The planet is warmer, and we are under water

Fort Lauderdale, Florida is underwater due incessant rain sourced from the warm Atlantic after a storm that lasted about six to eight hours, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Greg Carbon, forecast branch chief at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center, said this was due to opposing weather systems in an interview with the AP.

Steve Bowen, a meteorologist and chief science officer for GallagherRe, a global reinsurance broker, also told the AP that the storm was feeding on itself. Bowen said more and more this planet sees more 1-in1,000 chance weather extremes, that our normal is changing.

There is a storm brewing like the one in Fort Lauderdale, although it produces no rainfall.

“Today our activities— burning fossil fuels and clearing forests—add about 11 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year,” according to

I find the phrase “our” interesting. As if we, the students, the working class, the people living paycheck to paycheck, are the ones feeding into the end of the world. As if we are the storm that keeps feeding itself.

While we reflect on Earth Month and how we relate to the environment around us, companies and governments like to step in and point to us and what we should be doing. Or worse, they group us altogether.

It is a group effort, but it’s not.

When the paycheck someone needs to pay rent relies on fossil fuels to get to their workplace and the food we need to survive comes in plastic packaging, we don’t have much choice to become partners in the government and companies. The everyday person is not the one chopping down forests or pouring fumes into the air.

The Harvard Gazette tells us we are misled by oil and gas companies and their role in it all.

However, we always face the consequences and the blame. It is our houses that are flooded in the east or burned in the west. It is our water that gets limited while celebrities water their acres of lawn. It is our food that gets contaminated while the President enjoys his meal on Air Force One.

And every month, we are marketing our shame.

We, the everyday person, are not the storm that feeds on themselves. We are the Atlantic Ocean, forced into a cycle of destruction. It is the system that is the storm.

Unlike the ocean, we can fight this– it is not our fault, but we can put pressure on the backs of politicians and CEOs to make the change happen. After all, the storm still needs the ocean, no matter how fierce.