As a science-based major, I come from a background where everything needs to be supported by forms of evidence or definite proof. I also care for the world we live upon. With that being said, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that justifies that yes, climate change is occurring due to a multitude of factors both human and naturally and that yes, something should be done about it.
That is why when someone does not “believe” in climate change, it seems quite absurd. Climate change should not even be a debate nor a belief.
Humans, since the rise of the industrial revolution, have utilized and produced high levels of carbon and other toxic emissions from the burning of fossil fuels that are slowly deteriorating our atmosphere. We can see the impacts with the loss of species and ecosystems to abnormal environmental conditions—but what can we do about it?
That is the hardest part to figure out, over understanding climate change itself. It is like spilling a cup of coffee onto a white shirt. We know what the problem is, but trying to clean up the mess is easier said than done. I think one of the first steps we, as a society, need to take is to have a universal understanding of the true depth of the issue. After this is when the brainstorming and implementation of the necessary changes can come.
Hence, we need to have those that do not “believe” start to realize the truth in the issue and have those that already do put even more support towards more pro-environmental policies and educating others. For example, the banning of the use of plastic bags or other single-use plastic products.
The reality of this is that it will take time because the necessary changes have to obtain equal backing across the political spectrum. From there, proper infrastructure and technologies can begin to be put in place that will initiate the platform for a better world that is more environmentally conscious.
However, as an individual, it is easy to feel small, or in a place where your feel your voice does not really seem to matter and actions seem to feel useless. But anything that you do towards bettering the world around you is a step in the right direction.
When I was younger, I recycled every plastic and paper product I could. It got to the point where I started to feel out of control—was I really doing anything to help? However, as I have grown older, that obsession created a more lax and tame consciousness over what I use and the impact it will have. From substituting metal straws for plastic and to carrying around a large reusable water bottle everywhere I go. These little changes that I adopted will have the greatest impact and highest regard towards personal self-fulfillment.
If you feel like you are not doing enough, there are large environmental platforms out there where you can become part of the global movement and put your voice out there, even if it seems minuscule. That is why the work of Greta Thunberg and other activists involved in creating the global #ClimateStrike movement are so important. They are justifying how serious the issues are and how they are influencing future generations.
Overall, as long as you understand what climate change is and use the facts where you see fit, you can make strides towards adopting a more environmentally conscious lifestyle that will not only take you a step in the right direction, but also ultimately make you acknowledge that you are making a conscious choice towards bettering the world around you.
GRAPHIC MADE by Lauren Salois