Editorial: Combating climate change starts with us


In light of passing through Halloween, here’s a few spooky (distressing) facts – some that you might’ve already known or maybe some that you need to hear:

More carbon dioxide is currently in the atmosphere than any time recorded in human history. 

The last seven years have been the warmest temperatures on record.

Sea levels are currently rising faster than ever before, from melting glaciers and ice sheets.

Two-thirds of weather disasters in the past two decades were connected to human activity.

If you’re not scared yet, think twice. One of the most prominent global emergencies we’re encountering is climate change. The environment that sustains our lives is reaching its capacity – maximum overload. 

This is impending doom. Climate change should be treated as an absolute, chaotic emergency. 

Yet, in the midst of this threat to humanity, many people continue to treat it with ignorance. 

Some think climate change is inevitable, with no way to halt the extreme measures the environment is reaching. Some are old enough to figure that it won’t affect them in their lifetimes. Some frankly don’t believe the scientific facts– whether they feel the changes or not.

The simple response of “not caring” about climate change is unfortunate, but far too common. Ignorance isn’t key when it comes to the nearing end of humanity. 

How many more oddly warm winter days or devastating climate disasters will it take for everyone to realize the importance of this issue?

Even at this point, how much effort is enough to prevent these issues, especially when tons of people don’t care? Without a hefty push from the majority of humanity, will there be enough effort?

This past week, the United Nations Climate Change Conference took place in Glasgow, Scotland, where President Joe Biden entered with ambiguity surrounding environmental policies.

Biden has attempted to push a $555 billion bill to fight climate change – the largest amount in U.S. history put toward environmental purposes. Yet, Congress has wrestled with it, as many federal politicians oppose it.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin led this opposition to Biden’s climate bill – whose vote is essential to its passage. Manchin’s opposition stems from his support for the oil, gas and coal industries. 

If our federal government will not even make the needed policies to save the environment, how will we even begin to convince the rest of the nation that this is an issue in the first place?

We’ve elected federal politicians who aren’t viewing climate change as the emergency that it is. Governmental policies could be crucial to initiating a halt to environmental threats.

Meanwhile, narrowing down to the local level, the Bethlehem city government has unveiled an immense climate action plan. The plan is filled with specific goals to fight climate change, such as achieving citywide renewable energy by 2030 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. 

For the Bethlehem municipal elections, both mayoral election candidates have outlined certain environmental goals to attain and address regarding the environment.

If not the federal government, at least our local government is acknowledging the emergency and actively fighting it. Perhaps the policies from the local level could persuade the federal level – the biggest thing to budge.

With all of the policies and goals that the government is setting in place (or not), in the end, it starts with us. 

It’s time to start realizing that climate change is a pressing issue. It starts with us to make small changes in our daily habits in order to fight this emergency ourselves. In some way, it’s in our own hands.

Yet, it also requires us to call on our governments. The immense effort we need to stop this crisis stems from the policies that the government enacts. Our government won’t budge without a push from the people. 

That “push” won’t happen without nearly everyone acknowledging climate change as impending doom. It starts with spreading the word – educating ourselves and everyone around us. We need to make everyone actually care. 

Initiating the conversation around climate change and its severity is the only way to kickstart the end of it.

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1 Comment

  1. We are about to enter another 172 year climate cycle of cooling. So all will be reversed shortly without everyone giving up fossil fuels that created the greatest economic prosperity ever by providing heat,AC, & power to improve the lives of people worldwide.

    Trying to make the fossil fuel industry out to be bad guys is like saying Asa Packer should have never started Lehigh. Bizarre radical thinking that the world should eliminate fossil fuels is bizarre & extremely naive.

    Now Biden is begging OPEC & Russia to boost oil production at the same time he is squashing pipelines & drilling in the US. Are you kidding me?

    Let’s start Lehigh Engineering to put its resources in pursuing solar geo-engineering pellets vs shutting down the greatest industry for human prosperity known to man!!

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