What does climate change look like right now?


David Kraus

A photo of solar panels in Colorado

According to the United Nations, there is little over a decade left before climate change becomes irreversible. Today’s youth are struggling to save the world, and they will continue to grow up in an environment where climate change is still not being taken seriously.

The younger generations are pressuring world leaders to take them into consideration when thinking about climate change.

According to The United Nations in a general assembly briefing from March 29, 2019, “Further echoing the global youth’s call to action was United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who said young people are demanding that today’s leaders act on behalf of future generations.”

In some climates droughts and flooding will stop access to clean water. Amilies will have to choose between migration or starvation. In addition, the Earth’s temperature has risen 1.8F since 1900. This number may seem small, but according to Climate.gov “That extra heat is driving regional and seasonal temperature extremes, reducing snow cover and sea ice, intensifying heavy rainfall, and changing habitat ranges for plants and animals—expanding some and shrinking others.”

This leaves places like Antarctica at significant risk if these temperatures continue to increase. The Antarctic ice sheet holds 61% of all of the world’s water supply. If the sheet were to melt, it would cause sea levels to rise 58 inches, leaving coastal communities such as New York in danger.

According to USGS, (United States Geological Survey) some effects of climate change will include an increase in the duration and intensity of heatwaves in cities, and many are already starting to see the effects.

In Aspen, the community is taking action to help reduce the negative effects of climate change, including installing solar panels on a large scale. Solar panels can help reduce the use of fossil fueled power. Fossil fuels are currently the largest source of energy in the United States.

David Krause, Editor-in-Chief of The Aspen Times, explained the new panels in a Oct. 26 article. “A nearly 14,000-panel solar farm near Woody Creek began generating electricity for Holy Cross Energy about a week ago, according to an official with the California-based company that built the facility this summer,’’ Krause wrote.

At AHS, 80 students from each grade were asked whether or not they believed in climate change and were scared for their future regarding the impacts of climate change. The majority of students who responded said that they believe in climate change and are scared for their future. When asked if they believe in climate change, 94.6% said yes, while 4.1% said no. When asked if they were scared for their future, 89% said yes, and 11% said no.

Teenagers fear how climate change will impact their future. We are left to clean up the mess that we call our home, Earth. Due to the growing threat of climate change, we must fight for a clean and healthy planet.