April 22, 2015

Climate Change: Looking at the Past and into the Future

By Jua Son ‘18


Co-hosted by the Alumni Associations of Central European University (NYC Chapter) and Bard College Globalization and International Affairs Program

The issue of Climate Change is not a recent one. It has been debated, argued, and protested for longer than I thought. About thirty-five years have passed since the first world climate change conference in 1979, but companies still continue to emit carbon dioxide and pollutants that aggravate the rising global temperature at the cost of many lives, and we are still struggling to change regulation. Lately, we are hearing more about the global climate change crisis. Over 400,000 people came from all around the world to participate in The People’s Climate March in September 2014 and the United Nation has declared “sustainable development” must be on its agenda, as an effort to address this issue. People are becoming more aware of this imminent threat as we increasingly experience the destructive power of major natural disasters around the world both directly and indirectly.
Some people argue that the rising temperature is a part of a big natural cycle that the Earth has been through many times before. Dr. Timothy Weiskel’s data disputes that whole argument. Although there has been a regular pattern of ups and downs in the global temperature throughout the history, the “up” that we humans are creating is more than ten fold of what the normal cycle has previously been. The latest spike of the graph is unarguably abnormal. It was disturbing that I did not know the seriousness of the change despite the fact that all of the data that Dr. Weiskel used in his presentation was open to public.
It is also disturbing that some people choose to expedite the process of global warming. Dr. Timothy stressed the importance of awareness and small life changes. We cannot change the policies of government and corporations overnight, however, if we start by teaching what we know to others and do the small things within our ability, the change will slowly show, and the changes we make will lead to a bigger change. The clock is ticking. Ignorance cannot be an excuse – not anymore. As mentioned at the lecture, there is no second Earth. We only have one, and we are all on the same one. It is up to us to make the small changes towards the bigger change to create a better world for all.
Dr. Weiskel giving his presentation on  Climate  Change  at  Bard  College’s  Globalization  &  International  Affairs  Program with Professor Peter DeBartolo  as Moderator.

Dr. Weiskel giving his presentation on Climate Change at Bard College’s Globalization & International Affairs
Program with Professor Peter DeBartolo as Moderator.

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