Sunday, January 6, 2013

Student Voices - #6

Becca Mitchell
December 2012
With rising concerns about the detrimental impacts that humans have had on the environment, and the effect that global climate change will have on our future, it is easy to give in to feelings of hopelessness and abandon any efforts to suppress further environmental degradation. Images of receding glaciers and majestic species like polar bears losing their habitat dominate media coverage of climate change. However, we cannot give up on trying to combat or slow the impacts of global climate change. Although a serious culture shift will require much effort and time, the future of our planet and the well-being of our children and other generations are dependent on our actions in the present. Over recent years, there have been a series of extreme weather events hitting our countries, with Hurricane Sandy being the latest. These occurrences, which have resulted in structural damage as well as numerous mortalities, should serve as a call to action to address climate change. The monetary and physical means needed to repair the damage caused by these weather events are monumental, and if global climate change continues to progress at the same rate, these costs will only escalate. It makes more sense to invest in changes that will slow this destruction, rather than paying to clean up after the fact. 

The most compelling argument for seriously addressing the issue of climate change is the fate of our future generations. The Iroquois people based their decisions on the impact that it would have on not only the present but also future generations, and these sense of accountability and sustainability for coming generations has been lost. 

Island nations are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels threaten the homeland of millions of individuals. 

It is protecting the livelihood of future generations, and preserving the cultures, species, and habitats under threat due to climate change, that should motivate us to make serious strides to counteract the mounting pressure of global climate change.

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