Action required to prevent climate crisis

By Cole Wyman, Staff Writer

Our planet is currently being choke held by its human inhabitants and this deadly grip is only getting tighter and tighter. Since the last Ice Age, carbon dioxide levels have never reached 300 parts per million (ppm), .03% of our atmosphere, however it surpassed this mark relatively recently. These levels were around 320 ppm as of 1950, and since then have risen 80 ppm at an unprecedented rate, according to NASA. It can be extremely dangerous to go much above these levels, as our temperatures will rise and any slight change to Earth’s longstanding ecosystem can be deadly.

Although we cannot oftentimes see the climate change epidemic happening on our globe, some effects can be visible. We see effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; few effects that can be seen now are the sea level rise of 6.7 inches in the past century, glacial retreat in many different regions, and the 30% increase of ocean acidity, all according to NASA. This list will only increase as countries such as the U.S. do not start to place drastic new restrictions so that we can really cut down on emissions.

Many countries are going ahead and making change as a result of of this disaster that we need to fix. America, on the other hand, is comparatively lacking in these efforts. Sweden has pledged to end all the burning of fossil fuels. Germany has pledged to remove all gasoline powered cars by 2030. Other countries that are leading the way in converting to reusable energy include Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Uruguay. Americans just elected a President, Senate, and House that generally favors industry over our important but crumbling climate. This is something that could very well be problematic as a shocking 85.4% of Hackley students polled are alarmed by what they see as a dangerous and controversial president taking office in such an important time.

It appears our Wendt and Szabo Lecturers, Drew Jones and Cynthia Scharf, did a wonderful job informing the student body at Hackley of the urgency pertaining to climate change as nearly 96% of poll respondents believe that climate change is an important issue. With that, a startling 62% of students have decided that change must be made now, and only 1% see this as a matter of the future. Now that Hackley students are informed about this escalating issue, with the help of HEAL, Hackley’s Earth Action League, we need to make changes as a school.