For many years now, students at Jeff High have only encountered climate change through indirect information. We have read about it in textbooks and seen its effects from watching the news. But climate change is no longer limited to distant coastal cities and extreme weather events like hurricanes and wildfires. The effects of climate change are growing, and something must be done to tackle this threat.
In the past, when climate change was discussed in this newspaper, we primarily relied on non-local stories and scientific predictions, but recent weather events have caused us to wonder about the impact of climate change on students at Jeff High. This is a fact that many athletes know all too well considering the number of canceled practices this fall due to extreme heat.
Although the cost of climate change has only resulted in a few missed practices so far, future heatwaves may have more severe consequences for students playing sports at Jeff High. According to The New York Times, temperatures from June to August across the United States were the hottest on record. If we fail to respond to the climate crisis, then these heatwaves will continue into the unforeseeable future.
While it’s hard to attribute any one event to climate change, a recent report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists draws a devastating connection between climate change and an increase in the number of heatwaves across the U.S. Midwest. Unfortunately, these increases are expected to continue as humans pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Even under the best-case scenario, in which fossil fuels are curbed quickly, the report claims that “The average number of days per year over 90 degrees Fahrenheit are projected to increase 2-3 times by end-of-century.”
Heat is just one of many changes that we can expect to see until something is done to combat climate change. Although most of our readers are high school students, hoping for a bright future in the face of a global crisis created long before they were born, we can still take action to reverse the effects of climate change in our daily lives by conserving energy, reducing the use of plastics, and recycling, and by reaching out to our leaders, at all levels of government and business, by asking them to do their part to rescue this planet and preserve it for future generations