By Abbey Huffer
The Earth is arguably the most valuable thing the human race has, as there is only one. It must be treated with the utmost care, or it will become uninhabitable. Earth has not been doing well recently due to wildfires, trash in the oceans, and air pollution. All of these events cause catastrophic damage to the environment and the animals living in it. What exactly is happening to the Earth?
Climate change is a hot topic in today’s society, with many people debating whether it is real or not. When long-term weather patterns alternate in an abnormal way, this is referred to as climate change. This can be caused by burning fossil fuels, the release of natural gases, and even human activity; the environment has suffered greatly as a result of man-made actions. If it hasn’t been obvious, the Nevada heat has been hotter than usual due to the constant heatwaves (which have been caused by climate change). As a result of this, our main water source, Lake Mead, has gone into another drought.
“I believe climate change affects the environment by making our living environments hotter or colder and more unpredictable,” sophomore Seth Alirez said. “Some days become hotter when we usually expect them to be colder, such as how we’re having a high of 102° during a week in September.”
Global warming is also a major contributor to the earth’s problems. Global warming occurs when the temperature of the earth rises due to the greenhouse effect, which is caused by an increase in carbon dioxide and other factors. An increase in temperatures can cause disasters such as floods, heatwaves, storms, and droughts. While global warming does contribute to climate change, it might be difficult to separate the two. Global warming only correlates with rising temperatures; climate change includes rising temperatures as well as the consequences of rising temperatures.
“In the long run Earth will do what it has always done, and it will correct itself at any means necessary even if that means the earth finding a way to get rid of ‘the human race.’ Whatever has to be done will be done,” sophomore Rae Johnson said. “Earth has been kind in not doing it sooner, but it will happen soon enough.”
Humans are the primary cause of environmental degradation. Climate change has been triggered by pollution, deforestation, overpopulation, etc. It’s a cause-and-effect cycle, and countless generations have already dug a hole so deep that the mistakes may be irreversible. However, there are many ways the community can help improve the environment which can make an impact on this great issue.
“Keeping the Earth healthy can make us feel more connected to it,” freshman Lily Johnson said. “An unhealthy environment doesn’t only affect the health of the plants and animals, but it also can affect your emotional control and mental stability.”
There are numerous simple at-home ways to support. While long showers are nice, it is more beneficial to reduce the amount of water we use daily. Reduce, reuse, and recycle: reduce refers to reducing the amount of trash we produce, reuse is to find ways to use other items in your home that may be considered useless, and recycling is the process of converting something old and useless into something new and useful, such as turning old clothes into rags or recycling plastic.
“I believe we will never be able to 100% reverse the damage done to Earth, but we can undo a good portion of it. It will take a lot of time, and we would need to make a lot of changes that most people may not appreciate, but if steps were given we may see improvement in around 10-20 years if we started now,” senior Tyler Freed said. “Fixing the air, the trash in the ocean, the polluted drinking water, and deforestation are some of the things we can do now to make the Earth a better place.”