Climate change is an all-important issue for many activists, ecologists, and vegans. For me? An accepted fate. The United Nations recently issued a damning climate report suggesting that there is no going back. Global temperatures are increasing, the sea level is rapidly rising, and ice caps are melting at a historic pace. Nothing can stop this. Not even if we scale back on all consumption and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An absolute transformation of the world’s economy is certainly not in the cards anytime soon. I mean, the world’s most powerful country is governed by climate change deniers. If we are bound to fail, why should we care about trying to save our planet? The answer is quite clear, we should not waste our time doing pointless things.
“Humanity inevitably faces droughts, famines, and migrations on a scale never seen before”
Climate change is devastatingly scary. Our planet’s annihilation is on the horizon and humanity has nowhere else to go. That’s not really a thought any of us want to have before going to bed. This sense of dread has certainly motivated many in taking action to help fight climate change. However, what we’re doing is not enough, not even close. Using metal straws instead of plastic straws is admirable, but it’s not going to change anything. People are under the false impression that their microscopic actions will have any effect down the road. We live in a bubble, proud of ourselves that we are taking at least some sort of action against this impending crisis. We feel so good about our metal straws and reusable cups, showcasing our accomplishments on social media and trying to encourage others to join. Of course, all of this is meaningless when humanity inevitably faces droughts, famines, and migrations on a scale never seen before. On the bright side, I suppose those metal straws will last another century or two. I wonder what kind of post-apocalyptic tool they’ll be turned into. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s nice that people want to help, but personally, I would rather focus on the present, and perhaps tackle some more fixable issues.
I’m not denying that climate change is a critical issue, but the writing is on the wall. Humanity has historically done an exceptionally poor job at being proactive. Politics, false beliefs, or apathy always get in the way. Unfortunately, we are a reactive species, but we are seemingly too far gone on climate change. If all countries achieved the minimal reduction targets outlined in the Paris Agreement, it still wouldn’t be nearly enough. It’s irrational to worry about “fixing” climate change now. The worst is yet to come.
Lucia Holaskova is a first-year media information student. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of The Amsterdammer.
- Columnist (Fall 2018)