Sunday, April 21, 2024

A world worth fighting for: A call to mitigate climate change

| December 25, 2020 1:00 AM

American citizens have chosen to politicize the issue of climate change instead of viewing such degradation as a human issue. Continuing to break this issue down between party lines will only further set back such advancements in the movement that benefit both Democrats and Republicans.

Currently everyone experiences the shifting climate in diverse ways and the extent to which individuals experience the already devastating effects of a warming planet also differ, yet the planet does not discriminate. No one is untouchable when it comes to climate change.

While many may have the financial resources to remove themselves from hurricane zones and food deserts, the chain reaction that will occur as low-income and minority individuals take the biggest blows will undoubtedly be felt at the top.

It is those who are privileged enough to not have to consider how climate change will impact their personal life that should be on the frontlines fighting this issue. Those that have the disposable income, the time to devote, and the power to advocate should not continue to live in a way that enhances the difficulty of those living a less fortunate life.

When was the last time you asked where the products you consume comes from? Let alone, what they are made of and who worked to get that product to you? All the systems that we have constructed to add the façade of comfortability have been disenfranchising many more than these industries like to admit, not to mention the subsequent impact on the planet.

We cannot discuss climate change without taking about human rights.

Intersectional environmentalism sees the planet and the people as interconnected and inseparable. I would not ask that people stop innovating and working toward economic prosperity, but I am going to demand that we understand advancement as an opportunity to lift people out of oppressive systems that also negatively harm the planet. It has been too long that we have waited to simply start talking about how these issues work hand in hand, so we cannot allow solutions to take just as long.

I urge you to seek out information about climate change’s impact on other nations, have the difficult conversations that have yet to be had with friends and family, and use your vote to show how important prioritizing the health of this planet and its people is to you. Remaining willfully ignorant to the ripple effect of one’s actions does not help anyone, including oneself.

Think of the ones you love, the ones that have passed, and those that have yet to arrive. Suffering is not a burden isolated to any one group of people because we are all connected.

This planet should be capable of sustaining generations to come, but if we are not willing to recognize the humanity of those currently here, how can we cultivate a space that allows for forward progress?

This conversation is not one that ends with these words. Every day we have the choice to engage in platforms that push forward more ethical and sustainable means of living, it just requires that we recognize our privilege and put in the effort to change the way we approach our social, political, and economic endeavors.

The “normal” we once knew will never be tolerated again.


Ella Erwin of Coeur d'Alene is finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology at Pepperdine University. She's a climate activist fellow with Young Evangelicals for Climate Action.