Hello all! I hope everyone is enjoying the sunny whether, well at least here in the PNW it’s been super hot! Anyways, I have a slight grievance right now. A bone to pick. Climate change. I know it’s this big bad thing and it’s easy to ignore.
It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that everyday your actions, my actions, neighbors, grandparents, ancestors, on and on and on have negatively impacted this beautiful planet. Many people question the science behind it, because we have no other way to compare the data gathered. And that’s what all of science is based on; gathering evidence, repeating experiements to confirm hypothesis, that is science! I understand that it is weird, almost every scientific thing found has been experimented on, the experiment has been repeated to gather duplicate results. How can you even see or determine something that you cannot repeat?, but we can look at the data gathered over decades.
Now, climate change has always happened. That is a fact. We can see it from rock sediment and carbon dating. In the rocks we can see the different levels of trace elements introduced to that layer of rock so many years ago. Carbon dating is a very unique process; it involves comparing three carbon isotopes. Isotopes of an element have the same number protons (positively charged particles) but they have different number of neutrons (neutral charged particles). They are very similar, but they have very different masses. Now elements decay or deteriorate over time, Carbon 14 (7 protons and 7 neutrons) eventually decays to Nitrogen 14. Back to the three carbons, the lightest of the Carbons is carbon 12 (7 protons and 5 neutrons), then there is Carbon-13, and Carbon-14. We all know that Carbon is apart of CO2 and we breath that out. So if we know the current levels of CO2 at the time of death, C-12 and C-14, then the amount of C-12 and C-14 that is in the atmosphere now we can determine how much time has passed.
How does this relate to climate change? Well carbon is one of the biggest contributor to the rising of the heat levels. During each period on earth there are varying levels of carbon. We can determine the rates of rising levels by looking at all those different fossils, rock layers, and even ice. Looking through the different layers we can see that before the Industrial Age of the world we can see that there were very low to moderate rates of rising carbon levels, then taking that data scientists made a model on what the current levels “could have been” (granted this is all an estimation simulations are just that). Though data that was gathered after the Industrial Age the levels of carbon were way off from what was imagined! The levels had rose a lot higher and a lot faster than estimated.
Like I said, computer simulated models are tricky and aren’t as accurate as we hoped. We have blown past the estimated safety zone. Whether you want to believe it or not we are having an impact on this planet. We are tearing down trees, trees that taken in our carbon and give us oxygen. We are polluting the oceans by are carelessness. We are murdering species for the selfishness of our own. You cannot sit there and tell me that this is not real. It is June and it was almost 100 degrees in Western Washington today. For the 23+ years I’ve been alive it has never been that hot over here.
Please, it’s terrifying to think that we are destroying the only habitable place in our known solar system, but we have to step up. We have a duty to our children, to the other species we SHARE and let me repeat that SHARE this planet with, and to ourselves. As humans we have to evolve from our selfishness and take care of this earth. Please. My daughter wants to save the cheetahs and I want to give her the Earth to explore.
Thank you. Step up. Recycle. Walk to work if you can, take the stairs, anything. Start small and work your way forward.