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Today’s Events

OPINION: The fate of climate change is in our hands

KentWired illustration by Mia Marino

“We don’t have time to sit on our hands as our planet burns. For young people, climate change is bigger than election or re-election. It’s life or death,” U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.

AOC’s words couldn’t be more true. 

This year, our planet was rocked to its core as extreme heat, devastating wildfires and other natural disasters continued to ravage our world. 

As of the beginning of November, there were 25 confirmed weather and climate disasters in the U.S. so far this year, with over $1 billion in losses for each event, the National Centers for Environmental Information found.

We’ve also just experienced the hottest October ever recorded globally, and 2023 is on track to become the hottest year.

The impacts of this year’s extreme heat were disastrous and deadly. 

In September, the Mediterranean storm Daniel became Africa’s deadliest storm with an estimated death toll between 4,000 and 11,000.

A record-setting number of wildfires in Canada continued to rage on throughout the summer, painting the horizon in colors of red and orange and causing people to evacuate their homes. Greece shattered history by recording an unprecedented amount of wildfire emissions, and Maui experienced our country’s deadliest wildfire in over a century. 

These heartbreaking events have scorched endless miles of land, sent smoke rolling for hundreds of miles and destroyed countless lives and wildlife.

Severe weather and blistering temperatures aren’t the only factors contributing to the climate crisis. 

Humans are actually the main cause of climate change. By burning fossil fuels (such as coal, oil and gas), manufacturing goods, cutting down forests and using transportation that produce harmful emissions, we have increased the amount of heat-trapping gases into the air.

The world will likely surpass its climate goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the early 2030s. By breaking that threshold, scientists warn climate disasters will grow stronger and the Earth could undergo irreversible changes. 

We will continue to face the effects of sweltering heat, rising sea levels and historic and deadly storms if we don’t take urgent action. 

We have all the knowledge and tools that we need to battle climate change and put our planet on the right track. If we stop using unhealthy fossil fuels, hold powerful companies accountable and increase our renewable energy usage, we could save the Earth.

The clock is ticking … and climate change isn’t disappearing. 

As climate activist Greta Thunberg said, “Our house is on fire.” 

We must act like our house is on fire — because it is. The fate of climate change is in our hands, and we need to take action before it’s too late.

Aden Graves is an opinion writer. Contact him at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Aden Graves, Opinion Writer and Digital Tech
Aden is a junior majoring in journalism with a minor in communication studies. This is his second year working for KentWired, and he has served as social media assistant, general assignment reporter and is now an opinion writer and on the digital team. Aden enjoys writing about the arts and current issues that he cares about. Contact him at [email protected].

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    Linda GravesNov 20, 2023 at 10:05 pm

    This is the most important issue if our lives. Thank you for your excellent article.