Does Climate Change Exist?

By Paresha Khan, Staff Writer

Prior to his Presidential election, Donald Trump tweeted in 2012, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

As a student who is tremendously passionate about global warming and climate change, I stared at my phone in awe, dumbfounded that the citizens of our country elected a leader who has previously expressed complete denial about the complications arising in our environment.

Global warming is known as the rise of the average temperatures of the Earth over time, and is considered to be a human-caused complication due to the burning of fossil fuels. This process causes carbon dioxide to absorb sunlight and solar radiation, thus increasing the Earth’s heat drastically. Climate change also refers to the distinct differences of the predictable weather patterns in a certain location.

Students at George Mason University shared my distress over President Trump’s words and their opinions about climate change.

What shocks me the most is the fact that there has been proven evidence that climate change is real by certified science agencies and the fact that we are seeing the consequences of our actions already with the multiple hurricanes that have happened recently,” freshman Andrea Aguiluz said. “Something that really makes me angry about [Donald Trump’s] stance on climate change is how he and most Republicans have made denying climate change into a political issue when it should be a scientific one.”

The effects of both global warming and climate change are in full swing as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes over a thousand scientists, predicts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.

According to CNN, scientists have discovered that the rising sea levels and warmer temperatures in oceans have caused both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to be far more destructive than they would have been decades ago. A Category 4 and 5 hurricane were clearly not convincing enough to the President, as he stated that, “we’ve had bigger storms than this.”

“To me, it is absolutely mind boggling that some people do not believe that global warming exists and is an increasingly pressing issue,” junior Sanjoli Agarwal said. “When it comes to global warming, you can choose to believe that nothing is wrong and that ‘we’ve had bigger storms,’ but when the facts are right there in front of you and you don’t even acknowledge it, it’s called ignorance. What more needs to happen for us to be able to enact some real change? Was Hurricane Irma, a record-breaking Category 5 hurricane, not enough? What else will it take?”

Recently in Northern Virginia, climate change has displayed its presence during the 2015-2016 school year. On Dec. 25, 2016, Virginians in NOVA spent their Christmas day in 75 degree weather.

“Living in the East Coast, especially in Northern Virginia, we suffered from ‘bipolar’ weather heavily last year. I clearly remember waking up on Christmas morning and being in complete shock because there was absolutely no snow and no sign of winter,” freshman Rezia Mahmud said. “Climate change is very real and it’s time that the leaders of our country take notice.”

Given that the world is experiencing a plethora of terrifying events regarding the climate, it is crucial that the student body of George Mason University considers both global warming and climate change, which have been twisted into various controversies. So one should not hesitate to ask, “Is global warming really a hoax created by China?”

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  • Colin Nackerman

    Great article! This topic should definitely be discussed more in the IVth Estate but it was fantastic you rounded up a few students to comment. I just want to make a plug that Mason has some of the brightest minds in the climate change community. They’re not the most outspoken, but the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) is a research institute focused on climate prediction, modeling, and variability. Just upstairs is the Center for Climate Change Communication (4C), which along with the Yale climate group, releases the most compelling research on climate communication – a truly unique group. It’d be awesome to see some professors, researchers, and graduate students from these groups be interviewed in the future!

  • Man with Axe

    A couple of thoughts for you to consider:

    1) Did the lack of powerful hurricanes from 2005 to 2017 also prove climate change?
    2) If a warm Christmas in Virginia proves global warming, what does a severely cold winter in Europe prove? Does what happens where you live imply that the same is happening across the world?
    3) If sea level is rising at the same rate (1/8 inch per year) as it has for the last 20,000 years since the land bridge to Asia disappeared, does that prove man-made climate change?
    4) If the world is getting warmer, does that mean CO2 is necessarily the cause?
    5) If the world is getting warmer, is that necessarily a bad thing?
    6) If the world is getting warmer, can anything we do stop it?
    7) How much would that anything cost?
    8) If the Antarctic ice cap is not melting, is there much a reason to worry about the Arctic melting, given that the Arctic ice cap is already on the water?
    9) Might it not be more efficient to adapt to climate changes rather than spend untold trillions on trying to stop them from happening?