BY OLIVIA BURGER
While the weather this past weekend did amazing things for my seasonal depression, it wasn’t particularly a good sign for Mother Nature.
Unless you are a total hermit who hates sunshine, you probably spent some time outside this weekend due to the beautiful weather.
I don’t think I can ever recall a time where there was a high of 70 degrees in mid-February, but I certainly wasn’t complaining while I was enjoying the sun and lack of snow.
Although the weird weather certainly put me in a good mood, it got me thinking about the repercussions of what a warm winter means for the environment.
Throughout my time in grade school and early senior high, climate change and global warming were topics that we discussed on a regular basis.
The topic always triggered a debate, with some students and teachers believing that it existed, and some arguing that it was too premature to claim that it was a valid theory.
Flash forward to 2017 and we now know, or I’d like to think everyone knows, that climate change is not fake – it is real and it is happening now.
In early January scientists from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded in their annual State of the Climate report that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded since global temperatures were first tracked in 1880. A separate investigation by NASA concluded the same results.
This is the third consecutive year of record-breaking heat, proving that this temperature trend is in fact a trend, and not a fluke.
This isn’t fake news painted by the corrupt media, trying to sway your opinion about a topic that may or may not be real.
These are facts, statistics and data. This is science. Yet some people still deny it.
These deniers include President Donald Trump, who has tweeted about global warming, stating, “the concept was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
Although later claiming this statement was a joke, Trump continues to show skepticism of climate change, repeatedly referring to it as a “hoax” pitted against U.S. business.
Perhaps more disturbing than Trump himself is Trump’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt. Pruitt, a climate change cynic who has for years disapproved of the department he now heads, was approved by the Senate on Friday.
It is undoubtedly difficult to find a balance between protecting the earth and protecting American businesses; however, I find it disturbing that the new head of our EPA does not fully accept global warming, nor is he willing to put forth a plan that prioritizes the safety of our planet.
In retaliation to Trump and Pruitt’s stance on climate change, thousands of scientists and concerned citizens across the nation have been voicing their opinions and fighting policies that are seen as dangerous to the role of science in society.
A March for Science has been scheduled to take place on April, 22, Earth Day, in Washington and in cities across the country, hoping to send a message to skeptics in office that science cannot be silenced.
I hope that as more climate data and research studies are released, more citizens will acknowledge it and encourage their officials to stand up for science.