Department of Agricultural Economics: Undergraduate Research


Date of this Version

Fall 12-23-2017

Document Type



Op-Ed from ENSC 230. Energy and the Environment: Economics and Policy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Agricultural Economics, Fall 2017


These last few years have hit us with some devastating storms that continue to wreck havoc on our earth. We have been hit with multiple storms that are so strong that they are predicted to happen every 50 years, so is God punishing us? Or do we have something to do with this? This issue should be a huge concern to us because who knows how many more of these devastating storms we can handle. When looking at why these tragic storms are happening more frequently the main factor that is leading to these events is the increase in atmospheric temperature. During tropical storms the increase in temperature causes storms to become more violent creating more tragedy. Scientists have predicted that we will see category 4 and 5 storms to happen more frequently in this century.

We need to look at the root of the problem if we are going to find a solution for these storms. The theory that is most widely known is global warming. You may ask yourself how can one species can destroy a planet that has been around for billions of years. Recently the US has had an increase of prolonged periods of excessive heat, heavy downpours, and severe floods and droughts. The other theory is that earth is going through a cycle similar to what happens during ice ages. There is currently no way to prove if we are the problem because we do not know enough about our earth to determine that this is our fault, this is what concerns me. If we can’t prove that we are the problem, then we can’t prove that we aren’t the problem.

We need to take precautions and assume that we are the problem because if we don’t it may be too late. If these events are in fact due to global warming the only way, we are going to be able to solve the problem is if we tackle the issue early, before its too late. This is the only home we have we should be taking care of it. This issue should be the number one priority for all of the powerful countries. This will not be as simple as flipping a switch to cool down the earth we need to make some serious changes to our everyday lives.

We need to start spending money on renewable energy to cut out the amount of fossil fuels we use. This will not be cheap to do but if we want to have a place to live for the next 100 years than we need to make sacrifices. Our earth has never seen CO2 levels like they are today with an increase in fossil fuel use we see a trend in rising CO2 levels and an increase in average atmospheric temperature. We have learned that renewable energy is better for the earth and with advancing technology has the potential to be more efficient and cheaper. In my opinion this issue will not be resolved through public awareness and trying to convince citizens to change their everyday lives when the government is doing nothing on there end to tackle this issue.

The Paris agreement offers hope that change is coming. If we can get all of the high power counties to tackle this issue it would have a great impact in slowing down global warming. The scary thing is, is the fact that the United States refused to sign the Paris agreement. We are one of the most powerful countries on the earth and we are just ignoring these issues. Not to say we need to Paris agreement to slow down global warming but it would be assuring if the United State would just show that they plan to make a change. The only way we can make change is to get our government and our civilians on the same page, which is one of the biggest issues about this topic, getting everybody on the same page.

Even if this is just a natural cycle the earth is going through, we should still treat it as if our world depended on it. This world has so much potential we have only begun to scratch the surface with what we as humans can accomplish but it would be a shame if we threw away all of our hard work because we couldn’t pick up after ourselves.