By Lonette Sims for SUST 210 online
The Chicago area and surrounding suburbs experienced one of the warmest winter seasons on record. There was hardly any snow cover in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Most people living here did not complain, but enjoyed the warm weather. However, Chicagoans need to be concerned about this abnormally warm weather because it is just foreshadowing of future climate conditions. Likewise, March of 2012 experienced extremely temperatures for that month. As the Huffington Post reported, “[T]emperatures in Chicago over the course of March have been nearly 16 degrees above normal.”
Climate change in the Chicago area is due to our dependence of fossil fuels. We use fossil fuels for driving, electricity, online shopping, etc. Everyone needs to reduce their dependency upon fossil fuels because emissions from their combustion contribute to climate change. As global warming progresses, Chicago average winter weather may change dramatically. Chicago winters were known for being brutally cold, but this winter was too mild. Cold winters are normal and many local species are adapted to this cold weather. A pattern of extremely mild winters reveal that we are rapidly raising the Earth’s temperature; the surface temperature may become too warm to sustain certain organisms in given locations.
In Andrew Revkin’s article titled, “More on Global Warming from a Republican Meteorologist,” published on the Dot Earth blog site, he writes, “Pieced together [the evidence] revealed the full puzzle: There’s more heat and moisture in the atmosphere, and our emissions are largely responsible for keeping it there.” There is more heat in the atmosphere because we are releasing carbon dioxide every time we burn fossil fuels; there is more moisture in the air because earth’s temperature is rising causing more water to be evaporated into the atmosphere.
Climate Change needs more media attention because humans are endangering the lives of future humans and organisms. Earth Day is a great occasion to discuss environmental issues like climate change. Some people will implement green practices the celebrate Earth Day, but continue to depend on fossil fuels. Earth Day was not intended on making people change for just a single day out of the year; Earth Day is supposed to inspire people to change their lifestyles. The media needs to discuss climate change at least once a week because it will bring more awareness to climate change. More awareness about climate change will inspire citizens, local governments, and the federal government to increase green practices, green policy, and green technology.
Submitted 20 April 2012