By Carlos Salinas
Oklahoma has had a very mild start to the winter, some would argue that winter has not even truly begun with how hot the weather was in the month of November. Temperatures have been as high as 86 degrees and that was on Nov. 16, right in the middle of the month. I do not think anyone was expecting a winter wonderland at this point in the season, but to still be considering Hawaiian shirts to wear outside in the middle of November is a little unexpected to say the least. The reason “the most wonderful time of the year,” is beginning so slow, is up for debate. Of course it is hard to narrow it down to a single cause but for some people it is undeniably the cause of global warming.
Global warming is a scientific fact and has been for years. It is a part of nature and would be occurring even if humans were not influencing it, but the fact is that humans are accelerating the warming of the earth through pollution, from emissions from giant factories or simply through the burning of fossil fuels in our homes for heat or through our vehicles. Now the emissions from our vehicles are not as intense as the emissions from a factory but still they do not help the earth.
If we as a people continue with our fossil fuel dependence future generations might not get to make future generations as the Earth will no doubt be in peril. Oklahoma has no doubt always benefited from the oil and natural gas industries which some would argue are very big causes towards the speeding up of global warming, luckily we are making steps towards the right direction.
More and more wind farms are beginning to sprout up across the state and across the nation as well. Will we be free of fossil fuels in the next 20 years? Unless development of renewable energy sources accelerate tenfold, then probably not, but as renewable energy sources become more efficient and affordable hopefully we as a country and eventually, the world, can help turn back the tides of global warming.
We must start thinking of the future and care for the Earth around us. Think globally, but act locally. Carpool if you can, reduce, reuse, recycle, picking up trash and properly dispose of it.
These acts will not stop the melting of the ice caps by themselves, but if more people follow these practices, hopefully those ice caps will stop melting.