By: Chelsi Byrnes, Staff Writer
Today Lyndon State College is celebrating Earth Day.
Earth Day began April 22,1970, after massive oil spills in 1969 in Santa Barbara, California. Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin the founder of Earth Day started making changes across the country to help the pollution.
On April 22, 1970 20 million people nationwide were rallying all over streets, parks and auditoriums for a clean, healthy environment. Multiple colleges were involved at the time as well.
As of today, the world is facing drastic changes to our environment. Dr. Hanrahan from the Meteorology department and Mr. Campbell from the MBI department each discuss how we can do our part to help climate change and how LSC celebrates Earth Day every year.
Hanrahan said 2015 was the warmest year on record compared to previous years. She said, “the weather just kept getting warmer by the time we got into January, February, and December this winter.”
“This past year we were well above average. It was really high in terms of having no snow, we had precipitation is rain and if it was snow it melted quickly.” Hanrahan said, “Most predictions that we will be continuing to get warmer, but it’s not going to be warmer every year so there could be times we will have more snow than other times.”
Compared to decades passed Hanrahan said, “The temperatures in the 90’s and early 2000’s, we leveled off a bit.”
Over time, climate change has gone up at an unusually quick pace. In 1950, the atmospheric carbon dioxide increased. Previously, for thousands of years, the atmosphere never had as much carbon dioxide in it as it does now. The increase of greenhouse gases has caused it to become so high.
In the last century, the sea level rose 17 centimeters. However it has doubled that in the last decade. The ocean temperature has risen 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
“The ocean is overturning and making it warmer than normal and there’s a number of different ideas out there that the ocean is turning mixing heat down fast,” Hanrahan said. “It’s heating at the surface now.”
Human activities such as burning oil has changed the climate to the point where there’s almost no fix to the climate changing so rapidly. According to History.com, agricultural and industrial practices have increased the rate of global warming.
Hanrahan said, “When it comes to climate change there is no real fix, but we need to stop emitting greenhouse gases– that’s the number one thing that needs to change.”
Derek Campbell said, “In the 1970’s was the creation of Earth Day. It was when people became ecologically minded.”
Here at LSC, we have had Earth Day celebrations for many years over time, that can make the holiday more festive, without polluting the earth.
Campbell said, “We’ve had Earth Day before I went to school here. We do live bands and music to make it entertaining.”
The whole world has had pollution problems for thousands of years. Archaeologists have been digging up places where Paleolithic settlements were. They have discovered that there were discarded stone tools and litter under the ground from these tools.
Climate change is everywhere. Campbell said, “I’m from a town in Connecticut, it was really bad. The river would change colors and places would catch on fire”.
At the event, some of the MBI majors are getting together with their bands to perform around campus to entertain people with their music. Other bands from Massachusetts will be performing as well.
Campbell said, “We have live music with the college bands…We are bringing Monty’s Lobster from Boston, Massachusetts and their guitar player is about 15 or 16 years old and he does real well.”
Additionally, every year Sodexo has a buffet for people to eat food while listening to and enjoying the bands around campus.
“We also have a student group that’s going to do a climate change program and Professor Ben Luce will be having live music,” Campbell said. “We aren’t using balloons or anything because it will defeat the purpose of Earth Day.”
The event is being held at LSC’s Veteran Park.