Op-Ed: You can help save the planet

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ava Hamilton, daughter of Michele and Keith Hamilton, just completed the 6th grade at Echo Lake Elementary with teacher Derek Dalasta. Ava is described as "passionate about the environment and what our species can do to improve the planet."


Are you prepared for Earth’s ending? Because it’s happening. And it’s because of climate change. Climate change is evidenced in disasters caused by humans producing too much carbon dioxide, which gets trapped in Earth’s atmosphere. Climate change is a similar topic to global warming (aka the greenhouse effect); global warming refers to average temperatures while climate change is the term for not just global changes, but also differences in precipitation, wind, extreme weather, the length of the different seasons, etcetera.


Climate change is an important topic that should be discussed more often in order to find ways to prevent it. Why? Climate change harms wild creatures, natural damage has been caused by climate change, and climate change prevention will benefit everyone’s lives.

Climate change affects not only humans, yet animals too. For example, animals have had to move north for more suitable climates. Climate change warms temperatures, and causes animals to be unable to live in their original habitat any longer. For instance, fish in the North Sea have been moving north, and some have reached as far as the Shetland and Orkney in northern Scotland islands from their home in Cornwall, in the southern UK.

Another example of damage done to animals is the polar bear species. Polar bears rely on ice water for hunting their main prey, seals. Due to climate change, sea ice has been recorded to be melting at a rate of 9% per decade, and a consequence increasing the chance of polar bear extinction.

One last example of this damage to animals caused by climate change is the effect it has on sea turtles. A sea turtle’s nest temperature completely determines the sex of the sea turtles: colder sites produce male offspring while warmer ones produce female. Thus, climate change threatens the sea turtle species. Climate change has an immense impact on many animals’ lives.

Climate change is currently affecting and has affected natural environment. Ocean acidification plays a role in effect. Ocean acidification is a poisoning to our community; the term is used to describe seawater is changing in result of carbon dioxide raisings.

You may know that shellfish play an important role in Washington, as they are plentiful in the Pacific and are a delicious appetizer for many, making them an important resource to our community’s economy. Ocean acidification can have negative impacts on these important resources.

In addition to that natural damage, droughts, caused by climate change, also may have an impact on the environment. Droughts have occurred more often, due to warming temperatures. Record-breaking droughts happen every decade rather than the originally predicted every half-century.

Consequently droughts, in Eastern Washington in the summer of 2015 for example, are a variable to huge forest fires, and are prone to lead to a never-ending chain of forest fires because of the extreme heat and dryness. Equally important to this, loss of sea ice, rise in sea levels, and more intense heat waves that scientists predicted years ago are now occurring.

A study from NASA showed that recently, carbon dioxide levels reached 400 parts per million! That’s the highest it’s ever been in human history. For thousand of years, the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels never reached beyond 300 parts per million. We need to take action now to prevent further mind-blowing records, and inferences from actually happening.

Indeed, as I’m sure we can all agree by now, climate change is a problem. Prevention of it can benefit the entire community, especially if we do something about climate change now.

Gov. Christine Gregoire once said, “By taking action now, we have a better chance of protecting Washington’s people, jobs, economy and natural resources from climate change risks, taking advantage of our unique position in the Pacific Northwest to increase our competitiveness and helping build resilient communities...” 

In which she meant that our daily life can be easily impacted by climate change, with everything somehow connected to nature. She continued to say, “It’s good government and good business to consider climate impacts as part of ongoing work.” We should always have in mind climate changes’ impacts.

In short, climate change is a serious event that needs to be explored in ways to avert further occurrence. Climate change hurts other species besides humans, natural catastrophes will and have occurred, and there are upsides to aversion of climate change. Climate change needs to be prevented. 

Here are some simple ways you can help:
  • Walk more. Walking can not only decrease the amount of carbon production, yet it can improve your health and your mind too.
  • Eat locally. Eating locally means less transportation, which means less carbon in the air produced by vehicles of all kinds that move food.
  • Drive slower. The faster you drive, the more gasoline contaminates the air. 
  • Encourage others to help too! The more help, the bigger impact. Every person can make a difference. 

Sincerely, a concerned student,
Ava Hamilton



1 comments:

Michael Hamilton June 27, 2016 at 10:10 AM  

One of the toughest parts about public perception of climate change is that the global effect is not immediately obvious, so people sometimes confuse their own personal experience of stable, cool weather as evidence that climate change isn't happening. But, that's a bit like eating a huge meal and declaring that world hunger has been solved.

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