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Going to the beach in January: An abnormally warm winter

Most people in Florida have spent this winter sunbathing at the beach. Americans on the east coast aren’t purchasing winter coats and boots but sunscreen and bathing suits. Instead of indulging in hot cocoa, ice cream and cold drinks have been a necessity this winter.

In most eastern states around the country, if you were dreaming of a white Christmas, all you got was a warm Christmas.

Most meteorologists claim that El Niño has triggered this extreme weather, but is El Niño really the only cause of this oddly warm winter?

This weather anomaly seems harmless at first, but this is just the beginning of the larger chain reaction leading up to climate change. Numerous weather records have been broken, and we are currently in the midst of a historic winter.

President Barack Obama made several comments during his speech at Georgetown University in 2013 that stressed the urgency and significance of climate change.

“We have to all shoulder the responsibility for keeping the planet habitable, or we’re going to suffer the consequences — together,” Obama said.

There is no mistaking the negative impacts humans have had on the planet, especially by means of depleting natural resources and initiating excessive greenhouse gas emissions. Although El Niño is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is at least partially responsible for this unusual weather, the effects of climate change cannot be ignored.

It is imperative to recognize the link between climate change and this not-so-cold winter because we need to halt the progression of climate change. The recent 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris has emphasized the importance of climate change.

Various world leaders were somber about the implications of climate change during the Paris conference.

“Climate change has become one of the gravest challenges humanity is facing,” Russian president Vladimir Putin said.

Climate change is not the only reason for the bizarre weather, but it is certainly one of the contributing factors of this record-hot winter.

“We recognize our role in creating this problem; we embrace our responsibility to combat it,” Obama said. “We will do our part, and we will help developing nations do theirs. But, we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation, developed and developing alike. Nobody gets a pass.”

Climate change can lead to droughts, extreme heat, food insecurity and water shortages. Going green and implementing environmentally responsible programs are necessary for slowing down the consequences of climate change.

The U.S. and other countries around the world need to make environmental protection a priority and take ecological concerns seriously. Putting environmental initiatives into practice will greatly contribute to the global effort of promoting sustainability, conservation and resourcefulness. Environmentally friendly programs and strategies have the potential to facilitate a cleaner, brighter and greener future for this planet.

Being eco-friendly will help resolve environmental issues that confront the world, and going green is vital if this generation of humanity wishes to leave a clean, habitable planet for our children and grandchildren.

So, while you enjoy your day at the beach in the dead of winter, consider doing your part to conserve, reduce, reuse and recycle. Carpool to school, ride your bike to work, buy products with the least amount of packaging and print only what’s necessary.

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