence/.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email