Atmosfear: Is climate change really that scary?

Photo Credit: NASA

Photo Credit: NASA

By Aphra Murray, Staff Writer

Climate change is scary, and here’s the chilling scenes of yet another once in every 500-year weather event that has killed people. This is the usual headline that is running across most news outlets in the US in response to recent environmental events. As recent as the past week, two UK scientists have announced that climate change isn’t as scary as people might think, and that the media only succeeds in whipping the general public into a frenzy. According to these two scientists, what we really need to focus on, is preparing to deal with these severe weather patterns. But aren’t we tricking ourselves into putting a band-aid on a wound that acts like a black hole?

The media is well known for having a creative license when reporting on stories, and the more fantastical and bizarre headlines create more viewership or readership. But should we really be scared about climate change? Here are some of the facts:

  • There have been a predicted a one in every 500-year weather events in the US alone in the past year.

A one in every 500-year weather event should be just that, once every 500 years. It is most definitely scary. These are abnormal weather patterns occurring because of increased human activity.

  • If everyone lived the way we did in the US, we would need 5 more planets like Earth to provide the resources.

If we stop and look at this number, we see that if we continue living the wasteful and overly luxurious lives we do, we are going to run out of resources fast. It is predicted that the next World War that we fight will not be over territory or political views but over drinkable water.

What the media is telling us isn’t fear mongering. We aren’t being tricked or deceived by false weather reports. This is real. This is happening right now. And if being scared is what it takes for us to wake up and do something, then so be it. This is a mess of our own making.




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Author: Aphra Murray

Aphra Murray '18 is an international student and a Chemistry major here at Gettysburg. For the past year and a half, she has been consistently writing for the Gettysburgian and this year will be taking over as editor of the MS&T section. While not writing, Aphra can be found working on her research in the Science Centre.

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1 Comment

  1. A ‘500-year-storm’ does NOT mean that they happen once in 500 years, it means there is a .2% chance of such a storm happening in ANY given year. Given the chaotic nature of the Earth’s atmosphere, this means that such a storm could easily happen more than once in 500 years- it is just that the Chance for it is rather slim. Weather is non-linear.

    You completely missed the point of the paper by reacting in atmosFEAR.

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