Climate change seen as increasing threat

Lexy GarciaReporter

An increasingly politicized issue, climate change and the rate of global warming, is thought to be caused by human activity, according to many scientists. The percentage of Americans who view climate change as a “serious threat” has been increasing since 1998, according to a recent Gallup poll.

While 97 percent of researchers agree that humans are the cause of global warming, Vernon Kramer, an assistant professor of geology at Del Mar College, said there is nothing humans can do or stop doing to affect the environment.

“Locally we can affect our climate, we can recycle and conserve, but globally the world has not been getting warmer,” Kramer said.

The world’s economic dependency on resources that harm the environment can’t simply be made unavailable. Kramer believes our dependency can be reduced by allowing economics to regulate our emissions.

“As we become more technologically advanced, anything we do to reduce waste is a way to save money,” Kramer said, realizing it costs money to not pollute.

Crystal Stubbs, president of Del Mar College’s Environmental Awareness Organization, said the world’s ecosystem is delicate, and her organization aims to inform people delicately.

“The changing climate goes hand in hand with wanting to recycle and live sustainably. We live in an ecosystem where one affects the other,” Stubbs said. “We’re not trying to be activists, we’re not trying to be extremists, we’re just trying to be your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man … of recycling.”

Despite 33 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds believing climate change is over-exaggerated in the media, Del Mar geology instructor Beth Dushman recognizes climate change as a dire threat.

“It does and will affect every human being,” Dushman said.

Carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, is shown to be contributing to global warming and changing our lives at some point is crucial, according to Dushman. Not only are carbon emissions increasing, but the rate at which we are producing them is increasing. Transportation alone in the United States contributes 28 percent of national carbon dioxide emissions.

“The longer we wait the more dire the consequences will be,” Dushman said. “But, this is America, people don’t like being told ‘you have to do this, you have to do that.’ ”

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