Photo courtesy of MCT Campus
It’s hot in here and no, it’s not just you. The U.N. recently announced that 2016 will be the hottest year to date. This announcement only adds concern to the trend of rising temperatures around the globe. According to the World Meteorological Organization, 16 of the 17 hottest years have occurred in this century. In other words, this century has seen more record-breaking temperatures than movies where Zac Efron has appeared shirtless. One of these hot things needs to come to end, and it’s not the one who sang his way into our hearts in “High School Musical.”
We can’t rely on politics to solve this problem. Unfortunately, too many policy makers care more about the paychecks from the fossil fuel and agricultural industries than they do about the frightening effects of climate change. The Harbinger believes it’s time we stop waiting on a politician in shining Birkenstocks to save the day; it’s time we all take steps to combat climate change.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, rising temperatures will lead to droughts, an increase in tropical infectious diseases, melting ice caps and the disappearance of coastal towns. Even if you couldn’t care less about polar bears, as East students, we should all be concerned about Seaside becoming UndertheSeaside.
Luckily, you don’t have to become an electric car-driving vegan to make a difference.There are a few easy, green steps we can all take to reduce our carbon footprints.
Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather climate change has granted us and walk or ride your bike to your next Starbucks study session instead of driving. Upperclassmen, offer to drive your freshman neighbor to school; fewer moms in the parking lot at 7:38 a.m. is better for both the environment and our sanity.
Before you leave your room, turn off the lights so you can save both the environment and yourself from the wrath of your parents. When it finally does get cold, thank your dad for refusing to turn up the thermostat and throw on a Snuggie.
Try to eat in-season, locally-sourced and organic foods to cut down on CO2 emissions from transportation and pesticides. However, if the dollar signs attached to this type of diet scares you more than checking your grades on Skyward, there are several other easier and cheaper diet changes that can be equally effective. Studies have found that red meat accounts for about 150 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than chicken or fish. So, next time you are in the mood for BRGR, order one of their eight non-beef burger options instead of your usual Juicy Lucy.
2016 will go down as the warmest year to date, there is nothing we can do to change that now, but we can all do our part to make sure that future years don’t surpass it. After all, the Earth has been kind enough to bless us with Seaside, so the least we can do keep the Earth around long enough for our great-grandchildren to visit beach 30A.