Students should recognize results of climate change

Students should recognize results of climate change

It’s 70 degrees and sunny, pink flowers are blooming on the trees and the quad is  overtaken with smiling students.

What should be a spontaneously warm spring day has become the norm for February at Wake Forest.

Undeniably, most people love and enjoy warm weather. Everyone loves seeing the buds bursting from the trees in the Tribble courtyard, laying in a hammock on Davis field or drinking iced coffee outside Campus Grounds. But now is not the time for this. It is not the time for this unusually warm weather.

2016 was scientifically the warmest year on record. Most Americans accept the reality of climate change, but are deterred from accepting its severity because of the lack of negative implications felt here.

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However, this is a catastrophic way to look at the future of our planet. We cannot continue to celebrate the warm weather without being cognizant of what it actually means.

What it means is more earthquakes in Japan each year, increasingly dangerous tropical storms in the Philippines and the disappearance of coastal property in the Outer Banks and South Beach Florida. Climate change means these detriments and so many more.

In being realistic about the future of the planet we inhabit, we must continue to be conscientious about the heavy influence of our individual actions.

This is not to say that it is wrong to enjoy the warm weather by spending time outside; however, in our time enjoying it we should try to cogitate upon what is behind it, to have discussions with our peers and to continue individual efforts in order to encourage discussion and to incite change on campus.

The school already does a fair job in encouraging green endeavors around campus. From funding new LEED certified buildings, enacting a tree-care policy, introducing studies in Sustainability and working to raise awareness of recycling, the administration does what it can to address the continued implications of climate change.

Although it would be impossible for a small campus to curb the increasingly dangerous future of climate change, all students must do what they can in recognizing climate change, raising awareness and continuing individual efforts at slowing it.

Warm weather is supposed to be enjoyed — students are supposed to spend time with each other on the quad, take photos of the budding Dogwood trees and reflect upon the beauty of this truly extraordinary campus.

However, it is a mistake to experience this changing weather without also recognizing what it means. There is deep importance in inciting discussions with peers and professors about the harsh realities of climate change and remembering that there are truly dangerous effects of climate change felt worldwide. 

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