Op Ed By De’Vonte Ashley
I had a dream. A dream of erratic and intense weather. A dream of oxygen tanks and breathing apparatuses. A dream of never-ending summer and heat that can only be from the depths of hell. A dream of glimpses of daylight through the thick smog clouds in the sky. It lacked beauty and color, yet it seemed all too real. Perhaps, it was a nightmare, or maybe a vision. A vision of the path we have laid out for the future. A sullen future riddled with calamity. Can you see it?
The concept of global warming has been proven by scientists over 150 years ago! With issues as troubling as these, you would assume there has to be an outcry to prevent this. Well, there is a plea for resolution. However, the voices of those who advocate for further action are drowned in a sea of ignorance and petulance. Their concerns are met with arguments like “It’s just a natural cycle.”, or “It’s the sun.” or “The climate is always changing.”. These are all true; although, it is oversimplified.
The earth’s climate is naturally changing, but due to human causes, it is changing at an exponential rate. The greenhouse gases, like carbon, are there naturally to retain heat from the sun in the atmosphere; however, humans have released so much of these gases that it increases the global climate at an alarming rate. The aforementioned incites problems such as intense weather conditions, extinction of species, and increased disease. Climate change is not something that you can believe in because it is a scientific fact.
This is not all to say we have not taken any measures against climate change. Several countries and organizations are working to be carbon neutral by 2050. The problem is we are nowhere near enough to meet the goal of 1.5 within post-industrial climates by 2050. If we miss this quota, the nightmare becomes reality, and we become part of the sixth mass extinction.
This doom we are faced with is not inevitable. Typically, now is the time where they ask you to eat less beef or take a bus. This is extremely helpful, but we need to scheme bigger. We are not just consumers, we can change the structure of businesses ourselves. You do not have to know everything about climate change to be a climate activist. By refusing companies with high carbon emissions, we can drive companies to decide for themselves to lower carbon emissions. When buying a car, buy electric cars or cars with high miles per gallon. Frankly, just stop supporting those who profit off a dying plant. But one voice does not reach across the world without a million echoes, so speak up.
I now have a dream. A dream of blue skies and vast glistening oceans. A dream of green, ginger grass growing gallantly. A dream of a sweet breeze enveloping my nostrils. A dream of a rainbow that shimmers like a star in the night sky. A future with ozone-benign industries and nations. A world filled with splendor and every hue. Not a dream, but a hope. Hope for the future that is not yet set in stone. A future of our creation. Can you see it?