Girl on Fire: How will we be impacted by global warming?

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, May 15, 2014]

When I first thought about what to write this week, I immediately thought of a moment two weeks ago when a man asked me a very inappropriate question in public about my body. I was angry, and thought I would write about my experience and how sexual harrassment occurs daily.

Then, I decided the man wasn’t worth my time like so many other issues in the world are, such as the environment and global warming.

I have always been interested in the environment and its recent (by which I mean the last several hundred years) changes. In college I took an environmental science class, where we learned that Earth goes through natural cycles of global warming and cooling. This cycle is the sixth or seventh one Earth has gone through.

There are natural changes related to the global warming cycle, such as rising sea levels, melting ice caps, extreme weather and changes in regional weather.

Then, Bill Nye got my attention. For those who don’t know who Billy Nye is, he is a popular scientist famous for his show “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

Nye has been in the news recently for his debates about climate change, and I’ve read the articles written about him. This led me to discovering Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Tyson, an astrophysicist, science communicator and host of the show “Cosmos,” came out with the idea that when Earth goes through its natural warming and cooling cycle, it will be worse than it has been in the past.

Tyson claimed that because of the amount of greenhouse gases and other chemicals humans put into the environment, the global temperature will increase so much humans, some plants and some animals will not be able to survive.

I think what attracted me to these ideas was that Nye and Tyson are famous, extremely smart and up-to-date on information. Plus, they agree. The White House has released a report that also follows the lines of Nye and Tyson’s thinking, which can be found at When there are important, intelligent people agreeing that humans will not survive Earth’s next global warming, I think it’s time to listen.

“We’re dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate the Earth hasn’t seen since the great climate catastrophes of the past, the ones that led to mass extinctions,” Tyson said during his show “Cosmos.” “We just can’t seem to break our addiction to the kinds of fuel that will bring back a climate last seen by the dinosaurs, a climate that will drown our coastal cities and wreak havoc on the environment and our ability to feed ourselves.

Maybe, with popular scientists and governmental agencies backing these new thoughts on environmentalism, we should listen to what’s being said, and do something about it.

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