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The Time is Now

By Natasha Yen

The issue with climate change is not new. We, as a human race, have been facing this issue for so many years – far too long. Yet, we cannot seem to change our ways in order to protect our future. But, how can we continue saying “protect the future” if there may not even be a future for us? Perhaps the better term is “build a future.”

So many times I have heard adults say, “Oh, we are sorry to be leaving this all to your generation.” But, I’m sure that is what their parents told them too. We seem to be passing this problem down without truly doing something about it. Yes, there are amazing people doing amazing things – there always has been – but, that just is not enough anymore. It is going to take everyone to make a difference and it really does come down to the actions of individuals and small communities.

Recently, one of my acquaintances asked me, “How does one small community make a difference?  Let alone an individual?” I told her that the problem starts with individuals because if one person thinks, “Oh my use of plastics or consumption of resources doesn’t make a big impact.” Then imagine the true impact when everyone begins thinking this. She then said, “Well, the problem is with the large corporations because they’re contributing about 70% of the world’s greenhouse gases.” And I responded, “Yes, but how are these large corporations able to sustain themselves? It is because people buy.” So much comes down to the consumer. I’ve had people tell me “If I don’t use this straw or this plastic water bottle then someone else will.” But how does the idea that someone else would buy these stuff if you do not excuse you from acknowledging that you have just made a contribution to the issue? All these products are there because people take it. Just STOP taking it. Perhaps that will not change the habits of a larger population, but we need to start somewhere. If people keep offering excuses and continue with their destructive actions, how can we expect a larger change – the change that we really need – to be done?

So do your part. We cannot continue to make the same mistakes over and over again just for convenience. The time to change is now.

Works Cited:Riley, Tess. “Just 100 Companies Responsible for 71% of Global Emissions, Study Says.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 10 July 2017, www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jul/10/100-fossil-fuel-companies-investors-responsible-71-global-emissions-cdp-study-climate-change.

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