California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    The time to act on climate change is now

    We all know that Leonardo DiCaprio just won an Oscar. My entire residence hall exploded in cheers and whistles when Julianne Moore said his long-awaited name. I thought, “the entire world is watching you Leo, what will you say to them?”

    He talked about the horrifying truth that is climate change.

    “Climate change is real, it is happening right now and it’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species,” DiCaprio said during his Oscar acceptance speech. “Let us not take this planet for granted.”

    Here is the hard truth: climate change is the most pressing issue of this generation, and humanity is not ready to take the effort to fix the problems snowballing through decades.

    People have trouble dealing with other people of different races, so I find it hard to have hope we can learn to love the environment.

    “How we treat the environment is a reflection of how we treat each other, and obviously, we have a lot of issues there,” Eric Flores, senior senator and environmental activist, said.

    We claim to love places around us, but we never realize that we can actually lose and destroy them. We all know about coral bleaching and air pollution, but we choose to ignore it and that is disgusting. 

    “People do love the outdoors and the beach and the ocean and the larger life of this place. We’re afraid to feel a threat that’s real. It’s hard to face a threat to something we love,” Lisa Dahill, religion and ethics professor, said.

    Everything that you’ve ever tossed out, washed out or drained out is still somewhere on this planet.

    As much as we may claim to love nature, people have this ridiculous mental block that puts up a wall between their urban world and realms untouched by man. That’s problem number one.

    “The Western view of nature, which seems to be predicated on the idea that ‘nature’ is somehow whatever is other than ‘human.’ This dualism or dichotomy is, in my view, disastrous for a healthy and balanced way of being enmeshed and engaged in an ecosystem,” Sam Thomas, faculty adviser for the SEEd Project and member of the Sustainability Committee, said in an email interview. “When we see ourselves as a part rather than apart, we realize that the integrity of the whole is what matter.”

    Climate change must be recognized by every global citizen. People need to fall in love with this world in order to fight and save it. We need to break down this barrier between human life and the life around us. More than above it, we are part of the natural world.

    “You don’t want to put that thought and that effort into trying to think of something that you could do to change,” Flores said. “You could make the argument that the health of the planet is pretty urgent and immediate. But they’re more worried about that next assignment.”

    But disregarding our duties as a being on this earth doesn’t end with just busy college students. This same issue is on a global scale with big businesses, and it needs to end.

    Our entire economy is built to value things on a monetary scale, and our lives are built to require technology. Advances in human well being is depleting our natural resources faster than natural processes can restore.

    “There’s something in us that is hardwired to want to dominate other species,” Dahill said. “It’s seductive, the use of fossil fuels. You can go fast, you can do all kinds of great stuff. They’re making a lot of money because the economy is set up to favor them.”

    It’s hard to try and think about living in tune with nature in a world we believe was made for humanity. However, in recent years, we have reached a tipping point that has forced people to  become an advocate for nature.

    The best thing we can do: love, respect and speak out.

    “What we don’t love we won’t save, and what we don’t know we won’t love,” Dahill said. “Change comes from love.”

    We need to make the connection that we are the generation who has to act. This is the last time the earth will be within the realm of saving. In the future, we are going to snowball toward destruction.

    “Take the initiative to start something new without relying on the university to do it for you,” Thomas said.

    Instead of delegating the issues to someone else, make your mark and do your part. Keep an active mindset and always be thinking about your mark.

    “We’re the generation that has to speak and act,” Dahill said. “We’ve have a voice. We’ve got to use it. We got to vote. Don’t wait for someone else to act. It’s on you.”

    Molly Strawn
    Staff Writer
    Published March 16th, 2016