Caitlyn Drazen

People come together to prevent the risks of global climate change.

Zoya Wazir, Copy Editor

On Dec. 12, 2015, President Obama launched an international global energy campaign to combat climate change in partnership with 19 other nations. The program ultimately intends to keep global temperature rise under two degrees Celsius, slowing the process of global warming as much as possible.

Climate change is defined as changes in normal global climate patterns, which is currently attributed to the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a result of excessive use of fossil fuels, such as coal. This has increased over the years as the United States, along with other nations, has invested more in coal driven power plants.

The first step of this program is to cut funding of new coal powered plants and invest in cleaner energy sources. The new global energy program should eventually lead to a 30% increase in renewable energy by the year 2030.

Economics teacher Mrs. Melanie Craven says, “I think it’s good that there is a plan in place and our country is concerned about energy. I am too, especially because of where we live, which is very close to sea level.”

People can also play a part in the program at home. For example, carpooling and turning off television sets when not in use are ways to effectively conserve energy, as well as turning off the lights in vacant rooms.

Advanced Placement Biology teacher Mrs. Robin McCarter says, “A mass acceptance and attempt must be done. Different energy sources must be used. I do believe [that] climate change is natural, but humans have had a huge impact, too.”

However, many people still do not believe that climate change is a viable threat to the planet and deny the validity of it.

Craven says, “I think that [climate change] is real; there are signs out there that confirm it. Think about Christmas Day – we broke record [highs]. The droughts that have been suffered out in the west this year and the floods that hit Texas and Oklahoma make me pause and think, ‘how are there such wild swings in the seasons?’”

The plan has already been making progress. For example, since 2008, American government agencies have reduced their carbon emissions by 17%. Also, since the start of President Obama’s second term in 2012, greenhouse gas pollution level became the lowest it’s ever been in 20 years.

Advanced Placement Environmental Science teacher Mr. Kris Cole adds, “I’m not sure if [climate change] can be stopped, and I’m not really sure if we should stop it. What we need to do is slow it down, because the critics of it have a good point when they say [that] the Earth goes through hot and cold cycles, Ice Ages, and warm-ups. The problem is that humans are making it occur faster than it should. Therefore, the rate of change is the real issue more than the fact that it’s occurring.”

Climate change is a serious, global issue and partnering America with the rest of the world in combating it can potentially help to slow down the process. In the words of President Obama himself, “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it.”