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The End of the World?

Fire+danger+sign+in+Summit+Park%2C+Park+City+shows+the+danger+of+fires+in+the+area.
Fire danger sign in Summit Park, Park City shows the danger of fires in the area.

Fire danger sign in Summit Park, Park City shows the danger of fires in the area.

Ann Paradis

Ann Paradis

Fire danger sign in Summit Park, Park City shows the danger of fires in the area.

Mazana Boerboom, Section Editor

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Just after Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, leaving 70 people dead and countless more stranded, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean and Florida, with Jose and Maria in it’s wake, the extent of their impact still to be seen. On the opposite coast, fires ravage the Western half of the continent reaching Canada, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and even Utah. Much of Asia is going underwater due to flooding. Mexico had their largest earthquake in over a century, with an 8.1 magnitude, killing more than 60 people, and was closely followed by yet another hurricane, Katia. With the magnitude of natural disasters ravaging our world, many are questioning, “Is this the end of the world?”

Ann Paradis
This sign in Summit Park, Park City, warns residents to be careful of fire hazards.

The lyrics to “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by the band R.E.M. run through heads as news about the record breaking natural disasters take over the country’s attention. Social media is full of prayers for those affected, and fears of what’s to come. Michael Peterson, employee of Supersonic Car Wash, showed up at work with the remnants of a milkshake proclaiming it to be his “end of the world milkshake” sparking a debate about whether the world is really at its end.

When asked if she thought the world was ending, Utah Valley University student Kiana Lennon proclaimed it was. She expressed fears of the fault line in Salt Lake and remorse for those affected by the hurricanes. Cottonwood Senior, Nicole Danado agreed with Lennon explaining it’s “happening because of climate change… I also think that a lot of the hurricanes are happening because of HAARP.” HAARP, High Altitude Auroral Research Program, is believed by some to be a secret government program that has weaponized weather. Still others believe that the world isn’t ending, at least not yet. Cottonwood Senior, Sydney Bishop said, when asked if the world is ending, “No, because much scarier things have happened before, and the end of the world is going to happen in 2077,” referring to the book Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. Junior, Tristan Boerboom, thought similarly, stating, “It’s not the end of the world, but it’s an issue,” referring to climate change.

It’s not the end of the world, but it’s an issue”

— Tristan Boerboom

Climate change has become a popular political debate. Some believe the evidence is self-evident. In a Huffington Post article journalist, Jay Inslee stated, “[Climate change deniers] can run, but they cannot hide from Mother Nature.” Most people, when asked by Colt Roundup what they believe is the cause of all these disasters, reported they thought it was climate change. UPS driver Russ Watkin shared, “I believe in climate change, and I do believe we are starting to see some of the repercussions of our, as a human races’, actions.” Boerboom stated that he thought if the world ends, “it’ll be human made.” Bishop said she believes, “global warming is causing most of this problem.” Yet, despite all those advocating to fix the problem, many still disbelieve there is a problem at all.

On one hand, some say disasters happen every year; hurricane season is September through November and earthquakes have been expected for a while. However, it is difficult to deny the increased magnitude compared to previous years. Hurricane Irma has broken several records according the the Huffington Post, some of which include being the only storm maintaining 185 mph winds for 37 hours, being the strongest storm in the Atlantic ocean to ever be recorded and it’s the first time two hurricanes with winds at least 150 mph have been in the Atlantic at the same time. Mary Kay Young, a Florida resident, told Colt Roundup, “We hadn’t really had any bad ones here for about 50 years… the last few years there’s been nothing and this year we’ve had 2 already… Jose is out there… we don’t even know yet what that will do. So, this is a really unusual hurricane season, to have two so close already and have so many months left.”

Even in Utah, far from most of the impact, many people expressed fear to Colt Roundup for loved ones affected. Danado related that, “My whole dad’s side of my family lives in Miami, and a couple of relatives from my mom’s family live down there as well.” Danado told Colt Roundup that her family marked themselves safe on Facebook after Irma hit Miami. Watkin shared with Colt Roundup his experiences with the disasters. The weekend Irma hit America, he was meant to fly with his wife to Florida to visit family. On the opposite coast, he also saw second hand some of the impact of the wildfires as a UPS driver, he told Colt Roundup, “I do see the western states’ Hot Shots driving all over the place in their emergency vehicles. I also have seen aerial support- helicopters and aircraft flying with loads of fire suppressant. When I’m driving at night, I will see the fires burning off in the distance, a reddish orange glow in the hills, and during the day the skies are choked with clouds of smoke. It’s typically a big gray haze from sun up to sundown in southern Idaho.”

 

With all the damage being caused and all the talk of world’s ending, the question to ask is, ” When will the world end, and is it soon?”

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The End of the World?