GETTING THE DISCUSSION GOING
For us as young people, climate change is inevitably going to be one of the greatest challenges that we will face in our lifetime. Unfortunately, many young people do not understand the importance of climate change and the potential effects that it may have on our lives.
An important force for climate change legislation that has been lacking is the public awareness and understanding of climate change. I have often brought up climate change in discussions with many of my friends, and a lot of them aren’t very familiar with it. In fact, only a few of them had ever heard of the Kyoto Protocol. And on the news a couple of months ago, a poll asked, “What are the most important issues facing America?” Climate change was voted the 19th most important issue out of the 20 choices in the poll. These are just a couple of instances that have made it clear to me that many people simply do not fully understand climate change, and the effects that it may have on our lives now and in the future. Also, many publicly elected officials have not taken a strong stance on promoting climate change policy, and that needs to change.
So what can we do about it?
We can all have a positive impact on this by getting our friends involved in the discussion on climate change. The young people of today will live through and have to deal with more effects of climate change than any other group of people. So in order for us to make a meaningful difference with respect to policy on climate change, young people need to understand what’s going on and take an active role in the discussion. Due to the fact that we will be impacted the most by climate change, we have the power to be the strongest advocates for legislation geared towards limiting greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change!
Using social media as an informational tool is an excellent way to promote climate change literacy. By using various social media platforms, we can get more young people involved in the discussion on climate change. The effectiveness and far-reaching capability of social media in communicating climate change literacy with others was showcased during the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21st. It was the largest gathering of people that has ever united in one place to show support for action on climate change! It was really encouraging to see thousands of young people put aside whatever they were doing to take part in this historic march. Even more encouraging though was the number of young people talking about climate change on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites.
It is imperative that we initiate the discussion on climate change with our friends as soon as possible, and continue the discussion on social media websites. We have the power to be a strong voice to advocate for meaningful climate change legislation that will have a positive impact on OUR FUTURE!
LET’S DO THIS!
17/3/2015 06:36:33 am
It's great to see Alabama students involved in interaction outside of the university! However, I suggest having an open mind about out efforts to limit impact on our environment. The terms "climate change" and "global warming" are a bit controversial-possibly not quite proven, and I suggest "human environmental impact". At any rate, as a physician in the U.S. Army, I had the opportunity to serve in Korea and was able to take a trip to China. The pollution, particularly in Beijing, was horrendous! While the Obama administration touts climate change and has enacted legislation or executive policy changes to impact "global warming", our efforts to reign in our human environmental impact is dwarfed by China's expansion and use of coal and oil-based fuels. Yes, they eventually had residents of Beijing limit use of automobiles and tried to limit pollution in the ramp up to the Olympics, but it had little effect. I'm not saying that it's not worth the effort to limit our own impact on the environment, but in your conferences, should you attend future ones, I would recommend focus on the controversy concerning "global warming". There are those who contend it isn't happening, that a lot of the meteorological and environmental changes might represent normal, cyclical changes that might occur, despite our "negative" impact. I encourage you to "think outside of the box" and not, merely, be a lemming and assume that limited research represents a final conclusion on what we're causing and what our effect our efforts and policy changes might have. Likewise, never negate the political interests! Communication with China and other countries will be paramount. We can do all we can, as a country, but if we don't have an impact on China, Russia, Brazil and other large countries/economies, we might as well stick out head in the sand!
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