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Climate change causes fluctuating feelings

FRI.| 12-9-22 | OPINION

     Over the course of human history, climate change has been a central issue that proceeds with no clear solution. Animal species have gone extinct, parts of nature have deteriorated and recently, irreplaceable historic artworks have been destroyed all due to rage over climate change.  

     On a casual October Friday morning, two young adults were arrested for splattering Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers painting with cans of tomato soup. This act was done as a form of resistance to stop the pursuit of raised prices for gas and oil in London. The pair wore “Stop Oil” shirts and specifically used tomato soup to emphasize how many families in London cannot afford to even heat up a tin of soup because of increased living costs. These costs are driven by upcharges from fossil fuel companies and, because of them, many homes are cold and hungry. 

     This incident was only the beginning, as many protesters have voiced their opinions and caused uproars. I believe 

Climate graphic - abby .png

Graphic by Abby Ershadi

that a change needs to be made because our environment must be preserved. If we look back on history, it is apparent how greatly Earth has suffered due to man-made issues such as burning fossil fuel that continuously releases greenhouse gasses, deteriorating the ozone layer. All of these issues trap extra heat from the sun, which ultimately cause global warming. Over time, these issues have been yielding worse results causing incidents like the Sunflower soup splatter to occur. 

     Even though change is urgent, the soup splatter was not the correct way to go about finding a solution. I admit it does bring attention to the media, but destroying artworks that have been preserved since 1888 is ultimately destroying history. These paintings were kept for the obvious reasons of great skill and influences embedded in them. Art is a part of culture and should not be used as the middleman in a war waged over climate. There are several other ways to raise awareness and make a change that does not involve destroying another form of creation. 

     Unfortunately, this singular soup incident has sparked a chain reaction of similar events, as activists now target major pieces of art around the world. Cake has been smeared against the Mona Lisa in Paris, and activists have glued their hands to other masterpieces in attempts to halt the burning of fossil fuels. Even though these actions are way out of line, the awareness that has been brought to droughts, famines and wildfires around the world proves to be upfront in the mind of the public. 

     In terms of local weather affected by climate change, the current weather of North Carolina has been fluctuating greatly. It is December, the Christmas season some may say. A time for winter cheer and chilled bones. However, that could not be farther from the truth in Greenville right now. Recently the weather has been reaching temperatures of 70 degrees fahrenheit which yields a near feeling of summer. 70 degrees is quite warm, in fact it is warm enough to wear shorts in November! Unfortunately, the rise in temperatures is due to global warming and, over the past decades, temperatures have steadily increased by two degrees. Although this change seems small, glaciers have melted, sea levels have risen and cloud forests have disappeared. 

     In conclusion, a major change must occur to preserve our planet by providing a healthy environment for both humans, plants and animals. Voices should not be raised by throwing soup at art, instead a path should be forged which produces change and promotes peace because we all live on the same planet that deserves to be treated with care. 

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