At the beginning of the semester, I believed in climate change but was not fully aware of how serious it is or the ways people are trying to prevent it from getting worse. Between the lessons taught in class and speakers’ presentations throughout the semester, I realized that climate change is a very real thing and how imperative it is to take it seriously. Learning about what contributes to the climate change in our world was something I found interesting. I thought that greenhouse gases only meant carbon dioxide but learning that there were other gases such as water vapor, which contributes to 70% of greenhouse emissions, and methane, which contributes to 5%, on top of carbon dioxide was eye opening. Water vapor surpasses carbon dioxide in how much it contributes to the total of greenhouse emissions. Carbon dioxide is only 20% of the problem and is a direct human effect. Usually when I would hear about greenhouse gases, I assumed that it was all from car emissions and that was the main issue. Excessive carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is our fault as humans. Some does come from car emissions but, the amount of carbon dioxide has effects on all other greenhouse emissions making it an important cause of the climate change we are seeing.
Learning about fossil fuels and their effects on climate change was also something I was not aware of. Fossil fuels contribute to methane and carbon dioxide emissions. In class and through some readings, I learned about the ways people are changing our use of fossil fuels and trying to eliminate their harmful effects. In an article I read for an In the News post, a scientist has found a way to use solar panels and evaporating water as an alternative energy source. This is just one of many ways people are attempting to cut down on fossils fuels by using renewable energy. A few other forms of renewable energy already in use are solar power, wind, and hydroelectric plants.
Math 33 has made me more concerned for my generation and future generations to come. I realize that climate change is happening now and if steps aren’t taken to slow it down or change it, we will be the ones who have to live with the consequences. This past fall there was a crazy string of natural disasters that pose as a great example of the effects of climate change. We are the ones who need to educate ourselves and become more aware of what is happening around us. I still know people who do not believe in climate change or that climate change is not an important issue. They think it is only a phase or a natural change in climate and not something induced by man. After taking this class, I feel more of an obligation to correct people of their views on climate change and share what I have learned. This class has definitely changed my perspective on issues of sustainability and climate change for the better. It has also given me more respect for those who are working to fix this problem.