“Michigan, get your life together!” Have you ever found yourself saying this? Chances are you’re not the only one. Michigan’s weather this year until recently has been nothing short of unpredictable, sporadic, and downright ridiculous. Folks will attribute this to a quirk about Michigan, nothing too serious. Sorry to spill the beans guys, but Michigan is not unique in this light. There is actually something fundamentally wrong going on in the atmosphere.
Climate change, climate shift, global warming; these are words that you have most likely heard, especially recently. Global warming may sound wrong with the sub-zero temperatures recently, but the term refers to the atmosphere’s overall rise in temperature. This results in higher precipitation levels, more extreme storms and floods, tampered rainfall patterns, and melting ice caps and glaciers. Basically, the weather was pissed off. Here are some things to consider:
According to the German Renewable Energy Industry Institute, CO2 emissions have risen by 40 percent since 1990. When fossil fuels, like carbon, are burned they create extra greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse gases already exist and help maintain heat, but with extra, too much heat is trapped and abnormally increases global temperatures.
According to NASA, most climate scientists concur that the main cause of climate change is human expansion of the “greenhouse effect.”
There is no doubt that these happenstances are destructive to the atmosphere. Things could continue to get worse, which is no small consequence in the slightest. However, if you find yourself moved or wanting to make a difference, here are some suggestions to reduce your “carbon footprint.”
Walk whenever you can instead of driving. Transportation amounts to 28% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA. Get that exercise in and reduce emissions.
Savor energy: shut that light off! Even if electricity is already paid for, it is still burning fossil fuels. Remember, coal is the main source of energy for houses.
Learn more. Do research. A good place to start is the library. Or, look at NASA’s website. Check out their article, “Climate Change: How do we know?” They have a lot of good things to say.
Whether or not you acknowledge climate change, this article still is just meant to provide insight on why the weather has been a shit show, and why it may continue to escalate unless something is done. Remember guys, stay informed, stay warm and stay classy.
Lyndzi Sakowski is a junior in social work from Saginaw, Michigan.