An Update on Climate Change: Yes, It Still Exists

4 min read

Katie Cerulle ’22

Features Editor

“The future of our world depends a lot on the choices we make right now,” says Lily Wear ’22. 

An Environmental Science major, Wear quite literally means that the fate of planet Earth rests in our hands. “Climate change is real. It’s proven by science and it’s killing our planet.”

With the United States being the second largest carbon producer in the world, we have an even greater impact on our planet than other countries with whom we share it. In an interview with the Tripod, Wear stressed that “what’s happening right now is that carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere as we burn fossil fuels. This creates the greenhouse effect, which heats up the planet. And as the atmosphere heats up more than intended, things go awry.” 

Wear added that, “the Earth was not meant to become warmer in this way. It was not intended for one species to change it so drastically.”

Wear decided to major in environmental science after becoming aware of the injustices taking place in the environment as the result of human intervention and tampering with the natural world. 

When it came time to choose a major, Wear knew that environmental science would be the perfect choice in relation to her passions. She told the Tripod, “of course, I wanted to make an impact as an individual by doing little things to reduce my own carbon footprint, but I also wanted to study environmental science so that I can make an even bigger impact fighting for our planet,” Wear said. “The most frustrating thing about it is that as much as climate change is real and proven by science, it has become a contentious political topic.” 

Wear’s First Year Seminar course, “Oil and Water: The Science and Politics of Climate Change,” dove into the intricacies of climate change and how it is discussed politically. 

“It was interesting to look at politicians and see where they get their money from,” Wear said. “{The class} found that the money is coming from a fossil fuel company or an organization that is a front for a fossil fuel company.” 

According to Wear, this is exactly why climate change has become such a political debate. “Fossil fuel industries don’t want to lose money, so they pour money into politicians’ pockets so that politicians will publicly deny climate change and endorse policies that do not prioritize our environment,” Wear explained. 

“So, climate change has been made into a political debate even though it’s proven by science. Politicians have gone so far as to tell the American public that addressing climate change will ruin the job market, when really, more jobs would be created than would be lost if we switched to a renewable sector.”

As a result of this, climate change has become an important issue to consider in the upcoming presidential election. “We’ve seen some environmental regulations being rolled back recently,” Wear explained. “This is a pivotal moment in U.S. history and hopefully America will make the decision to move to a greener future.”

Besides voting in the upcoming election, Wear advises the Trinity community to vote in state and local elections. “Some U.S. states are a part of The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which is a cap and trade system for carbon emissions,” Wear said. 

“It’s important to vote in state and local elections because the candidates who support this, if put in office, will limit the amount of carbon emissions a company is allowed to have,” she told the Tripod.

Beyond voting, Wear hopes that we can each make an impact individually by just being mindful. “None of us are perfect but we should each try our best to live purposefully,” Wear said. “Reduce, reuse, recycle, and do it in that order.”

bclark

Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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