Associate Opinion Editor
On Sept. 10, 2020, skies in Oakland, California turned a bright red hue. The colors are an effect of the wildfires running rampant throughout western America. In fact, California wildfires over the past few weeks destroyed a landmass near the size of Connecticut, according to CNN. It’s not at all surprising to see that the planet is heating up. As Bill Nye once said as a guest appearing on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, “The planet is on [obscenity] fire.” (Note: quote has been edited to remove cursing). It seems to be an annual occurrence we bear witness to these fires and the heating of the planet. But, our attitudes remain too cavalier to create any real and proper change.
California’s 2020 wildfire season is looking similar to 2018’s fire season. In 2018, California had 10 wildfires, each burning over 500 acres, according to Vox. One of those infamous fires was a campsite fire that killed over 86 people in Paradise, California, causing 16.5 billion dollars in damages. Six of the 2020 California fires rank among the state’s largest fires in history, according to California’s government website.
Science will tell you the fires are not stopping soon. Sadly, there are many people who are going to deny global warming. Even more unfortunate is that some of the deniers are elected officials. I bring up elected officials because they have the money, power, and/or influence to solve the issues of climate change and global warming.
As a regular citizen, all I can do is spread information on the subject: Carbon dioxide levels are 120 million parts higher than the highest they have ever been in over a millenia, according to NASA. Other effects acting as evidence of global warming is the shrinkage in the ice caps. Data from NASA’s Gravity and Climate Experiment Show have shown the increased global heating has caused Greenland and Antarctica to lose over a combined 413 billion tons of ice. That data also shows that the rate Antarctica is losing ice mass has tripled in the past decade. The disappointing thing is that it is very difficult to get people to care about this stuff.
There are too many issues for people to care about the environment. Whether these issues are important or not, it doesn’t matter they all find a way to distract us and gather all of the attention. For instance, in the summer of 2019, an issue of player etiquette had been on the forefront of baseball players that were “disrespecting” the game of baseball by bat flipping after hitting monstrous home runs. This was in the baseball vernacular for a time that felt forever lasting. Former New York Met tried to put the “bat-flipping controversy” in perspective. “Pimping home runs doesn’t matter, the planet is dying,” Former New York Met Ty Kelly tweeted.
This is just one of many frivolous examples that deter from a bigger perspective on the state of the world. Another distraction that produces way more time and energy than it ever really deserved. It’s truly baffling that some people are more concerned about baseball players making the game entertaining than aiding our dying planet.