Opinion: Fighting for the planet

Movements to stop climate change surge throughout the world


Caitlin Davidson, Newspaper Editor in Chief

Climate change is one of the biggest environmental threats to our world, yet, is not taken nearly as seriously as it should be. In the past several decades, we have contributed enormously to carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, and there are no signs of stopping.

Scientists have reported that we are already seeing the effects of climate change on the environment today. Glaciers are melting, temperatures are increasing and plants and animals are facing new struggles daily to adjust to climate changes. While there is debate on how much time we have left, scientists and environmental specialists agree that danger is imminent.

Despite these shocking facts, many politicians do not believe in the severity that climate change will have on our world. While he now seems to be making a change and trying to enact policies to help the environment, President Donald Trump ran on a platform doubting global warming. 

Though politicians have seemingly turned a blind eye on the detrimental effects of climate change, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, decided to take a stance. Thunberg gained traction after posting an image of her sitting alone, holding a sign saying “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (School strike for climate change in Swedish), an image propelling the movement to stop climate change.

On Sept. 23, Thunberg gave a speech to United Nations leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit, where she pushed for action against climate change. She started off her speech very emotional and directed it heavily towards the leaders she was speaking to.

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones,” Thunberg said. “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”

Thunberg continued on with the statistics of climate change and the destruction it could cause. She pushed for political action, and recognized the need for young people to start taking a stand if change were to occur.

Despite Thunberg’s well intentioned sentiments, many people had some distasteful comments to make about Thunberg, such as Fox News anchor, Michael Knowles.

“None of that matters because the climate hysteria movement is not about science,” Knowles said. “If it were about science, it would be led by scientists rather than by politicians and a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left.”

Knowles was heavily criticized for his insensitive remarks towards Thunberg, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers, and his disregard for the quickly approaching danger of climate change. 

Thunberg’s actions and words have inspired people all over the world to take action and strike against climate change. People are beginning to recognize how severe this problem is and hopefully, we can encourage our world leaders to take a stance too.

In a world where we are divided on political ideals, climate change is an issue that should bring parties together. We cannot continue to debate the multiple ways of bettering humanity if there is no longer a planet to debate on.