Climate change is a hotly discussed topic, especially as the earth continues to change more and more noticeably. According to NASA's Global Climate Change project, rising sea levels, warming oceans and shrinking ice sheets all support the argument that climate change is happening.
While the idea of climate change is generally accepted as a reality, global warming continues to cause controversy in the political sphere. Since taking office, Gov. Rick Scott has issued the unwritten rule that officials are not to use the words "climate change" or "global warming," especially in written correspondence. Scott's actions bring to light many important questions. Is climate change really happening? Is it caused by human beings? Do we have the responsibility to try to curb it?
"The facts show that (climate change) is real. I mean the melting glaciers and dying polar bears," Robinson High sophomore Laura Hill said. She also added that people should "fix it."
Nick Fata, a sophomore at Robinson High, stated, "I really don't think we're causing climate change. I just think it's Earth going through heating and cooling cycles. Are we helping it? Probably not. But are we the major cause? I don't think so."
Robinson High junior Savon Crumity said, "Obviously, I think climate change is real. Florida is just so bipolar with this weather. At one moment it's hot and you feel like you're about to die, and the next it's really cold. And then California is going through that drought. They just keep using water."
Most climate scientists agree that the global warming patterns seen over last 100 years are the result of human interactions with the environment. Those are the facts.
The question of what to do about it, though, can be a bit more complicated.
On an international level, the United Nations has already created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In the U.S., NASA has been working on collecting and analyzing data to better understand the transformation of our planet.
So what can you do?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency suggests that small tasks like conserving water, recycling and just spreading the word can make a difference.
So yes, climate change is happening. It's real. And most experts agree that we're the ones causing it. What is still left to be seen is, will we be the generation to stop it?