Climate Change threatens survival of our planet


Photo courtesy of BBC

Beginning with human activity, the extent of our collective impact is highly overlooked.

Sara-James Ranta, Layout/Design Manager

This story was originally published in the third issue of The Bear Truth (December 16, 2019).

Most often, the news is filled with stories of political drama, celebrity scandals, and economic downfalls. While all of them can be characterized as a crisis, the most emerging story this year is substantially by far the most influential crisis to come out of 2019. That is, of course, climate change.

To deconstruct, climate change is almost the hypernym of the subject. The biggest factor leading to climate change is global warming. According to NASA’s climate study, “The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century…most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010.” According to NASA, on top of this, global warming itself is caused by human activity, the greenhouse effect, and solar irradiance.

Although with such an analytic and concentrated subject this problem is based on, it’s quite hard to cover all aspects and solutions. With that being said, it is important to remember that not all details will be covered.

The problem is that we inevitably rely on man-made goods. Consider plastic; according to Surfers Against Sewage, in 2016, “A global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 320 million tons of plastic. This is set to double by 2034.”

Evidently, it’s hard to think of everything we use in our daily lives that contain plastic, much less even traces of plastic. We’ve gotten used to our economic good, which is the accessibility we’re given. Why bring metal silverware to fast food restaurants or even the high school cafeteria when they have plastic utensils right there? How are you supposed to keep in touch with the rest of the world when you’re using your currently charging phone, which in both cases, contains plastic? It goes right over our heads. Plastic has infiltrated our lives as a habit; it’s hidden in every nook and cranny, around every corner, and currently, “there may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and micro-plastic pieces floating in the open ocean.” Is there any possible way to change our outlook? 

Even before the uprising of climate change, who were we to blame? The innocence we had to the slow, crumbling devastation to our planet made us good, that the use of our technological advances did more good than harm. It’s par for the course, humans typically respond to something immediate, and climate change is a creeping threat. Conversely, it is only a deception, where the life we have today, which seems grand, takes precedence over the costs to our future. We underestimate our desires for what lies ahead. Our mortality is based on the morality of our peers, we deny cold hard facts to the goodness of our modern luxuries. 

In the up-rise, how are we supposed to determine a plan of action when no one will listen to each other? With activists fighting, the biggest debaters seem to be politicians. Why? It is the deeply rooted evil sought hidden in economic growth and development by society’s governments to lead us to believe we have done nothing wrong. Why would any government deter themselves from wealth? Climate change, in these terms, has not only become prey for the media but another cover up for the government. It’s entirely become a political snag.

Above all the arguments, something needs to be done. How do you expect the planet to continue to be habitable if we stay stuck in our behavior? It makes me angry, this is critical to our survival. Even more so, it’s my generation’s personal responsibility. Why? Why leave such a large weight on my shoulders, expecting me to fix or deny your mistakes? This planet is slowly dying; the greenscape this planet luckily still has, will be gone. All of what you know can be gone in 30 years and you still choose to sit back and do nothing. I understand we won’t save the world with a plastic straw ban and a “SAVE THE TURTLES!” poster, but this is bigger than any business meeting, bigger than any political debate, Hollywood scandal, or economic downfall.

 Inherently, we’re all doing something bad, whether or not the pressure is on us. We’re still under the influence of plastic and the hypnosis of the government. However, these are our lives. We’re so spoiled to treat the environment that was gifted to us in creation so terribly. Something needs to be done; and regardless of however the information is presented, the responsibility to fix the issue is nothing but our own. The demand needs to be filled. How many times in history have we risen? How many times have we stood up against another’s beliefs or a problem in a suit of action? So really, if it’s what we do best, rise to this one.