Where do you stand when it comes to global warming?

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As a kid from Michigan, I see all kinds of weather. From sunshine, to sleet, to sunshine and sleet at the same time, I’ve seen it all. But even though I’ve lived with wacky weather my entire life, even I can see its changing. We all can.

With the melting of ice caps and rising water levels, scientists and the public are constantly debating about humans effect on our changing planet. While some believe our footprint on this earth is too small and insignificant, others believe that if we don’t soon change our ways our planet is doomed. With the overall global temperature rising 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880- I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it is- and the sea rising 3.4 millimeters a year, global warming is definitely here. Some people see those statistics and believe the reason is our increased carbon transmissions. Others look to the immense changes in our planet’s past and see just another phase in Earth’s life.

Our world knows that a change is coming. The climate is changing, shifting, becoming something new, and potentially fatal for us. The big question now is why?”

To back up their claims, those who believe global warming is a result of human activity point out that “ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.” They believe this increase in the speed of the planet’s warming is due to human activity– things like the use of greenhouse gasses on mass levels, deforestation, and the absorption of much of the greenhouse gasses into the ocean.

Those who believe that the warming of Earth is just another part of our planet’s life, like the ice ages were, see things a little differently. They claim that global warming is a hoax. One of their defenses against their position is data from the Danish Meteorological institute that “shows that the ‘average [ice] extent over the month [of September] is one of the highest in the last decade,’ according to Paul Homewood. This runs directly counter to the predictions of the climate change models.” This is just one of the many claims that the ice is not melting, the sea is not rising, and we are in no danger of losing our planet.

But no matter where you stand on the spectrum, everyone in our country and our world will feel the effects of the leaders of our nation’s recent choices. From the budget cuts on U.S. science and environmental agencies to the scientific integrity office reviewing Scott Pruitt and the marches in Washington, a change is coming in our world. But will we be ready?

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