The Importance of Climate Change

Oluwadamilola Afe

Many had seen the skies turn orange in California. The sun was hidden from the clouds, and it seemed like a post apocalyptic setting to witness. What we imagined as a fantasy is now becoming reality, and we have to take steps to prevent further damage to our planet, as the signs of climate change in California are a harbinger for a harsh future.
As we release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by driving cars, factories emitting smoke, and use fossil fuels, we fuel an effect known as global warming. Global warming is the collection of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Normally, the heat that warms the Earth would have a portion of it be reflected back into space. However, this phenomenon is a byproduct of the greenhouse effect, in which heat is trapped in the atmosphere and warms the surface. This causes global temperatures to increase, and it can be physically experienced by season changes, such as experiencing hotter summers and warmer winters.

Photo: Flames from the LNU Lighting Complex jump interstate 80 in Vacaville, California. Noah Berger/AP
In California, an incident with pyrotechnics during a gender reveal party spurred a wildfire that is currently raging on in the state. The fires have released an enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the air, covering the region of the atmosphere over the state with smoke. The reason the skies are specifically orange is due to the smoke eliminating traces of blue light before it reaches your eyes. This leaves only red and yellow light, which paints the sky orange.
Climate change is a problem that will take the world to solve, as this is a byproduct of all our actions and we must work in harmony to solve it. California has taken some steps to try and reduce their carbon footprint, such as banning the sales of gasoline cars entirely in 2035. This will set them up for eliminating the use of fossil fuels in the future. Additionally, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has pledged that China will reach carbon neutrality by 2060; meaning they plan to bring their emissions down to zero by then. They say they will peak in emissions by 2035. Officials are starting to take steps towards protecting our climate, but you can help out also!
 
One simple way is to reduce electricity consumption, by turning off lights and unplugging devices when they don’t need to be charged/powered on. This can also save you some money on an electric bill. Another way is to have your home use solar panels for electricity. This will become a renewable energy source, and help stop the major use of fossil fuels in your home. As a student, you can help by speaking up and educating others about climate change, and steps they should take to reduce their carbon footprint as well. Climate change is an issue that can be fixed; but we all need to be on the same page first! 
Sources cited: https://newsela.com/read/california-orange-skies-wildfires/id/2001013433/