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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Lee

March Now or Swim Later

Raging heat. Drowning cities. Crippled infrastructure. 30 years ago, climate change was in its infancy. Now, it is being fueled like a fire; if it is left untamed, it will be ruthless. Decades of shameless littering, extinction, and endless carbon offset and now we pay the price. Governments have failed. Empty promises were made. Climate change will only escalate. This is not fake news... it is our unfortunate reality.

NASA revealed that 18 of the 19 hottest years on earth have occurred since 2001. Confronted by the repercussions of mankind's abuse of nature, the urgency to address this crisis has never been this dire. Many attempts have been sparked in order to mitigate its adverse effects, such as the Paris Agreement, and UN sustainability goal 13 - all of which have been ineffective. Now, we are stuck, unsure of how to find the seemingly impossible solution to this problem.

However, what if I said there was a “cure” for our planet? So far, we have been relying on ineffective policies imposed by the government, when in actuality, they are a waste of our energy, time, and resources. Young or old, generation Y or Z, this lingering threat can only be contained by us. Let us unite and rally under a common cause: hope for a future with a revived, robust, and resilient Earth.

With nearly 8 billion occupants on Mother Earth, is it too much of a burden for ​you ​to care?

What will “home” look like in the next 50 years? Imagine the typical dystopian novel landscape, void of greenery, littered with high rises and polluted beyond belief. Acidic downpour, cryptic wasteland, and earthquakes more lethal than ever- this is just a glimmer of the consequences we will suffer... some, even we cannot predict. According to the IPCC, the Earth’s temperature will jump another 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century along with sea levels rising a staggering 1-4 meters by 2100. Just enough to liquify the icebergs and submerge the Maldives, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Osaka ​— ​home to hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Furthermore, Patricia Espinosa, the United Nation Executive Secretary of Climate Change shocked the world with outrageous statistics. Over 524,000 lives were stolen by extreme weather occurrences between 1997 and 2016. Each and every person stripped of their hopes, potential, and futures. People with loved ones, family, and friends ​— ​gone because of climate change.

How can we condone and practice such despicable actions that continue to undermine Earth’s vitality?

Pressured by the rampantly deteriorating state of our beloved Earth, the United Nations has unsuccessfully attempted to subdue this hazard through the Paris Agreement, and UN sustainability goal 13. Consequently, humans, too inflexible to “waste” their time on climate change, ignorantly disregard cries for action. And mother nature continues to plunge. Hope ignited when Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swede, sparked the promising #FridaysForFuture movement, providing incentives for thousands of teenage crusaders in over 120 countries, to protest and relentlessly urge others to embrace their message: to act now. Misguided by the negative portrayal of teenagers, some negate their cry for change, instead accusing them of lacking maturity, denouncing their efforts, and showing disingenuous support.

But these “immature, angsty and hormonal” children have grasped something that eludes many adults: our earth’s condition is plummeting and we are struggling to stay afloat. We no longer have the luxury of time. We can no longer live devoid of the inevitable. We can no longer withstand inaction, denial, and ineffective policies ​— ​the solution will not come from the government.

Let us fight for the climate. Let us fight for change. Let us fight for us. We have never needed it more.


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