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A lecture on climate change was held by the Hillsdale College Democrats on Oct. 11 Josh George | Col­legian

Rising global tem­per­a­tures are the cause of a lowered con­cen­tration of protein in pollen and could be the cause of a recent uptick in bee deaths.

This and other con­se­quences of human-caused climate change were dis­cussed Oct. 11 at a lecture held by the Hillsdale College Democrats in the wake of several major natural dis­asters in 2017.

Pro­fessor of Physics Kenneth Hayes dis­cussed the warming of the oceans and humanity’s con­tri­bution to the green­house effect.

“The green­house effect pro­vides the cleanest expla­nation for anthro­pogenic climate change,” Hayes said. “The mea­sured increase of the heat content of the oceans pro­vides unas­sailable evi­dence for it.”

Hayes also said humans’ con­tri­bution to climate change, if it con­tinues unchecked, could poten­tially have con­se­quences such as increasing numbers of wild­fires, higher storm intensity, and con­tinued bleaching of the coral reefs.

“Most people have no idea how sen­sitive life is to tem­per­ature,” Hayes said. “Humans can tol­erate tem­per­ature change, but the Earth as we know it cannot.”

Assistant Pro­fessor of Eco­nomics Christopher Martin pre­sented on what people could do to solve the problem of climate change eco­nom­i­cally. Martin explored the idea of a tax on carbon output from man­u­fac­turing. He also said an inter­gov­ern­mental climate agreement with rea­sonable restric­tions on carbon output could reduce human impact.

Martin also said there is still debate about the correct tax­ation policies for carbon. In order for an inter­gov­ern­mental climate agreement to be effective, it would need to be binding and would need to require sanc­tions for coun­tries who broke the agreement.

Senior Elyse Hutcheson, pres­ident of the Hillsdale College Democrats, said she was glad the club was able to hold the event and spark dis­cussion about an important topic.

“I just think that climate change is some­thing we don’t talk about enough here, and a lot of the people who are in science agree that it’s an issue, but it’s become so politi­cized,” Hutcheson said. “That’s why it’s so important that we talk about this.”

Freshman McKenna Towns said Hayes’ description of the potential con­se­quences of climate change was some­thing she hadn’t con­sidered before the lecture.

“Learning about the increase in natural dis­asters as a result of climate change was really shocking to me,” Towns said. “Natural dis­asters and the increase of things like fires, floods, and hur­ri­canes — that’s not some­thing people usually think about when it comes to the effects of global warming.”