the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Kimi Weng ’24
“It’s freezing outside!”
The temperature in Simsbury has been fluctuating recently. I have started, unprecedentedly, wearing my giant navy jacket even before the start of Thanksgiving.
People might think that global warming has no relation to this phenomenon because it has the word “warming” in it; however, it is precisely global warming that causes these drastic climate changes we are experiencing now.
Due to human activities since the 1800s, the burning of fossil fuels increases the greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, in Earth’s atmosphere. Like my jacket, greenhouse gases keep the Earth warm. But since we cannot take off this greenhouse jacket entirely (or else we will all die), the emission of these gasses slowly increases the temperature on Earth, causing global warming.
Why should we care if the Earth is a little warm? The rising temperature on Earth leads to melting glaciers and rising sea levels. It also brings more extreme weather. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, heat waves, droughts, and floods have become more frequent and more intense due to global warming. In turn, these natural disasters have caused many community damages and deaths. Scientists predicted that if we are unable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, climate change could eventually lead to more than 250,000 deaths and force 100 million people into poverty.
The process of global warming would only accelerate, given the current situation on Earth, if we do not actively take action to try to slow it down. The human population on Earth is constantly increasing, leaving less room for plants. Yet, plants are crucial for alleviating global warming because they convert carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas we emit, to oxygen via photosynthesis.
Renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and the idea of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” are all great ways we can do to save our own beloved habitat. As a community member on Williams Hill, I encourage everyone to turn off lights and unplug electronics when they are not in use, recycle used pieces of paper, not waste food in the dining hall, and compost left-over food in the big blue bin when clearing plates.
Don’t think that “Oh, I am not going to make a big difference” or “Global warming and climate change are not our issues to deal with.” It is our obligation as the human race now to combat this global challenge so that 50 years later in our lives, we can brag to our grandchildren that we solved the “end of the world” problem.
MacMillan, A., & Turrentine, J. (2021, April 7). Global warming 101. Definition, Facts, Causes and Effects of Global Warming. https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101
NASA. (2023a, September 27). The effects of climate change. NASA. https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/
NASA. (2023b, September 27). What is climate change?. NASA. https://climate.nasa.gov/what-is-climate-change/
United Nations. (n.d.-a). Actions for a healthy planet. United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/actnow/ten-actions
United Nations. (n.d.-b). What is climate change?. United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/what-is-climate-change