The Social Mixtape: Lets take care of our home


Emily Thampoe

“I don’t think science knows actually.”

Those were alarming words to hear when the president was meeting with local and federal officials in California regarding the wildfires there just weeks ago. 

It is clear that these fires are very real, with their continuation into a new month. The devastation that they have caused, what with homes being burned down and lives being lost, is indeed real. 

Even in a global health crisis, it is abundantly clear that environmental issues, including climate change, are areas of concern. 

After all, as people are having to continue to adapt to a more restricted lifestyle, our lands are being tarnished and are suffering. 

During quarantine, the world commemorated the 50th Earth Day. What would have been a grand celebration that would have likely taken place in person became a socially-distanced one. Instead of having activities like the Great Global Clean Up and Citizen Science in person, many of the festivities planned around the theme of “climate action” were moved online. 

Needless to say, this sort of celebration is not what any of us would have envisioned when we first learned about Earth Day in grade school. 

But could we have predicted any of this?

As we get closer to the election, with less than 30 days to go, many people are thinking about what the outcome could mean for our planet.

The two candidates have drastically different views on the environment, so it will be interesting to see how this will all play out. 

On the one hand, we could formally re-enter the Paris Agreement, with one of the candidates being a longtime supporter of environmental-based initiatives. And on the other hand, our government could take more steps backward when it comes to environmental issues.

Since the current administration took office in January 2017, it has created 74 rollbacks in the area of environmental protections. 

The progress that had been made in this area during the previous president’s terms has been undone. 

And this is unfortunate, especially as you think about how one of the states is on fire during a pandemic of already epic proportions. 

It is evident that fossil fuels and the oil industry over prioritized over keeping our air and water clean.

“All the good girls go to hell” by Billie Eilish directly explores the role that climate change, particularly global warming, plays in our world. Through the lyrics, we hear Eilish sing of sea levels rising and wildfires in California, the latter being alarmingly topical. 

She repeatedly sings, “Hills burn in California/ My turn to ignore ya/ Don’t say I didn’t warn ya,” because she does want to warn listeners. 

But we also see these warnings and call to actions through the music video, which depicts Eilish falling to Earth as an angel, setting those wings on fire and eventually getting engulfed into the flames at the end of the video.

While this depiction may seem on brand with Eilish’s dark, horror-esque music video aesthetic, it is clear to see what she is trying to get across.

When she released the music video in September 2019, Eilish turned her listeners’ attention to the then-impending global climate strikes and the 2019 U.N. Climate Summit. 

With the release of both the song and music video, Eilish’s message and intent are apparent — climate change is existent and there is much work to be done to keep our planet healthy and safe.

As those of us who are able to mail in our ballots and prepare to vote in-person this November, we need to think about what we stand for.

We need to look at the state of the world and think about how it may improve with the help of newly elected government officials. 

Because contrary to what has been said regarding the validity of science, it actually does know. 

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  1. I for one do not believe we should be sacrificing the US economy and the livelihoods of families on the alter of “Social Justice” driven environmental policy. If you and the rest of your cohorts were true to the environmental movement and your desire to reduce carbon you’d embrace natural gas and nuclear energy generation. These have been proven time and again to be the best alternatives to current production and to economically uncompetitive solar and wind. Both would not survive market competition without government subsidies and both of which also carry environmental pollution and wildlife impact issues.

  2. “I don’t think science knows actually.”

    Serotiny is an ecological adaptation exhibited by some seed plants, in which seed release occurs in response to an environmental trigger, rather than spontaneously at seed maturation. The most common and best studied trigger is fire, and the term serotiny is often used to refer to this specific case. Obviously fire occurs naturally without human intervention and plants have evolved to deal with it.

    The question is how does human activity affect the ecosystem. Because human activity can effect changes in a shorter time span and in constantly changing ways, the science may be unclear. What is clear is the damage to human creations.

    As Covid-19 may show, even if a proven solution to a problem is found, humans may be incapable of carrying it out effectively. “Cartoonist Walt Kelly, modified Commodore Perry’s quote to, “We have met the enemy and he is us,” in a cartoon he created in 1970 celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970. The message being that man – from his treatment of the earth – is the planet’s enemy.”

    It all boils down to how much each individual is willing to pay for environmental improvements in dollars or hours of effort versus any other needs or desires.

    “Spending in the 2020 election is expected to reach $10.8 billion (avg 32.60+/- from each man, woman and child in the US), a record-shattering amount, according to an independent group that tracks money in politics, about 54% by Democrats.” “To compare, the 2016 campaign cost $7 billion, adjusted for inflation. ” Politicians serious about current national problems might want to consider using donations to make our world a better place rather than spending it on stupid or demeaning ads.

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