Climate change is so urgent that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that only 11 years remain to combat climate change. Young people have a moral obligation to mend the world’s crises. The global stage is brimming with problems such as growing inequality, poverty, and, namely, global warming. Earth may become a doomsday scene due to the critical state of the environment.
Our time is running out.
Carbon emissions created by a greedy few who used fossil fuels to monopolize industries has created a world where the poor suffer greatly due to weather extremes or natural disasters, while the top 1% remains unharmed and even reaps more profits from the exploitation of both people and nature. During past generations, those who did not take part in the movement remained complacent in their inaction and left the consequences of burdening Gen Z and Millennials to fight climate change with our little power and influence.
Student activism is no longer an extracurricular activity or a simple good deed, but it has become a necessity. Young people must take up the burden to take power in government, vote, and protest to ensure our demands for a safe and healthy planet.
A key difference is that we may not have a younger generation to fall back on like so many before us. In fact, nearly two-fifths of Millennials refuse to have children due to climate change. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated that the lives of children will be increasingly more difficult, provoking the question “is it okay to still have children?” Thus, we may be the only influential generation left, especially since by the time the children of millennials come of age, the state of the earth will be too disastrous to turn back.
Essentially, we don’t have much choice in the matter. We either take action or remain complacent and watch the world suffer. Some believe that climate change is part of a mystical future, but its effects are felt currently. The California wildfires, floods in Asia, hurricanes, extreme temperature changes are all just teasers of the destruction global warming will bring.
There are several ways demand action from government representatives. The first and most impactful is to vote. Those who can vote should do so as their civic duty but also to secure their future in a healthy climate. Those who are eligible can run for office to create change and support coworkers who are fighting climate change themselves. Send letters to your representatives, imploring them to act. Reduce your plastics, compost food, limit air conditioning, use public transportation; these are a few ways to make sure you are personally keeping the earth clean. Lastly, we can protest. If those in power care more about the wealthy’s opinions, then we have to force them to care and pay attention to this worldly crisis. However you choose to contribute, remember that we are the future’s only hope.
Originally published on Medium. Republished with permission.
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