The Climate is Changing, Why Can’t We?

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Olivia Quagliani

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The Climate is Changing, Why Can’t We?

Two girls in Nantes, France attended their local strike.
(Photo by SEBASTEIN SALOM-GOMIS, AFP/GETTY)

Two girls in Nantes, France attended their local strike. (Photo by SEBASTEIN SALOM-GOMIS, AFP/GETTY)

Two girls in Nantes, France attended their local strike. (Photo by SEBASTEIN SALOM-GOMIS, AFP/GETTY)

Two girls in Nantes, France attended their local strike. (Photo by SEBASTEIN SALOM-GOMIS, AFP/GETTY)

Climate change is rapidly occurring, and there is a lot that can be done to prevent it from progressing. There are many misconceptions of climate change that are widely accepted by the public. First, climate change does not necessarily mean that all the weather in all of the world will become hotter; climate change simply means that the weather patterns will become more intense. For example, the amount of snow an area receives will double or fall more rapidly. Another example may be that the winter season in a desert lasts for a shorter amount of time and will make the desert’s temperatures hotter earlier and with a more intense heat index than ever before. The increase in heat will cause more rainstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

Another misconception is that the way people treat the earth does not contribute to climate change. It does. The human effect–what humans do to the planet–contributes to global warming leading to an increase in natural disasters, which then impacts economies around the world. Ultimately, if people continue to pollute the air and the seas, strip the earth of natural resources, and manufacture consumer goods at current rates, then the effects of climate change will only get worse, and the earth’s life will die.

Youth across the globe understand these conditions and realize the inevitable outcome that personally faces them if climate change continues to grow. Recently youth, in many countries, organized and led international walkouts and rallies for environmental awareness. These walkouts and rallies took place on March 15, 2019, in over 2000 locations in 123 countries, including places such as Washington D.C., New York City, Oslo, Sweden, Copenhagen, Denmark, Helsinki, Finland, Milan, Italy, Dublin, Ireland, Berlin, Germany, Cape Town, South Africa, and many more.

Students in Tokyo hold up their signs. (PHOTOGRAPH TAKASHI AOYAMA, GETTY)

This Climate Strike was first sparked in 2018 by a 15-year-old from Sweden named Greta Thunberg. In the fall of 2018, she stood outside a parliament building in Stockholm with signs and the intention of drawing the attention of her country’s leaders to the effects of climate change. Thunberg’s initiative inspired this worldwide strike, and Isra Hirsi, one of the co-leads of the US Youth Climate Strike, acknowledged the fact that not everyone who cares about climate change could make it to the rallies and strikes due to outside factors, such as work or school or unsupportive family and friends. Hirsi and a group of young activists saw the need to organize a day where people could come together in a more cohesive, visible way to amplify the voices who want to see a change in the way the environment is treated

Youth Climate Strike (Photo Taken from HORACIO VILLALOBOS, CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES)

The goal of this strike was to share the concern of thousands of people about climate change and the harmful and unjust way in which the earth is being treated by people, corporations, and governments across the globe. It was a strike to fight for the future. The generation between the ages of fourteen to about twenty-seven are the first and last hope for climate control to occur. There is no time to waste cleaning up the earth, its oceans, and its air. With time, the climate will only get worse if nothing is done to mitigate and correct what has already happened. Problems, such as natural disasters, increase in damage costs, and the extinction of many animal species on the earth loom large in the not too distant future. This is an issue that must be tackled before it is too late, so the more immediate changes seen, the better.

Although Xavier is a tiny fraction of the world’s population, there are many steps the community can take in order to prevent negative climate change. As a community, it is important to reduce the amount of waste that is produced. Students and faculty should use refillable water bottles and fill them up at the water fountain. They should also use reusable mugs and eliminate styrofoam cups, which is one of the worst element for the soil; styrofoam does not decompose or break down. Xavier can even plant a ‘food to table/market’ garden to promote sustainable food practices. Saints can also get to school and extracurricular activities by carpooling, riding a bike, or even by taking the bus.

The simplest action against climate change that people can do is vote, so once someone is of age, voting is key. Through events like this strike, voices are heard, and the message was loud and clear across the globe: No one wants to live on a dying earth. We are all guests and have done enough harm to the earth. It is now time to rise up and fix the issues that have formed before it is too late. It is time for us all to fight for the future.

This is one of the rallies in Italy. Hundreds of people gathered for the event. (Photo by Alessandro Gassmann)

Sources Cited:

Borunda, Alejandra. “Kids Striking against Climate Change: ‘We’re Fighting for Our Lives’.” ‘We’re Fighting for Our Future,’ Kids Say as They Gather at Worldwide Climate Strikes, 15 Mar. 2019,

www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/03/kids-climate-march-strikes-around-the-world-fridaysforfuture/.

“Global Climate Change: Effects.” NASA, NASA, 28 Nov. 2018, climate.nasa.gov/effects/.

“Look at the Photos and Videos of Thousands of Youth Demanding Climate Change Action NOW.” Upworthy, 15 Mar. 2019, www.upworthy.com/look-at-the-photos-and-videos-of-thousands-of-youth-demanding-climate

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“Top 10 Things You Can Do about Climate Change.” David Suzuki Foundation, davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/top-10-ways-can-stop-climate-change/.

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