The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Change: Pro: We need to change, or we will regret it in the future

Change is good. We need to change. Global warming: it’s not just a joke. An alarming amount of evidence shows the inevitability of global warming and global warming is accepted by the majority of the scientific community, yet not enough is being done to combat the coming of global warming. Global warming is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that are emitted primarily by the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests. These gases remain in our atmosphere for decades or even centuries. A rise of just 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit, which is on the low scale of the IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) predictions, would have devastating effects. It would bring a rise in sea level which in turn would bring more coastal flooding, severe stress to many ecosystems, droughts, more turbulent storms, and a greater threat to human health as tropical insects would spread out over larger regions. How can we stop this? The main thing would be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, protecting forests, using less electricity, and to stop driving big gas-guzzling vehicles. On another note, do SUVs even make sense? Some fit as many people as a car would, yet are as big as a van, but don’t come with more leg room. As for the bigger SUVs that fit 8 people, the middle seat has to be put down for others to get to the back, which is just downright inconvenient. The only possible use of the SUV would be to drive through forests on off-road trails; because that is something we all do everyday. Americans are so wasteful that it’s sickening. Around 100 billion pounds of food are wasted each year, which 700 million hungry human beings gladly would have accepted. According to Timothy Jones, an anthropologist at the UA Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, the average American family throws about $590 per year, which translates to about $43 billion nationwide in food wasted. Official surveys indicate that every year more than 350 billion pounds of edible food is available for human consumption in the United States. Of that total, nearly 100 billion pounds are lost to waste by retailers, restaurants, and consumers. As if these statistics weren’t eye-opening enough, think of how many starving people this wasted food could feed. Not enough is being done to stop this, according to UN statistics 13 billion US dollars around the world are being used for basic health and nutrition. Guess how much is used on military spending around the world? 780 billion US dollars. Guess how much is used on cosmetics products just in the United States? 8 billion US dollars. Pet foods in Europe and the United States? 17 billions US dollars. Yup, that means more money was spent on pet foods than in giving poor, starving children basic health and nutrition throughout the world. As Gandhi said, “we must be the change we want to see in the world,” this seems to be the only way to solve this problem. So stop being wasteful and change. We also need to stop being apathetic towards the world’s problems, more specifically the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. In 2004 Hotel Rwanda came out, a movie that showed viewers how horrible the Rwandan genocide was. If we don’t do anything, a movie will come out showing how horrible the Darfur genocide was and we will feel bad about ourselves for not doing anything. Over 50,000 people are estimated to have died in Darfur and western Sudan since the conflict erupted in February 2003, more than one million people have been driven from their homes, and thousands of children die everyday from diseases that are usually treatable. We need to stop being apathetic and change. Life is good right now, but we must change for it stay good in the future.

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