Opinion: The hot topic of climate change

Skyler Chill is a sophomore communication studies major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at schil1@kent.edu.

Skyler Chill is a sophomore communication studies major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Skyler Chill

Global warming is something I am very passionate about. It is very serious, and in this piece, I want to share my thoughts with you on some videos I have watched about the subject.

The speaker in the first video I watched was Jonathan Foley. According to Foley’s university website, Foley is the Director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of the Minnesota. He also holds a McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior.

Foley’s work focuses on human societies, the behavior of complex global environmental systems and interactions between the two. Foley discussed how we are “mining water” and using it to grow food. While we are busy growing lettuce in the desert, we are drying up the Colorado River.  We also drained the Aral Sea for the same reason to grow cotton. Solutions to this issue of keeping up with the growing agriculture are, farming the land we have better (to increase better yields), uniting different land locations to produce food, and according to Foley, the number one solution we have is to unite commercial agriculture with organic farming.

I am shocked with how we grow certain products in locations where we have to use so much water. This is why we have fresh lettuce in the dead of winter. It shouldn’t be that way. It’s unreal we use 50 percent of the Earth’s fresh water. With agriculture being at 70 percent of the Earth’s land, it’s amazing how we have to distribute that water. This has changed the way I view agriculture, and how much it dominates our world. With agriculture being a necessity in our lives, it’s a double-edged sword. We need it, but at the cost of other natural resources.   

The speaker in the second video I watched was David Keith. Keith is a Professor of Public Policy at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In 2009, Keith was in an article in TIME Magazine’s ‘Heroes of the Environment.’

Keith talks about how climate change is not a new issue. He also points out that our environment is getting much worse, that sea ice is melting, and that our carbon emissions have been getting more prominent. Solutions to the problem of the worsening environment are to switch to another energy source that is more eco friendly (wind power, solar power, anything that don’t eliminate harmful gasses into the atmosphere, etc). Keith says we need to change our human actions in order to save our planet. The most shocking solution Keith suggested was to introduce a huge cloud of ash into the atmosphere to deflect sunlight and heat, so that the Earth can cool faster.

I believe this would be a good idea; however, I feel some of his solutions would be hard to achieve, and might be costly (the ash cloud). However, I like how Keith uses science and human knowledge to keep brainstorming and finding solutions to solve the problem of climate change. I had no idea scientists are developing new ideas to save the planet everyday. It is a full-time career to try to save our Earth.

All in all, our earth is changing so rapidly it is up to us to stop the rapid spread of climate change. I want a world where my grandkids will see the same Alaska I did.