Environmental awareness is important

Recently, I wrote a feature story for my reporting class that covered a specific protest whose goal was to spread environmental awareness.

While I had realized how important the topic was before, hearing the professor I interviewed go in-depth about the topic and explain why its importance really made me realize how little it is talked about.

As people, we tend to ignore a problem until it goes away. This is how we initially tried to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s no surprise that global warming and environmental awareness isn’t something that is widely talked about.

With that being said, it really should be. There is so much that we could be doing right now to try to counter the effects we have caused.

The most integral part of environmental awareness is acknowledging that there is a problem and finding ways to inform others.

Most people don’t realize how long scientists believe we have left to save even a portion of the environment we live in. According to the climate clock unveiled in New York City, as of September 2020, we only have seven years left to save the planet.

We have seven years to try to counter the damage that has been caused over hundreds of years. And yet, no one is really considering this an urgent issue.

Yes, there are political candidates that campaign with promises to try to do more for the environment, but they still aren’t addressing that this issue is not something small actions can change.

It has extended to the point where we must make immediate changes in order to reverse the soon-to-be irreversible effects.

Instead of acknowledging this, politicians just act like trivial policies—which usually don’t get passed most of the time— are going to help.

Additionally, the political candidates don’t acknowledge that they should be taking immediate action for the younger generation. It doesn’t affect them, so why should they worry?

Thus, the major issue of global warming and spreading environmental awareness is that it isn’t being taken seriously; politicians use it as a means to try to gain support while they are campaigning.

This is why younger activists, such as Greta Thunberg, are so important; they give the younger generation a voice and are passionate about the issues.

It’s not only the political leaders that are making it difficult to spread environmental awareness or to even acknowledge it.

Here at ISU, the recycling center has been closed due to COVID-19 and it still hasn’t been reopened.

Now recycling won’t be able to fully help with the damage that the Earth has taken, but it is a step in learning how to make it better. It allows us to see what our trash and everyday life does to the Earth we live on.

Unfortunately, most of the older generation would have to make many changes and start being more conscious of their carbon footprint. It’s not impossible but would only work if people were willing to put in the work.

That’s why environmental awareness should start with the younger generation. They are going to be the ones most affected by all of this, so they should understand how to help in order to prevent a future crisis from happening.

It doesn’t take much to acknowledge the climate crisis. The main part that holds people back is fear for the future. But if that is what is holding you back, shouldn’t that be even more reason to acknowledge it?

This fear is a valid one, which means it should be acknowledged and worked on. Otherwise, the problem will end up happening, and ignoring it wouldn’t have done anyone any good.

I’m not saying everyone has to be ready to change the world. It just isn’t possible for every single person to go out and become a spokesperson. But by acknowledging the issues and finding ways to help, people can make a change when it comes to environmental awareness.

Until that happens, the problem will continue escalating until we have no hope left in reversing or even countering the long-lasting effects.