Many students believe that climate change will only affect future generations. I’m here to tell you that that is not the case. Climate change will affect every single person across the globe today, and for the rest of our lives, regardless of major or political affiliation. It is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century, and action must be taken immediately.
In the past decade, we have seen trends of more severe storms, flash flooding and wind damage, most notably from storms such as Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Joaquin. Not only are these trends occurring in the United States, but effects are being seen across the globe.
The issue of climate change might be controversial, but I have recently learned that 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists agree that the increased warming of the Earth is caused by humans. Even some GOP candidates agree that climate change is happening, but are not as aggressive in making the necessary changes. In the past, the international community has been unsuccessful to create solutions to the problem.
This year is different. In December, there is going to be a United Nations Climate Summit in Paris. There, world leaders will gather to negotiate a global, binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This will be historic for the environmental movement, if it is successful. For the first time, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will be in attendance.
The Climate Reality Project is starting a new campaign around the summit. Students at Ohio State are joining the movement, along with students from across the country, by signing a petition to show President Barack Obama that we support his efforts and want him to be a leader at the summit. Our goal is to get 5,000 signatures from OSU, with a national goal of 50,000. You can add your name to our list. If you see us on campus, come sign the petition and show the world that you believe this is a very pressing issue that needs to be dealt with starting today.
Second-year in climatology
Climate Reality Project intern