SU professor: Climate change is a hard reality

Aubrey Zych

By Aubrey Zych

John Mathiason, professor of International Relations at Syracuse University, presented “Confronting Climate Change: Myth or Hard Reality?” as part of the Scholars Series at Temple Concord on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Students, professors and members of the community filled Temple Concord in Syracuse to hear Professor Mathiason speak about his continuing research on issues related to global warming. Mathiason shocked the audience as he explained how humans have, in fact, caused tremendous impacts on the climate that are putting the earth in an irreversible, damaging course.

According to Mathiason’s presentation, the world has always gone through natural climate changes, meaning that the climate is much different today than it was during the days of dinosaurs or in the Ice Age. However, such changes have always been very slow and take place over long periods of time.

The earth today is experiencing rapid climate changes in a short period of time, due to poor human activity. Mathiason explained that these rapid changes  have created endless problems for the planet.

The catastrophic storms and weather events, depletion of human health, clean water and food resources, and the destruction of ecosystems are all consequences of the aggressive climate change.

Mathiason went on to explain that the global average surface temperature has increased, causing less snow cover and higher global sea levels worldwide. Within the next century, global surface warming will skyrocket exponentially and the earth will become so tarnished that it will be nearly impossible to reverse. Mathiason warned the audience that this is not a calamity that can be “put off until later,” since this irreversible process has already begun.

As people carry on with their lives, many never stop to think twice about how their actions every single day could be destroying the planet.

Luckily, as Mathiason explained, there is still hope. He suggested a variety of ways that individuals and organizations can help stop the aggressive climate changes.

Numerous large organizations concerned with global climate change, including UN Water, UNFCC, the Global Environmental Facility, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, AIMS, and the UNCCD, have undertaken enormous projects to stop the rapid climate change and help return the earth to a safer state.

In addition, individuals can also make drastic changes simply by creating awareness, whether it’s directed towards millions of people or just your followers on Twitter.

Awareness, combined with simple lifestyle changes, and a desire to better the earth, can make cosmic changes.

Mathiason’s presentation on climate change was a part of Temple Concord’s Scholars Series, which presents speakers from Syracuse University every month. Laurence Thomas, a professor of philosophy and political science, will present on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m.