Take action to help fix our climate

Jarod Hoffarth

jarodRight now, there is an enemy out there who is invading every single city and country, threatening to kill thousands of people, displace tens of millions and causing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage.

The enemy I am talking about is climate change, and the devastating effects it is having on us and our planet are as real as any enemy we have ever faced.

Climate change has been around for decades, and despite having an effective strategy to combat it, and plenty of resources to do so, we have continually lost battle after battle. The time we have left to take action is quickly running out, and not enough people are willing to fight back.

All of our reckless and shortsighted actions have finally caught up with us, and are having disastrous consequences for all life on Earth.

It may sometimes be difficult to recognize climate change here in Wisconsin, but to others around the world, like those in Bangladesh, the Marshall Islands and Sudan, these changes are blatantly obvious and extremely dangerous.

It’s only a matter of time until these changes start affecting us in the U.S.

Droughts, heat waves and extreme rainfall events are predicted to increase in regularity and severity here in Wisconsin.

If these catastrophes are to be avoided, we must move past the point of debating whether or not climate change exists, and immediately move towards implementing the solutions we already have and figuring out the ones we don’t.

As college students, we all have a long future ahead of us. However, the effort we put into securing our futures can’t end in the classroom. There are many powerful individuals and corporations out there that have been and will continue to make decisions that severely impact our environment, all in pursuit of making a profit, such as high pollution factories and gas guzzling vehicle companies.

While there are a number of companies fighting to combat these negatvie effects caused by some corporations, the only way this egregious behavior will ever end is if we come together. We have to organize together and demand that we will no longer tolerate these harmful companies bank accounts taking priority over the health of our planet.

We have the facts, science and resources on our side to defeat them. The only question is is if we have the courage.

Not only do we have a moral and ethical obligation to ourselves and all life on Earth to combat climate change, we must also keep in mind that our children will inherit the planet that we leave them.

They may grow up and see a world crippled by pollution and riddled with natural disasters. They will blame us for continually making the wrong decision despite knowing better and having the resources available to make the smarter choice.

Even though many people alive today doubt the validity of climate change, it is certain our children and grandchildren will have no doubt about its existence because by then, denying climate change will get the same reaction as saying you still believe in Santa Claus.

We have to approach this problem from the perspective of those who will come after us, so they will have a healthy and habitable planet to enjoy their lives on.

I realize that hearing all of this come from a college student might make you question how qualified I am to speak on the issue, and I understand that.

I would highly recommend that if this issue concerns you, do the necessary research and come to your own conclusion.

Listen to what the experts have to say. Follow the science and the data. Understand what each side has to lose and gain on this issue. Even if you don’t come to the same conclusion that I have, at least we will be able to move forward while being more informed.

Even if you do not necessarily believe that climate change exists or that it is becoming an issue, there’s no harm in leaving future generations a healthier planet to live on.

There will never be a better time than now to fight for our future. We must make sure our elected officials understand the reality of climate change and our willing to take bold and decisive steps to combat it.

We have to talk to our friends and family and try to bring the seriousness of this issue to their attention.

It is necessary we make the small changes in our lives that will add up over time, such as recycling, biking instead of driving and buying sustainable products.

There are many ways in which you can contribute to help defeat climate change, but you can’t do it alone.

Only together can we most effectively fight this battle. While one person can make a small difference, the best way to make an impact is through a group effort. Only together do we stand a chance of defeating climate change before it gets completely out of hand.

Please, help protect the planet that protects us all.