Face The Climate Emergency
By: Hina Haider
The issue of the century has long faced collective indifference. It’s as if we are confronting a world on fire, yet even when the sky is burning, the world stands idly by. As we are tackling the fires on the West Coast, it is necessary to reignite the climate change discussion. Climate change is not meant to be observed but met with action. We must face the climate emergency.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the world is facing a climate crisis. From hurricanes to flooding to wildfires and drought and on and on, global catastrophes have dominated the 2000s and continue unabated. The climate crisis has failed to make the necessary action to make a significant impact on climate change, though public support and awareness has increased. Stances on climate change have been divisive, where the proposal of the Green New Deal contrasts with members of Congress that push climate change denial.
Stopping the climate crisis requires more than shifting opinions or engaging more people in activism. The movement needs public action and political backing. By many measures, the climate movement has more support than ever due to the realization of our current circumstances. However, public leaders continue to deny the existence of climate change, which is damaging to progress. To effect meaningful and long-lasting change, there must be support from our government leaders.
Lobbying is the act of persuading a politician on a cause. The NRA built relationships with elected officials and the Republican Party, dominating its hold over gun policy. By controlling the conversation and policies, the NRA transformed the political dynamics around gun rights. Strategic leadership choices led to real change regarding guns, so why can’t the same be done about climate change? The large-scale policy change, whether by lobbying, campaign donations, or swaying public will, is essential for creating substantial change.
We need to create a sustainable movement - a movement that continues to be strong a decade or more down the track after the media has moved on to other issues. The challenge is to build a long-term movement that will persist after media attention declines. The world needs a sustainable climate change movement built not on fear but on widespread commitment. Our world as we know it and the future we want are at risk.
With this knowledge, I hope we can unite to make a difference so you, tomorrow, can see a world that is more alive than ours today. I hope that in the future, climate change was merely a catastrophe that faded from existence. To take care of this Earth means to cut down on how we live, cherish what we have, and realize what we need to do to last until tomorrow.
Take action by:
California Fire Foundation’s Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program
Wildlife Relief Funds
Coalition for Rainforest Nations
Starting a conversation
Raise awareness about the climate crisis in your community or online via social media, blog posts, etc. Every voice matters.