Global warming and its effects

Anthony Lockwood, Reporter/Writer

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As the school year has started, many students have noticed the weather. As the sun shines its bright rays down on the brand-new campus, students are sharing their takes on global warming. 

Aiden Dougherty, a junior and a Young Democrat member, believes that the gap between Republicans and Democrats stances on global warming is large. 

“Everyone agrees [that] climate change is occurring” and we need to work together, but that more Republicans are “ignoring the issue,” and blame “global warming on other variables” than human intervention. He believes that global warming is an issue, and we need a feasible solution, also adding that ideas like stopping the burning of fossil fuels might not work. 

He also says, “It’s one of the largest factors for many economies, so it would greatly hurt a lot of economies if we just solely phase them out completely, so I think it should be a slower process their phasing off.”  

Another Young Democrat member and newly named secretary of the club, Gracie Cates, gave her take on the issue as well. She also believes the Republican and Democratic stances have become “extremely politically polarizing” but that there are “some people (who) are still willing to reach across the aisle from both parties” and help discuss the issues and implications global warming have. 

Recently, The Wall Street Journal released a survey conducted two times, once in 1999, and another time in 2018. It compared Republicans’ and Democrats’ stances on global warming and if they believed it was a national crisis and if it needed to be talked about and dealt with. 

The results were astounding, with 29% of Democrats in 1999, and then 71% in 2018 saying it was an issue at the time, compared to Republicans’ 14% (1999) to 19% (2018).

Cates responded to this saying that “research and awareness for global warming has reached many Americans”. “I think that it is extremely important to understand and learn about other people’s perspectives. That is how we get things done in society.”

Ella J. Skaggs, president of the Young Democrats club of Northtown also gave her opinion, saying that humans have caused global warming. 

“Yes, the earth’s climate has changed in the past, but science has proved the latest warming trend is due to human activity.” 

And as the planet has heated up, we have noticed the changes evident because of global warming as well, According to Skaggs, “Since the late 19th century the earth has warmed 1.62 degrees and most of that has happened in the last 35 years. Greenland shed 11 billion tons of ice in one week, but people still deny climate change”.

Skaggs also knows that several Democrats believe that global warming was a top concern, and that many Republicans have held firm on their beliefs as well. She also thinks it is still important to learn about others’ perspectives as well, 

“Debating doesn’t get you anywhere but listening to different sides and working across the aisle is what allows you to change things.”

Science teacher, Daniel Berkland, defines global change as referring to “any change on a planet-wide scale that affects the Earth Systems.” While also adding that global warming and climate change are different, 

“These terms have been used interchangeably. However, Global Warming would be referring to the rise of average temperature on the planet, and climate change is a response to the Global Warming phenomenon.  This would be a long-term change in the pattern of weather.” 

Many people might wonder why or how the temperature keeps going up, and why it is such an important topic. The reason we are involved is the burning of fossil fuels, according to Berkland.

‘The release of methane and carbon dioxide are bi-products of burning fossil fuels. Humans are typically associated with an increase in both of these gases based upon the consumption of fossil fuels.  More people = more fossil fuel usage = increase in global temperatures”.

Just like in the political parties, the science community is also split on what to believe, according to Mr. Berkland, 

“It seems as if the scientific community is split on this topic.  Some believe that this is a major issue that could be affecting us in the very near future.  Others believe that the currently warming is just part of a cycle the earth is undergoing, and it is not the result of human interactions with the environment.”. 

Even though we know global warming is happening, there is very little we know about it still, seeing as many people’s opinions are split and continue to be. 

Mr. Berkland also said, “Long story short, we simply don’t have enough data to support either side of the argument concretely.  With that being said, it is good science to find out what causes global warming and be prepared to intervene if it seems necessary to save our climates and resources.”

As awareness of the August and September heat this year and global warming circulates the campus, so does the heat warnings, says Dr. Chad Ryerson. 

“The only thing the heat impacts is the practice schedules of outdoor athletics.” Also adding that the school trainer decides “if athletes can practice outside and for how long.” 

While sports teams and other groups have to deal with the heat, Ryerson also brought to light the hard work of the Northtown marching band, who “practiced really early in the morning several times to beat the heat.” As every member dedicates to hone their craft. 

             

Although many students aren’t affected by the heat, some groups like band and football have been affected, and it’s important to have more discussions about how global warming is affecting our community, and our planet. As we all have our own opinions, it is still good to keep an open mind, and respect others, along with their unique perspectives.

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