California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Raising awareness about climate change is not enough

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Infographic by Parker Smith – Digital and Multimedia Editor
The impacts and consequences of global warming vary.

Climate change is a real issue that requires immediate action, and raising awareness is not enough. We must take responsibility for our actions and act now to better the environment and keep the earth. 

“I’m not a huge fan of substituting the term climate change for global warming, because climate change means exactly what it says, it means climate changing,” Associate Professor and Chair of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at California Lutheran University Robert Dull said. 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, climate change refers to the alterations of the climate to either cooler or warmer temperatures, while global warming is the term referring to the rise in temperatures of the planet.  

“I like the term global warming, which, I don’t know why, it’s not really used as much anymore. Or anthropogenic warming, human-caused warming,” Dull said. “It’s more specific. It more clearly defines what’s happening.”

According to Dull, climate change is something that affects everyone, especially the elderly or people with fewer means. 

Cal Lutheran Professor Victor Thasiah, who teaches environmental studies, environmental justice and religion on campus, said these consequences vary across the planet, and sea level rise is impacting people unevenly across the world.

People near coastlines have to deal with sea level rises and hurricanes, while people who live in forested areas may deal with wildfires. 

​​In Southern California, according to Thasiah, the consequences of global warming are connected to the heat waves, extreme temperatures, drought conditions, wildfires and mudslides that come in its wake.

Earlier in August, there was a Hurricane that affected California, but it weakened as it went North. For a hurricane to occur, water temperatures of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit are needed, and typically the California coast stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, Dull said.

“I still think we’re a long way from getting a hurricane landfall, where a hurricane maintains hurricane strength and then hits the coastline,” Dull said. “But it seems that it seems impossible right now, but a century from now, I don’t know, something could. We know that currents can change.”

According to the EPA, the main anthropogenic causes of climate change are the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. While humans play an important role in the causes of climate change, natural causes like changes in the sun’s energy and volcanic eruptions also contribute to climate change, according to the EPA.

Thasiah said global warming brings a lot of human suffering, global poverty and security threats. There are a lot of people who have immigrated because of climate change, which has politicized the issue at hand.

“We’re not really at a good moment in history in terms of how effective we are at finding political solutions to human problems and environmental problems,” Thasiah said. 

Addressing climate change is important in terms of minimizing human suffering related to climate change, Thasiah said, but also making sure the environmental conditions are being taken care of as much as possible. 

Voting for public officials at all levels of government that are committed to addressing climate disruption is one of the ways to slow down climate change, Thasiah said. 

Another way to contribute to the slowing down of climate change is by putting pressure on companies to be more environmentally friendly.

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