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Climate Change the Silent Killer

Hamza Mahmood
Department of Biology
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Like the White Walkers in Game of Thrones, climate change is often not believed in and not seen by the vast population, but it does exist and is plotting to take over the planet. Our President has cut funding from sources that help stop climate change, and has publically denounced its existence. This is a very slippery slope.

Leonardo DiCaprio said, “I play fictitious characters often solv­ing fictitious problems. I believe mankind has looked at climate change in the same way, as if it were a fiction.” Climate change is the gradual in­crease in the temperature of the globe. The disregard for global warming has led to a two-degree Fahrenheit increase in surface temperature as well as a 0.3-degree Fahrenheit increase in ocean temperature from the nineteenth century. This has resulted in the endangerment of many spe­cies. At first glance, it may not seem like a small increase in temperature is enough to warrant concern; however, this misconception could not be further from the truth. Although the current increase in temperature is not deadly, it is showing a dangerous pattern of increasing global temperature with time, and this should be a cause of concern.

The United States of America is the world’s second largest contributor to carbon dioxide air pollution. Although there are many green­house gases that contribute to climate change such as water vapor, meth­ane, nitrous oxide, and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), CO2 is one of the largest contributors to the greenhouse gas effect. The greenhouse gas effect occurs when many gases get trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and increase the temperature. Although carbon dioxide can be released naturally through respiration and volcanic eruptions, man-made changes have contributed the most to this increase. Deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels have led to a significant increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Climate change is not something that can be reversed by a single country in a single action. The reversal of climate change will require the cohesive efforts of the whole world. The Paris Agreement is an agreement between 159 countries to limit their carbon emissions. President Obama was a supporter of this, and at the time, it seemed like the world was ready to take a step in the right direction and begin to find a solution to climate change. Although the Paris Agreement was a good initiative to battling climate change, this policy is already facing criticism from President Trump. President Trump has made it clear that he was not elected to serve the people of France but rather to serve the people of the United States. The United States will be only one of three countries unwilling to sign the agreement. Although the agreement did put certain countries at a disadvantage, almost all countries were willing to give up their self-interest and participate in this agreement.

The issue of climate change is not one of liberals or conserva­tives; instead, it concerns the well-being of the whole world. What if there were a disease that started by infecting only a few individuals but could spread throughout the whole world and infect every human? Wouldn’t you do everything in your power to stop this disease before it spread? Climate change is that disease and it is slowly moving to destroy the world and its inhabitants. The solution to climate change may not be easy, but it is simple. We have to start treating the planet with respect.


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