As hard as it is, the topic cannot be avoided: global warming is an existential threat that requires urgent action. The idea that this is a major issue in desperate need of attention that not enough people give it is frustrating. Though I’m sure you’re aware of what it is, here’s a brief overview. In our society, humans continue to emit large amounts of pollution and combustion. This as well as deforestation has made it harder and harder for the planet to recover the damage done to it. This is what causes climate change which, even when we don’t realize it, affects us all, and some communities more drastically.
According to Colombia Climate School– Over the past 22 years, the U.S Southwest has been swallowed in a long-lasting megadrought caused by changing weather patterns. Even when you don’t see the effects of climate change blatantly, they’re always there. This could be things as drastic as a change in the average temperature of an area, more severe storms, droughts, melting glaciers, and even loss of species. Such occurrences directly affect the livelihood of certain communities. Occurrences similar to this have been happening all over the world, and it not only affects the physical well-being of people but can take a toll on their mental and emotional outlooks. When people receive news of the climate crises all over the world some discouragement accumulates in the minds of some who look forward to the uncertain future.
With climate change being such a huge issue that impacts so many people, you would wonder, why don’t we hear more about it? There are few major culprits of this starting with the media. When you think about it, we deal with technology and media on a day-to-day basis whether we use it, or through someone or something else. This could be lying on the couch scrolling on your phone, or The media has so much influence in our lives but it is more often focused towards less relevant things like conflicts and drama. This could be instead used more often to address real-time issues like global warming and encouraging action.
Another reason we don’t hear much about climate change is because of the government. As much as I’d hate to point fingers and blame the government for our issues, in this case it’s unavoidable. The government fails to show any valuable action to the crucial climate crisis. In the past, there have been subtle acts that the government has done to show awareness of climate change however, none have had any major lasting impacts. In fact, there has been more done to halt environmental activism than expanded it in the government. According to The White House– Earlier this year American President Joe Biden issued executive orders to combat the climate crisis. However, According to The New York Times– on June 30th the Supreme Court restricted the power of the EPA ( Environmental Protection Agency) taking away its authority to mandate carbon emissions reductions.
Though the government fails to show much valuable action to the issue at hand we must also take into account that our government is a reflection of our values as the people. Therefore, as Citizens we must also take responsibility for the climate crisis. To do this we must show activism and concern towards this issue. Note that activism doesn’t always have to be boldly speaking out against a problem or telling the nearest person about climate change, but instead could be something as simple as putting a recycling bin in your house or cleaning up a nearby park. Other ways you can make an impact is by: Saving energy/using less electricity in your home, reducing gasoline emissions and resorting to non motorized vehicles ( bikes, scooters & skates), and throwing away less food. Every small act contributes to a huge difference, and doing simple things like these could go a long way.
The entire concept of climate change can seem overwhelming because it is a huge issue, but there are things that we as individuals can do about it. If we unite to find an effective solution, we can make a huge difference in the state of our world. We must show that this issue is one requiring major action and influence the government and others to understand. We can make efforts to recycle, Invest in renewable energy, reduce our carbon footprint, and more. If we consider the people we can help, and the healthy future we could build, we can make the desperately needed change.
Heaven Jenkins – Morgan Park Academy – DMSF Class of 2026
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Liptak, A. (2022, July 1). Supreme Court strips Federal Government of crucial tool to control pollution. The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/06/30/us/supreme-court-epa
The United States Government. (2021, January 21). Executive order on protecting public health and the environment and restoring science to tackle the Climate Crisis. The White House. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-protecting-public-health-and-environment-and-restoring-science-to-tackle-climate-crisis/
Columbia Climate School |February. (2022, February 18). Megadrought in southwest is now the worst in at least 1,200 years, study confirms. State of the Planet. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2022/02/14/megadrought-in-southwest-is-now-the-worst-in-at-least-1200-years-study-confirms/#:~:text=The%20drought%20that%20has%20enveloped,the%20journal%20Nature%20Climate%20Change.
Ways to make an impact : United Nations. (n.d.). Act now. United Nations. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.un.org/actnow