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The exhaustion behind climate change

Climate change is going to be a crucial issue in the next election. Polls from Yale and the Center for American Progress show that climate change is a top issue, and it has been covering major headlines in the last few months.

Everyone has heard about this issue by now. Humans have taken advantage of the earth and its resources; sea levels, carbon emissions and the surface temperature have drastically risen in the last 150 years. Now, we are in danger of damaging the entire ecosystem and pushing humanity to extinction.

According to a UN study, we only have 12 years to make immense changes in limiting global warming before more violent storms, famine, diseases and droughts plague the earth on biblical proportions.

But these days, it is starting to get easier to sink deeper into apocalypse fatigue. When you hear about all of the horrible things happening in the future, it gets easy to dismiss it as an unsolvable problem and pass the situation onto the next generation.

Personally, I am finding it increasingly difficult to remain engaged. I am starting to feel demoralized because it feels like all the “reduce, reuse and recycle” I have been practicing is not working. I am starting to grow cynical, and that is not the proper attitude to solve a problem of this magnitude.

Unequivocally, man-made climate change is a demanding issue and how we decide to handle this colossal issue will be the decision of the millennium. Our actions will determine the future of humanity, along with countless other animals in the ecosystem.

And the rest of the country agrees. According to a study conducted in March 2018, most Americans believe global warming is happening, outnumbering deniers by 5 to 1, while the rest of the public is either “extremely” or “very sure” that global warming is happening right now.

So then why hasn’t America done anything? The Green New Deal was not perfect by any means, but it was a good start to reverse negative man-made effects on earth. The science is there. The support is there. So why has the U.S. not made any significant strides to reduce our carbon footprint?

The reason climate change is so hard to tackle is that corporations do not take the threats seriously. They continue to rip resources out from the earth. They dump their garbage anywhere they want to. They pour toxic waste into our rivers, streams and oceans.

Consumers are expected to do all the work while corporations continue to destroy the planet and make money. The fact of the matter is, for greedy corporations, it is more profitable to kill the planet than to save it. According to a 2017 study, only 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.

Even worse, not much progress has been made. President Trump has wrongfully appointed climate change skeptics as part of the EPA and has even rolled back requirements and regulations to keep corporate pollution down. Our representatives have failed us when standing up to big business on behalf of their constituents.

We have gotten ourselves into an incredibly unique predicament. We are facing an issue that humanity has not seen in thousands of years. And amidst all that separates us, the destruction that awaits us shows no favorites.

The planet will undergo horrible consequences if we do not create resolutions in a timely manner and require everyone to do their part. This is no easy undertaking, as it will require massive changes in how we live our lives and do business, but the safety of the planet relies on our decisions. We need to stay active and engaged and continue to live a “green” life.

In this next election season, make sure your candidate supports initiatives to place environmental regulations on businesses.

It is natural to dismiss all of this; I was guilty of this too. But even though it may not directly be our problem or even our fault, it is our responsibility to continue fighting for the future of the planet, along with the people living on it.