November 18, 2015

WELCOME TO THE ZOO | Climate Change

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Welcome To The Zoo Logo - colorBy KATIE BARLOW and REBECCA SABER

With an open mind and two sides of the story, you’re bound to learn something new.

Welcome to the zoo! This is a blog where both the Republican and Democrat viewpoints are represented. The blog is not meant to sway you either way necessarily, just present both sides of the story. You may not agree with the whole article, but hey, you’re likely to agree with half! The topic this week: Climate change.

STANCE 1

Climate change is an ominous problem. Temperatures around the world are increasing drastically, causing seasons to shift and sea levels to rise. We are complacent bystanders because our planet is still providing us with the essentials we require to survive: air, water and food. Unfortunately, if we do not modify our actions, these necessities will become much less accessible. Rising temperatures also affect the ocean’s warmth, causing coral bleaching, an increase in dangerous storms and rising water levels. Furthermore, the communities most impacted by climate change are the vulnerable, poor ones. Heat increases the spread of illness because higher temperatures allow animals and insects that would otherwise die in the cold to survive and carry disease. These communities have no way to defend against many of these diseases that require vaccinations or pricey, modern health care.

Climate change also disturbs the natural patterns of many species. Some animals can no longer migrate or adjust to different climates and it is predicted that one-fourth of the species on earth will be headed toward extinction by 2050. Our children will grow up in a time when the necessities we take for granted deplete exponentially. During the Democratic debate on November 14, 2015, Bernie Sanders commented that climate change is one of the “greatest threat[s] to national security.” Although this comment is extreme, it does stress how important it is that we, as people living on one planet, address climate change.

Global warming will impact all aspects of life from infrastructure to crop production to droughts. Structures in many areas are built with the temperature and seasonal change taken into account. If the climate changes too much, these buildings or bridges will not survive a cold winter, or will be unable to adapt to a windier atmosphere. Certain crops can only grow in particular regions; if global warming persists, agriculture methods and locations will have to change. The last century has been the warmest since 1880, which is the earliest year that temperatures were recorded. The carbon we emit today will determine the future of our climate and that of future generations. We must become a greener planet and focus on the future of our world to ensure that other generations enjoy what we are so lucky to have.

Greenly yours,

A not-yet-extinct Donkey

STANCE 2

The world is heating up and we are all going to die you might as well give up (you can get that extra slice of cake now). Or you could stop believing the liberal media and realize you have a full life to live! As catchy a story it is that global temperatures are rising at an unprecedented rate and that the glaciers are melting, these concepts are simply that: captivating headlines. The average global temperature has not risen since 1995. In fact, the average global temperature has declined since 2002. Over the past 100 years, global temperatures have increased one degree fahrenheit and this is consistent with a steady trend of warming throughout our record of Earth’s history. Also on record is the intermittent growth and receding of glaciers as part of their natural cycle. The most recent phase of glacial melting is a result of the end of the Little Ice Age (1400-1895) and warming between 1966-2005. Nevertheless, the current temperatures are the same as they were in 1943. Moreover, arctic ice has been on the rise, increasing in volume 50 percent in 2012 alone, and continuing to increase since then.

The claims of “more extreme weather” from climate change are also not reliable. The International Panel on Climate Change stated that “no robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes, or major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years.” The IPCC also determined that the “increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated” because the evidence presented was not sufficient. Although the tornado incidences recorded have increased slightly since the 1950s, the number of powerful tornadoes, F3+, has decreased since then. The difference in total tornado incidences is accounted for by improved and precise technology to identify them.

Finally, although this is simply a fun fact, I advise you to consider it: a study that claimed 99 percent of scientists believed in global warming included 75 scientists who believed in the idea. Compare that to the 31,000 scientists that signed a petition proclaiming that they do not believe in the catastrophic manmade global warming.

You can choose to believe the media or you can open your eyes up to the scientific facts. The science makes it clear that climate change is a great concept to push a political agenda, however, it is not scientifically valid.

Conservatively yours,

Katie

Katie Barlow is a sophomore biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences. When not debating politics, she can be found running half marathons and eating nutella by the spoonful. If you’re up for a chat, Katie can be reached at kmb324@cornell.edu.

Rebecca Saber is a sophomore government major in the College of Arts and Sciences. She aspires to be Secretary of State, but is willing to settle for Supreme Court Justice. When she is not writing about politics, Rebecca can be found watching TV in her bed or at some musical theater rehearsal. If you want to chat, Rebecca can be reached at rms432@cornell.edu.

Welcome to the Zoo appears on alternate Wednesdays this semester.

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