Science is here to stay, and we’ll march to that


With all of the pressing issues of the world, why march ‘for science?’

The March for Science on Earth Day is more than just a gang of nerds taking to the streets out of political frustration — it’s an effort to continue the progress of knowledge, understanding, questioning and open experimentation in our society.

In a time when science is so easily discredited, with such little care and understanding, this march aims to make it clear that science is here to stay. Cut their funding, ignore their evidence, criticize their conclusions: science will always dictate the operation of the universe on both macro and microscopic levels. It’s not something that can be ignored, and this march will show that.

According to National Geographic, more than 9 out of 10 scientists agree on the presence and impact of global climate change. However, according to business owner, former reality TV star, Bill O’Reilly superfan and current President of the United States, climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese.

Weather is becoming more extreme. Record-high temperatures are increasing in both frequency and magnitude. The ocean level is rising. Our world is changing. This is not a hoax, and there are metric tons of evidence to support it.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s (NOAA) Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, global temperatures have increased a total of 2.48 oF since 1908. That doesn’t seem like a lot… According to research conducted by Mark Urban, a professor at the University of Connecticut and Muhlenberg Alumnus, up to 54 percent of species risk extinction if the earth were to continue to warm.

As the earth has been warming, carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere coincidentally reached an annual average of 400 parts per million, a relatively high value compared to the average value of 284 parts per million in 1832 (several years before the peak of the industrial revolution). So what?

To put it very, very simply, the refraction of sunlight in the atmosphere regulates the surface temperature of the earth. Because of carbon dioxide’s physical and chemical properties, sunlight more easily penetrates than it does with a water molecule. More carbon dioxide means more sunlight hits the surface, which in turn means a hotter planet.

According to the Munich Re NatCatSERVICE, climate-related, water-related and weather-related catastrophes have dramatically increased in the past 40 years, while geophysical catastrophes have maintained a relatively steady frequency. What does this mean about the earth? The climate is changing. Period.

“Well if global warming is real, why did it snow so much?” Fair question.

Increasing surface temperatures generally correlate to an increased level of evaporation which then increases the moisture held by the atmosphere. Torrential downpours come in various forms; snowstorms, flash floods, etc. If it’s still cold enough to snow, which in many places it is, this increased precipitation will land in the form of snow.

Ultimately, the relationship that species have with their environment is the most vital component to their survival. If we continue to ignore and refute that our world is changing and that we are the ones changing it, the human race will witness a premature extinction.

“One of liberal science’s greatest triumphs is what it has not done: split apart.” — Jonathan Rauch

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The Muhlenberg Weekly's Editorial Board is comprised of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor(s) and Section Editors, one of whom writes the editorial. Material appearing without a byline represents the majority opinion of the Editorial Board.


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