Stewart: Everything’s Our Fault


Walter Siegmund/Wikimedia

The Anacortes Refinery, used by Marathon Oil, is located in Anacortes, Washington.

Madison Stewart, Reporter

WOODBURY — Despite all of the doomsday movies that have continuously prepared us for the end of the world, I don’t think anyone has since grasped the concept of time not being infinite. Infinity is just one of those normalized words in everyday society; we like to think everything lasts forever. Our planet, our wildlife, and our natural non-renewable resources that are constantly being depleted by anthropogenic sources, but yeah, timeless. 

Doomsday is a really funny word. We’ve all braced ourselves for the yearly viral Instagram post that depicts what day will be the last one for humanity. Becoming desensitized to real-life end-of-the-world behaviors we as people are causing isn’t something that was expected to come out of the Dec. 21, 2012 death-to-humanity theory. Despite the world not ending on the day the Mayan long-count calendar ended, we’re not in the clear. 

The harm humans are genuinely causing on our planet is worse than you think.

When you think of climate change, you might think of that one Senator James Inhofe, who was the one that famously threw a snowball across the Senate floor in an attempt to undermine the validity of climate science. Clearly, this guy is legit, am I right?

Despite his extent of knowledge over what climate actually is, (which, newsflash, is different from the short-term weather outside your house), Inhofe is quite literally the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. You may think with that long of a title after his name he would understand basic concepts of the environment. This is wrong; however, he wrote a book called The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, where, and I quote, he says, “man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” 

Coming from the guy that, according to Oil Change International, makes $2 million in political contributions from the fossil fuel industry, you’re right, climate change is made up. There are definitely other reasons why atmospheric gases have trapped more of the sun’s energy in the Earth’s system, warming and rapidly changing the atmosphere, ocean, and land.

It is not totally from fossil fuels, even though the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that emissions from fossil fuels are the dominant cause of global warming. In fact, in 2018, 89% of global CO2 emissions came from fossil fuels and their entire industry. Ironically, I think that’s the same industry Inhofe here is making millions off of. Definitely a coincidence, though.

So what I’m gathering here is the reason that James Inhofe doesn’t believe in climate change is not because of lack of scientific evidence, no, but instead, his poor fossil fuel industry that he makes millions off of would crumble. However, that’s only a conspiracy, right James? 

“Other developments are going on in terms of alternative forms of energy,” said Nick Sheikh, a Nonnewaug science teacher. “Suddenly there’s a push for electric vehicles and the oil industry as well as some others will most likely get hit. They’re probably going to try to grasp at whatever straws they can to not lose massive amounts of profit. They’re going to have to grapple with that, and we will too as the consumer.” 

As much as I hate being wrong, I really wish James Inhofe were right.

I wish climate change didn’t exist, and it was one big hoax made up by “eggheads” in “science laboratories.” I wish that we really had nothing to worry about when thinking of our future on this planet. However, this is not the case, and real education on what climate change is and what we can do about it is important for everyone. 

“Climate change is the gradual increase of the average world temperature,” said Ed Belinsky, director of the agriculture at Nonnewaug. “So, it’s going to be different throughout different regions but as a whole, the temperature is increasing all the time. Temperature is basically controlled by the oceans. That’s how the whole planet regulates itself, and with global warming, those are getting interrupted. The world is kind of shifting ecologically, and we need to adjust with it.”

This is the opinion of Chief Advocate reporter Madison Stewart.