Western Courier

Let’s talk about global warming

Emma Johnson, Courier Staff

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Global warming has been an issue we’ve all been hearing about for years. I have heard many different ideas of what the root cause for our global warming issue is, but at the end of the day no matter the cause it’s still an issue that has been pushed aside a long time.

I know even for me personally, I don’t put much thought into global warming because I just figure by the time it is a big issue I will already be dead anyway. This clearly isn’t the right mindset to have.

This past Saturday, David Buckel, set himself on fire in a New York park as an act of drawing attention to the global warming issue. Buckel was a very prominent gay rights lawyer, so his suicide is being highly recognized. According to the New York Times, Buckel set himself on fire early Saturday morning and left a suicide note near his body as well as emailing it to many top media outlets. In his suicide note emailed to the New York Times, Buckel stated,

“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather. Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”

Buckel also went into depth about the disappointment he felt when trying to help but feeling like he wasn’t making a big enough difference, and how simply donating to an organization isn’t enough. Buckel wrote, “Many who drive their own lives to help others often realize that they do not change what causes the need for their help.”

According to many of his coworkers, Buckel was very involved with the gay rights movement before moving his focus to our environmental issues. In 2005, Buckel helped file the first lawsuit in Iowa for gay marriage. At that time, the only state that had legalized gay marriage was Massachusetts. One of his closest coworkers stated that in recent years Buckel started putting more of his attention on our environmental issues and that is what eventually lead to his suicide act begging for the attention on our environment.

After reading all of this I did some research on NASA’s global climate change website and found a lot of compelling facts. Out of all of our warmest years recorded on earth, 16 of the top 17 have happened just since 2001. 2016 was the warmest year on record. According to The National Geographic, due to the increased warm weather, Spruce Bark Beetles in Alaska are booming and have chewed up over 4 million acres of Spruce Trees. Arctic Penguins breeding pairs have also fallen from 32,000 to 11,000 in just the past 30 years. Scientist also expect that our large hurricanes and storms are going to get much stronger in the coming years.

Although global warming isn’t something one person is going to be able to wake up one day and fix, it is definitely something we all need to be aware of.

Even in these past few months alone we have all noticed changes. We had an abnormally warm winter this year as well as a rollercoaster of temperatures in this past month alone. Global warming is something to keep your eye out on and simply be aware that it is an issue quickly creeping up on us.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Let’s talk about global warming