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Environmental Awareness at GCU

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Everyone has heard the phrase, maybe you have even said it yourself, or you have seen it on Twitter. The popular phrase, “climate change is real!”, or even “the ice caps are melting!”. The current conversation of climate change and global warming is hugely immersed in the media. Many celebrities, leaders and advocates are standing up for change, awareness and advocating to make a difference! All of this is important, crucial, and very much needed for the current state of our physical world. But what can we actually do? What are the real effects of climate change, and fossil fuels? Can we actually make a difference and regenerate our earth? How can we make a difference at GCU? Climate change is such a vast and deeply scientific topic, so understanding the effects of it can truly change how people can make a difference every day. https://clubsports.gcu.edu/gcu-ice-hockey-volunteers/ What is climate change and global warming? Climate change can be loosely defined as the earth and the surrounding atmosphere’s temperature. Life on Earth rests at a comfortable 33 degrees Celsius. This temperature is balanced by the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect. This greenhouse effect acts as a blanket around the Earth to maintain the heat rays the Sun gives off from escaping into space (Mesarović, 2015). This effect keeps the Earth balanced and rotating around the Sun to keep the temperature and the atmosphere level. The earth’s climate actually fluctuates much more than people realize and is constantly changing to fit and adapt to its atmosphere. Although it fluctuates fairly often, the scientific data for climate change only measures the changes by years and decades. Since climate change is constantly changing and fluctuating, it is tough for scientists to measure it to an exact degree. Things like fossil fuels, pollution, deforestation and volcanic eruptions are some examples that can throw off the Earth’s climate and greenhouse (Mesarović, 2015). Understanding how these examples are affecting the Earth long-term can give us a better picture of how we can make a difference. The use of fossil fuels seems almost inevitable in our society today since most of our technology is run by it. The majority of the population is aware of the damage and disruption that burning fossil fuels has on the Earth, but what about the long-term effect? Have you ever made fish in your apartment, and you leave your house and come back later, and you still smell the fish from earlier? This picture is exactly what fossil fuels and burning coal does to the Earth’s atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels releases strong amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. After it burns, the elements don’t just disappear, they remain in the air and they are trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. Fossil fuels, coal and fire have such high amounts of carbon dioxide that when they reach the lowest level of the Earth’s atmosphere, they absorb heat (Mesarović, 2015). This heat is kept under the blanket of the Earth’s atmosphere (the greenhouse effect) and blankets the surface of the world, warming everything up and melting the ice caps. This increase in the Earth’s temperature and the continuous use of fossil fuels is what scientists fear is dilapidating our atmosphere.

This article could be full of real-life examples and statistics of how fossil fuels, pollution, deforestation and fires affect the climate. But how do we make a difference at GCU? Is this event actually reversible, or is this the eternal fate of our Earth? Climate scientists argue that climate change has just as much to do with human error and resources as much as the natural aging of the physical Earth (Mesarović, 2015). Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the United States. How GCU and the city of Phoenix treats the Earth absolutely has an effect. We as humans can only do so much to try and encourage the process for cleaner air and a healthier atmosphere. The biggest way to aid in preventing climate change is being mindful of elements that you use everyday and cutting back on those sources. Being aware of renewable energy sources to invest in can include things like hybrid vehicles, commuting using public transportation, solar energy, water consumption, eating organically and meat-free, and diverging from products that use fossil fuels are all ways that can benefit the climate. These are massively impactful ways to assist in the regenerating of our Earth and keeping our world as clean as possible. While doing this, making your voice heard is important. Have conversations with the people around you and vote for political leaders that will encourage and take climate change seriously. Addressing these issues to the larger system can greatly decrease the carbon footprints and gas emissions that are released in our air. These small steps of going green can affect and aid in climate change. Let’s continue to protect our Earth that continually takes care of us, and let’s have the green conversation.


Reference: Mesarović, M. M. (2015).  Scientific uncertainties feed skepticism on climate change. Thermal Science, 19 (3)259-S278. doi:10.2298/TSCI150628194M

Hannah Clift

Arizona '20

Hi my name is Hannah! I am from Sacramento, California, and currently attend GCU to study Communications with a minor in Professional Writing. In my free time, I love to be with my dog JoJo, play guitar, read, and bake. I love to write about motivational and self-wellness topics! I am a senior this year and look forward to graduating and moving back to California!