Hope

Hope

There is hope, but hope is dwindling. My own hope for the future took a major hit after reading “Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise” in one of my Environmental Science classes last year. The paper revealed that the inclusion of the melting of buttress ice shelves (which previously were not included in models) in climate change models gave a more clear picture on how much ice has been lost, how much ice will be lost and for how long water levels will rise after all the CO2 we have created. The final sentence of the study said this, “ Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delay its recovery for thousands of years.” Water is able to hold heat well and this is unfortunate for us. If we stop producing CO2 right now, we will still feel the effects on sea level rise and temperature change for hundreds of years; and we are certainly not going to stop producing CO2. We need to make changes yesterday, but it seems that everyone in power is waiting until tomorrow.

We can find hope anywhere. There are children and elderly with hope. There are uneducated and PhD students with hope. We just need to channel that hope into a means of doing something. It is very easy to lose hope and we need to take advantage of the time we have before people give it up. I myself have become increasingly cynical of the future of this planet since coming to college. If I could make one change that I think would the attitudes would be to have every school/ university to require that every class address a related environmental issues in a way that asks “What can we do to make it better?” This would hopefully mobilize students everywhere to not only be engaged, but also make a change. It certainly would at least keep people more hopeful.

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