While most people in Michigan are enjoying the warm weather that has arrived early and unexpectedly, there’s a good chance a majority of those people don’t understand that this weather spells a serious threat to the stability of the planet. Global warming is a conspiracy that has been prevalent for over 120 years when Swedish scientist Svante Arrheinus prophesied that fossil fuel had the possibility of causing the surface of the Earth to heat up, leading to global warming. While it may be quite enjoyable to break out the shorts and tank tops in the middle of February, it would be useful to keep in mind the reason the weather is so pleasant is because of one large, alarming reason: our planet is dying.
On Saturday, February 18th, the temperature reached a high of 66 degrees in Portage, the highest temperature in February and highest thus far in 2017. Many people were out in summer clothes, taking walks, playing sports, sitting outside with friends, or doing other activities they would do commonly in June. It’s not uncommon for people to take advantage of early warm weather, but most likely, these people indulging in an ‘early summer’ don’t realize it’s killing our planet. “It’s interesting to see the types of changes this weather is illicting,” says Daniall Poulsen, a science teacher at Portage Northern. “Our lake only froze over for one weekend.” Poulsen says to be more aware of global warming: “I would honestly recommend going to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) only because I know it’s a very credible site. It’s composed by scientists all around the world. They hash out all the latest studies, and then put out a consensus.” If anyone would know about global warming, it would be Poulsen.
As the spring approaches, the concern for premature warm weather will start to dwindle, but it should not be ignored that global warming is legitimate concern of which people need to take notice. “I love the warm weather, but yes, it’s something to be concerned about. It’s not normal,” says Lexie Coon (11). “A lot of it has to do with the greenhouse effect which then leads back to us being careless. Pretty much because all of the greenhouse gases that are released into the environment from the things we do like driving cars, heating houses, and factory work.” Grace Beam (11) agreed. “Definitely a real thing, there’s science to back it up and it’s slowly but surely screwing our planet over.” Even students are informed, not just science teachers.
Students know that there’s something wrong, yet what are they supposed to do? Be mindful of harmful gases and fuels, make sure to turn off lights and unplug things that draw heat, and do anything else to conserve energy and not cause excess heating to the planet. The World Health Organization confirms that heating of the surface of the planet can directly be related to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. But if the students know how to counter it, that could be the start of the healing process. The planet may be dying, but it’s not too late to start saving it for the future generations.