App State released a banger of a video called “Appalachian is Hot, Hot, Hot” back in 2005 to promote the university’s “coolness” and “hipness.” Without meaning to, “Hot, Hot, Hot” became a warning for what is to come: climate change.
In the High Country, temperatures have risen in the last few decades. According to the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, 2010 to 2019 was the hottest decade in North Carolina history. More specifically, the High Country has experienced an increase in annual temperatures since the 1990s. The higher temperatures carry into the winter, meaning less snow and more winter storms.
Started in 2019, App State’s Climate Action Plan is now in Phase 2. This plan is designed to help App State achieve carbon neutrality. App State also has the Zero Waste program, dedicated to reducing the university’s waste by encouraging students to reduce what students consume and recycle. These programs are a start, but more can be done to lessen the carbon footprint of App State.
While “Appalachian is Hot, Hot, Hot” is a joke that professors show first years, the underlying hidden message is a cry for help. Our average temperature is going up annually and our average snowfall decreases. App State has started some initiatives to try and combat climate change, but it’s not enough. This current generation in college right now is the generation that will have to suffer for the sin we committed against our world: destruction. We are already paying the price: flooding due to rising sea levels, out of control forest fires, and storms like hurricanes are only going to continue to get worse if we don’t reverse climate change.