Global Warming is a Serious Problem
Global warming is a gradual increase in Earth’s temperature that can and will have serious effects on our future. It occurs when pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are released into the atmosphere from things like cars and factories. The gases absorb sunlight and solar radiation that bounce off of Earth’s surface. This radiation would normally have passed back through the atmosphere into space, but instead becomes trapped by the air pollutants in the atmosphere, raising the temperature of the Earth.
One of the greatest effects global warming has is on coral reefs. The big issue now is that the ocean temperature has risen above the highest temperature that corals have experienced in the past. As the oceans warm, coral dies off because of the increase in temperature. A couple of degrees may not seem like much, but to the coral it is similar to living with a high fever.
Coral is the base of the structure that makes, grows, and supports coral reefs–without it the entire ecosystem will collapse. If the coral die off, the fish that eat that coral will die. Then the larger fish that eat those fish will die, and so on, creating a chain reaction throughout the entire ocean. Also, many of the fish actually benefit by living in the structure that the coral provide or because of the energy that corals put in the system by releasing sugar into the water. This structure provides safety and protection from predators for the fish. If fish begin to die, it could endanger a major source of food and income for coastal communities. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the warming of Earth’s oceans “…threaten[s] a critical supply of protein for more than one hundred million people.” This major loss of a food source could have detrimental consequences to the human population.
In summary, global warming is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by society, not only to prevent the deaths of animals, but to maintain our Earth and make sure it is hospitable for future generations. One way that we can make a difference is by donating to organizations such as the Nature Conservancy or limiting our CO2 emissions in our daily lives. This can be achieved through simple tasks such as turning off lights and unplugging devices. Even the small things can make a big difference.
-Kailey Sieja, Holly McMahon, and Erin Nagel, 8th graders at McAuliffe International School
*Editorial reviewed for accuracy and approved by Tyler Smith, Ph.D, Research Associate Professor of Marine Science at University of the Virgin Islands.
Denver’s youngest at-risk residents have a stake in the future of the Park Hill Golf Course
Clayton Early Learning is a hidden gem in Northeast Denver; its historic campus at the corner of Colorado and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards encompasses life-changing early childhood programs catering to Denver’s “at-risk” children. Playgrounds, sensory gardens and healthy meals that nourish young children’s bodies and minds are par for the course at Clayton.
More than 850 children benefit directly from Clayton’s educational and family support programs, which are provided at low or no cost to eligible families.
Clayton’s children are the legacy of a trust funded more than a century ago from the assets of George W. Clayton, a pioneering Denver business leader. Clayton’s trust includes the 20-acre property of the Clayton campus and 155 acres of open space located north of the campus, east of Colorado Blvd, currently leased as the Park Hill Golf Course. The golf course operator pays rent to Clayton that is critical in the support of its programs.
My children have greatly benefited from Clayton’s high-impact programs. Clayton has helped my three-year-old foster-to-adopt son thrive through supporting his need for social/emotional learning. My four-year-old daughter started at Clayton at eleven months; she is now poised for a successful transition into kindergarten.
Recent public dialogue has identified challenges and concerns:
- Due to declining revenues, golf may no longer be a sustainable source for the funds Clayton needs to support its children.
- Although the Park Hill Golf Course is classified as “open space,” the property is accessible only to paying golfers.
- Nearby healthy food options are lacking and housing costs are increasingly unaffordable.
- Open space is key to Denver’s future; however, devoting the entire 155-acre property exclusively to open space won’t address all of Denver’s pressing challenges and may tighten the budget Clayton needs to serve its children.
I urge all Denver residents to balance competing needs and consider the future of our youngest residents. We need to stand firm with Clayton’s smallest voices—not yet old enough to be heard at city council or attend neighborhood meetings.
-Rexford Canady, AIA, is a Northeast Denver resident and chair of the Clayton Parent Council.
Perseverance can make a difference in society
My name is Lily, I am in eighth grade, and I am part of Girl Scout Troop 4295. Last May, in order to gain our Silver Award, my Girl Scout Troop and I attended a woodworking class to create free little libraries for our neighborhoods. Throughout this experience, I learned how my perseverance can translate to make a difference in society, how teamwork can make an impact on your community, how my peers could benefit from such a small action, and how people can unite through education and reading. Free little libraries are becoming a trend that will continue for as long as hard copy books are still used, and I encourage you to read, write and create to make a difference. “Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”