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Five Reasons to be Concerned About the Cold BY ERIYALE WILLIAMS

Nevada has been in a drought for over 10 years, but recently there has been an increase in ice, snow and rain these past few weeks. The new weather has stirred up a conversation regarding the Earth's climate. Even though cold weather is expected for the winter season, there is still a reason to be concerned about the recent intensity of weather.

According to CNN, if humans do not change the pollution and carbon footprint we have on the planet, the weather will only get worse from here. These are some of the reasons why we should care about what winters like these do to our lives.

1. Health conditions

While it may not be snowing as heavily in the west coast as it is on the east coast, it does not mean we are safe from catching a cold. In fact, since most people are not prepared for this unbearable weather, they face life threatening conditions like hypothermia, frostbite and even heart problems. The cold is not only affecting your outfit choices, but even how well your immune system works.

2. Agriculture

Even though farming is not a major economic business, the unpredictable weather is harming our agriculture as well. When the weather becomes this unbearable, farmers begin to struggle to feed their families or make money in general. Inherently, this affects what food will be available in stores. If the demand for food is higher than what farmers can supply, the price for our favorite fruits and vegetables will slowly begin to increase.

3. Unlike the past winters

Additionally, the current increases and decreases in temperature by nearly 50º fahrenheit within several days has been reported as the first of it's kind for the winter season. These fluctuations in temperatures have previously been documented over several months–not days. The abnormality has brought some people to the conclusion that human interactions with the planet is causing this season's harsh weather–which will inherently lead to extreme summer heat in some areas and more frequent sub-zero temperatures during the winter.

4. Impact on animals

Unlike some humans who may warm up in shelters, animals are being forced to adapt to these new cold temperatures on their own. These changes in habitat cause many animals to be threatened with extinction. Animals like gopher tortoise, bees and prairie dogs are already threatened with extinction due to changes in environment. Animals are crucial for the life cycle, especially for keeping nature balanced. Whether their death's cause an overpopulation of their prey or turn their environments uninhabitable, the balance they provide is important to keep our world comfortable for all the species living here.

5. The homeless population

In the past, the homeless population has struggled to keep warm during the winters. However, now with the intense changes between hot and cold within just a few days, their safety has been raised to concern. Since Las Vegas is ranked one of the top cities with a homeless population, it is important we consider them at this time. It is difficult for those who have shelter to fight against the winds, so there is no way of knowing how the less fortunate are holding up without a roof over their heads.

How to help

If you have the items available, look into donating to your nearest shelter to ensure those who are less fortunate can bare the harsh weather as well.

Las Vegas Rescue Mission

The Salvation Army

Project 150

Besides donating, you can also reduce the water you use, carpool more frequently, further your recycling habits and reduce the waste you create. It takes one person to make a difference–let's not allow the same trends to lead us to an inhabitable earth.

Credits:

Created with images by Hush Naidoo - "The doctors room …" • Ian Stewart - "untitled image" • Wynand Uys - "Backlit"

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