Nantucket Student Perspectives On Climate Change: Goshi Daily

When you hear about how the Earth’s temperatures change and rise, what do you think of? The raging wildfires erupting on the West Coast that turn skies blazing orange and pollute people’s homes with suffocating smoke? Or do you think about how we see less and less snow here every year? Do you even remember the last time Nantucket had a good, proper snow that stuck for more than just a few hours?

Regardless of what you may conjure up in your head when you think of climate change and its effect on Nantucket, there’s no denying that its effect on this island has been growing with every passing moment,  especially considering that we’re an island. Looking into the ocean that surrounds Nantucket, many can only imagine what’s bound to happen to the island in just a few decades–the sea level will rise, and in time, Nantucket will become a modern Atlantis. But what of the sea creatures that live in the surrounding waters? How will they be affected by our ever-changing climate?

I’ve had this question ever since I was a little younger than I am now, specifically, what would happen to the jellyfish that I was so fond of? Would they melt into the ocean? Of course, that isn’t what would really happen, but what would happen to those jellyfish? Surprisingly, I’d learned that they actually thrive even more, as they favor warmer waters. On top of this, even if there was less oxygen in the future oceans, it was discovered that jellyfish are remarkably resilient to low-oxygen environments, really driving home that jellyfish “go with the flow”. However, this only led me to yet another question, more so a thought: How could we learn from the jellyfish that seem so perfectly invulnerable to the worsening state of the environment?

Well, I had thought at first that it would be as easy as the common motto associated with the simple-yet-enigmatic organisms: Go with the flow, and adapt. But it’s never this simple, as much as I wish it was. I’d hoped that we could just go with the flow and figure it out, but the environment is at a point where we have to “sting”–we have to take action now, not just aimlessly float through the currents of time until we’re washed ashore and shriveled up on scorching sands. But how can we sting?

We can sting in small ways, like recycling and responsibly using energy(dimming lights/turning them off when leaving the room, don’t use A/C or heating when not home, don’t leave faucets running, etc.), using solar energy as much as possible in an effort to minimize carbon emissions and use clean energy, clean up any litter whether on land or in the water if you see it, don’t leave your car running–just to name a few. These small “stings” may not seem like a lot, but if we all do it, it’ll make such a huge impact on the island for the better.

While we can’t aimlessly and mindlessly float through this issue as a jellyfish would, we can still take some advice from those blobs and “sting” against climate change, while we still can.


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