Some time ago I attended a debate night on Marist College campus between the Democrats Club and the Republicans Club. The evening was divided into three sections covering the subjects: immigration, environmental policy, and bi-partisanship.
During the second section of the evening, environmental policy, the only argument the Republicans Club could produce was denial of man-made global warming and its harmful effects. I was shocked. An argument I had assumed was reserved for stubborn baby-boomers and corporate pigs, was being argued in front of me by 20-somethings at a liberal arts college.
How is this possible? They have never known a world without environmental activism but yet they choose to ignore the arguments at hand simply because an opposing side affirms its factuality.
As we barrel into the 2020’s, society must all be in agreement that the environment desperately needs our attention.
According to NASA, the average surface temperature of Earth has risen 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century. Additionally, NASA states that global sea levels have risen 8 inches in the last century. These alarming facts now appear to be up for debate as the global environment barrels out of control.
Rising global temperatures will not make humans combustible as some global warming deniers would believe, but the slightest degree change can put more moisture in the air causing greater storms and more flooded cities.
When asked about the state of the environment right now, all answers were unanimous: “not good.” Nora Nucullhaj, class of 2022, elaborated, “I think that if [humanity] does not do something, the environment is going to reach a point of no return. I’m vegan because animal agriculture is one of the top reasons for deforestation and results in more greenhouse gases.”
Many members of Generation Z, like Nucullhaj, are choosing ethical lifestyles in the hopes of making a difference. Members of the younger generation are going beyond acknowledging the problem but trying to implement a solution as well.
Senior Allison Germano gave me a substantial list of companies she uses when asked about her environmental habits. One such company was Gove Collaborative, a home and beauty company that sells only environmentally friendly products.
Whether it be the celebration of Earth Day by reading the Lorax in elementary school or donating resources to save the rainforest in middle school or purposely creating sustainable technologies in high school, I have never known an education that does not advocate for the environment.
I acknowledge the opposing point of view, accepting facts about the world ending happening is a hard truth to accept. This truth is especially hard if members of an opposing political party fully pledge by it. The hesitation to accept the truth is a reality that must be acknowledged to be fixed.
Fake news, immigration policy, and financial trends should all be dwarfed by the environmental doomsday clock that has been set to explode for 2030, this according to the UN. It’s hard to debate border crossings when the border is under water.
I’m not a scientist, I’m a journalist, so my solutions to save the world are limited to what I can do every day. But the power of the press can be utilized to reach those who need to hear this message the most. A dilemma that has been passed down for generations has reached its last round.
Sophomore Donald Jones said it best,
“It’s the only planet we know, future generations will be affected in our lifetime if we do not change now.”