What Needs to Happen to Stop Climate Change
By Zack Macomber
In many social circles, the discourse about climate change can be divisive, causing many people to avoid the conversation. Everyone has an opinion about it; there are facts to prove that global warming is real and facts that prove it isn’t. One thing that can be proven by simple observation is that something is happening.
My family moved from California to Ohio in 2012. Our first winter there, we had half a foot of snow and temperatures below 12 degrees for about two weeks straight. The next year, it was a light winter, and every winter since then has been mild.
I first visited Walla Walla University in February of 2016. The winter was so bad that it took 36 hours of travel time to fly from Ohio to Washington. There was so much snow and ice on campus that people had been ice skating on College Avenue just a week earlier. Since then, in my four years here at WWU, I have never seen a winter like it.
It is obvious that the climate is changing everywhere, and we can see it in just the past 10 years. California has always had bad wildfires, but they have become more intense in the past few years. I do not need to share facts to prove this; just ask someone from Paradise, California.
Think back less than 100 years ago to the Dust Bowl. Mass farming practices changed the land so much that it became impossible to grow food. The dirt dried up and caused massive amounts of dust to be blown around by the Midwest wind.
As humans continue to populate the earth, we continue to change the earth to accommodate more of us, and the earth is going to push back. It has never before had this many people living on it. There are going to be problems that we will have to deal with. One of the biggest problems is how we harness the energy we use.
Currently, most of our energy comes from dead plants and animals, which are finite resources. While there have been efforts to move towards more sustainable energy, we still rely heavily on oil.
Now, bear with me here. In the 1960s, a Russian astrophysicist named Nikolai Kardashev developed a scale that ranked hypothetical extraterrestrial civilizations based on their energy consumption . The Kardashev Scale consists of three types of civilizations:
Type I civilizations have complete control over the energy of their planet.
Type II civilizations have complete control over the stars in their solar system.
Type III civilizations have complete control over the energy in their galaxy. 
Earth, as a civilization, has not yet reached Type I. Being able to control the energy of the entire planet would mean that we would be able to control weather patterns all over the earth. Being able to control the weather patterns means that we would have a solution to climate change. We would have control over the climate.
But how do we get there? Rahul Raj wrote an article that set out the advancements we are currently making that will lead us toward this classification. These advancements include green energy, space mining, 3D printing, and machine learning.  Other predictions, one by Carl Sagan, assert that we could become a Type I civilization in around 200 years. 
Back to the main point, climate change is a huge issue on our planet. Seasons look different each year, the glaciers are receding, and oceans are becoming more and more polluted. There are steps each of us can take, and if everyone gets on board, we truly can make a difference.
But we must realize that it is going to be a continuous battle. Until we reach the point where we can control the climate, it will continue to change, and these changes will continue to cause problems. We must adapt and do what we can to advance us forward towards a better and brighter future.
- C. Lovell. (2015 March 16). Classifying civilizations: An introduction to the Kardashev Scale. Retrieved from https://astrobites.org/2016/03/15/classifying-civilisations-an-introduction-to-the-kardashev-scale/.
- R. Raj. (2020 September 8). How can we become a Type I civilization by 2100. Retrieved from https://medium.com/myowl/the-road-to-civilization-1-0-42e3cb4cae5e.
- J. Creighton. (2014 July 19). The Kardashev Scale: Type I, II, III, IV, and V civilization. Retrieved from https://futurism.com/the-kardashev-scale-type-i-ii-iii-iv-v-civilization.