On February 26th, 2015, Oklahoma’s Senator Jim Inhofe brought a snowball onto the Senate floor. Climate change, he argued, didn’t exist. How could it exist, when it was cold enough outside on a winter morning in DC to snow? For years since, politicians have evaded and outright denied the issue of climate change. Beholden to oil companies and special interests, they have refused to even consider the very real threat that is climate change. So if they don’t care, why should you? Well, for one, no mere snowball will refute the facts. Recent data from NASA tells the story of warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, and shrinking ice sheets. This, along with growing loss of wildlife habitats and extinctions say something about the path we’re on. Scientists agree that there is a more than 95% probability that climate change is human caused. Climate change is bad for the economy, too. A BBC article found that in 2018 alone, 10 climate change catastrophic natural disasters cost 1 billion dollars each, and four events cost the global economy more than 7 billion dollars.
We’ve seen the effects here in California too––fire seasons have grown drier and longer, exacerbating already-present risks of destructive wildfire. Just this year, we have seen evacuations, blackouts, and blazes––and it’s not getting much better. So what can you do? In school, you can choose to put your waste in the correct bin, you can choose to use the back of notebook paper before grabbing another piece, you can choose to organize events and fundraisers among the QLS student body. At home, you can choose to walk rather than take a car, choose to eat a vegetarian meal, choose to buy locally sourced goods. Still, it can often feel that your individual efforts don’t count. Activists like Greta Thunberg are changing that, showing how our generation can take action and put pressure on the people in power to create change. Call your representative. March. Spread awareness. Donate. It may not seem like much, but if everybody did a little more, maybe we can fight this threat. It may be the only choice we have.
Want to do more? Check out some of these resources:
The Sunrise movement: a movement of young people organizing for a healthy climate.
More ways to do your part:
Write to Congress asking them to address climate change!