By Abby Gross

Scientists say that 2005 was the hottest year on record. But it wasn’t just heat that caused alarm; our earth was plagued by a great number of extreme natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Experts are sure that the earth’s climate and weather patterns are starting to change. But is it the fault of factories, trash and environmental neglect, or are these changes merely a part of natural processes? Many experts believe that current climate change is the fault of humans over many years.

Do You Feel the Heat?

Climate change is only one important issue affecting the environment. Polluted air, especially over cities, causes health problems for many people. Energy as we know it will have to change as oil reserves decrease and grow too expensive. Luckily, there are alternatives to oil — water, solar, and wind power, to name just a few.

In 1970 people were starting to understand that the earth is fragile and that modern trash and industry were hurting the planet. They established Earth Day to bring special attention to the environment every April 22. These days, environmental problems cannot be acknowledged just once a year, nor can they be solved with individual efforts like recycling.

Major changes must be made by governments that have enough money to fund environmentally responsible research programs and develop alternative resources. What can we do? We can urge our leaders to make smart decisions, even if the decisions mean less convenience for everyone. Otherwise, we and our children face a pretty hot future.