Editorial: Individuals should do more to combat climate change

Ali Schulz
Junior Editor

Earthday Head
Art by Gracie Giles

Environmental issues have become a hot topic of conversation as the harm that humans are doing to the environment has become more and more apparent.

According to Central Connecticut State University, environmental issues include but are not limited to “Global warming and Ocean Pollution.” While these are only a few issues, they are some of the main ones that contribute to the issues we see today.

National Geographic stated, “Global warming is the long-term warming of the planet’s overall temperature.” While global warming has been going on for hundreds of years, the effects have not been as noticeable until recently. As world technology has evolved and improved, the amount of fossil fuels being burned has significantly increased.

Fossil fuels are used for everything from heating one’s house to making one’s car run. In addition, as cars on the road have increased, more gasses have been released into the atmosphere. These gasses are called “greenhouse gasses,” and these gasses contribute greatly to the warming of the globe.

According to the United Nations website, “It [Global warming] can also cause a rise in sea level, leading to the loss of coastal land, a change in precipitation patterns, increased risks of droughts and floods, and threats to biodiversity.” Global warming causes extreme danger not only to the environment, but also humans through natural disasters, and other enviormental events.

Another environmental issue is Ocean [Marine] Pollution. National Geographic states, “Marine pollution is a combination of chemicals and trash, most of which comes from land sources and is washed or blown into the ocean.”

Marine pollution typically comes from trash, sunscreen, and chemical spills. Sea animals often mistake trash for food, and digest it by accident. They can also get tangled up in the trash, which can affect their growth, or even cause death. Chemical spills can also have the same effect. In addition, there are many chemicals in sunscreen that can cause harm to marine life. Oxybenzone and Octinoxate are two harmful chemicals. According to the People 4 Ocean website, “These chemicals are used in 97% of sunscreens.”

It has been proven that Oxybenzone and Octinoxate have many negative effects on marine life, specifically coral reefs.. This is why in certain places in the U.S it has been banned, as these places require reef safe sunscreen. Coral reefs are a vital part of human survival. The Eco Watch Website states, “ While coral reefs only cover 0.0025 percent of the oceanic floor, they generate half of Earth’s oxygen and absorb nearly one-third of the carbon dioxide generated from burning fossil fuels. This shows why reefs are such an important thing to protect.

The environment is a vital thing to protect. It not only provides us with shelter, but also provides us with the things we need to survive. Every day, we harm the environment more and more, and one day it will become beyond repair. If humans continue on the trend they are on, global temperatures will rise causing increased natural disasters, pollution will become uncontrollable, water shortages will occur, and there will be countless other problems.

The environmental issues that humans are causing is not something to be taken lightly. There are many ways one can get involved in their community. When shopping for sunscreen, one can make sure that the sunscreen they choose does not contain any detrimental ingredients to the environment.

One can participate in trash pickups in their local area. In addition, one can make sure that they conserve fossil fuels as much as possible. Lastly, one can speak out and spread awareness of environmental issues to their peers and others in their community. The harm humans are doing to the environment will continue to cause damage, and now humans need to step up and fix the problems they have created.

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