Climate Change…Why You Should Care & How YOU Can Make a Difference!
Hey Stony Brook!
When you hear the words “climate change,” what images come to mind?
Perhaps your brain immediately conjures up the image of a malnourished, rangy-looking polar bear clinging on to an ever-shrinking iceberg…or some poor, unassuming penguin perched on the precipice of a melting glacier, about to plunge to its demise as another huge sheaf of ice is sheared off the side of the thawing mass…
Scientists have acknowledged since the 1980s that earth’s climate has been warming. Though our planet naturally enters and exits periods of warming and cooling (known as interglacial and glacial periods, respectively), human activities taking place specifically in the past few hundred years have drastically changed the earth’s climate for the worse.
Greenhouse gases (most famously Carbon Dioxide, but also Methane and Nitrous Oxide, among others) have existed in our atmosphere since life itself has inhabited the earth. These gases trap some of the incoming solar radiation, which normally works to keep the globe at a relatively “normal” average temperature (based on historical temperature data). Without greenhouse gases, our earth would be very COLD.
What we are concerned with is anthropogenic climate change aka climate change caused by us, humans. It has been revealed by science that the increased burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, & natural gas) has been the single-largest contributor to global warming over the past 300 years…which has led to increased oceanic and atmospheric temperatures, species migration, mass extinction of many important species, more frequent extreme weather events, and more severe natural disasters. And now, the world population, thirstier than ever for such fuels, is running out of ways to quench its thirst…especially the population here in the United States, where we, for the most part, participate in and endorse a mass-consumer and “throwaway” culture.
WE need to wake up to this reality of a warming planet. Scientists are urging us to accept the facts: “Unless action is taken to curb global climate change, within the next 10 years the earth will pass a “tipping point” beyond which devastating consequences will become unavoidable. It is critical that America’s public health systems understand and adapt to the health implications of climate change.”
But, our government is telling us otherwise…besides the fact that the fossil fuel industry pours money into the coffers of some very prominent politicians and government organizations, our nation’s political leaders now think that the answer to “refilling” our nation’s energy stores with more dirty fossil fuels, rather than focusing on producing permanent, healthy solutions with renewable energy resources. Opponents of clean energy cite fiscal, health, and public safety concerns, ignoring the science that is clearly telling us that fossil fuels are killing our planet, which will ultimately kill us and all the other life around us, just like those polar bears and penguins I mentioned earlier…
At the moment, Fracking (for natural gas) and the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline are the two most pressing issues on the table. Please refer to my previous post on the upcoming Screening, Reception, & Discussion on Fracking (February 12, at the CAC in Huntington).
As for the Keystone XL Pipeline, YOU have the amazing opportunity to tell OUR United States government to divest in this technology! This fossil fuel “highway” would transport synthetic crude oil and bitumen from the Athabasca tar sands in the Northeast region of Alberta Canada…a crazy process of extracting oil that takes more energy input to carry out than the actual energy that is produced yields. If this pipeline is to be built, acres upon acres of wildlife habitat would be destroyed, human lives would be interrupted, water would be contaminated in the form of spills and tailing ponds…and the list goes on and on. And the creation of such a pipeline would only facilitate the further development of obtaining energy from the tar sands!
TELL the government that you will not stand for a dirty energy future!
On February 17, 2013, make history! Join tens of thousands of other concerned citizens in what may be the most critical climate change rally ever to take place! Come with us to Washington DC for the Forward on Climate Rally 2013!
Reserve your spot on a bus now…if enough join, we will be able to leave straight from campus!
This is truly critical! Make a difference…make your voice HEARD!
peace. love. run.
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