Humanity’s Fate in Our Hands

As fossil fuel use, deforestation, and overpopulation have masked planet earth, climate change, a change in global or regional climate patterns, has become a prominent environmental, economical, and even political issue. Soon, a new generation of aspiring journalists, engineers, teachers, and environmentalists will become responsible for the future of earth and humanity. Many have begun to question whether or not these millennials are educated enough to change the course of environmental degradation. Can the youth of today alter our current detrimental path? Will our generation be able to save the human race?

While some teens follow in infamous footsteps as climate change skeptics, most individuals use evidence from scientific research to conclude that climate change is indeed a current and significant issue. However, the majority of present-day students aren’t completely educated on the causes and implications of the affair. For instance, when asked about climate change, most students knew that it was a human caused problem and pertained greenhouse gasses, but none of the students addressed deforestation, which accounts for 15% of climate change, as an issue. Additionally, its effects, not only on future generations, but on current day plants and animals were vaguely mentioned. The change in temperature has already lead to great endangerment in birds whose migratory cycles have been altered and thus are vulnerable to predators, starvation, and eventually extinction. These small details are greatly overlooked and must be considered in our complete evaluation of climate change.

Although our lack of education about climate change should deeply concern us, our greatest worry should be that most young adults don’t feel compelled to alter the habits that got us into this complication. Over many decades, our energy use has become more efficient and our conservation efforts are steadily increasing, yet there is a lengthy road of sacrifice and hard work ahead that demands our attention and care. Only 60% of WTHS students interviewed stated that they were majorly concerned about climate change and were willing to change their ways to lessen its effects. Many scientists have so little hope in future problem solvers that they are now investigating our potential occupation of other planets to fully escape climate change.

In addition to source depletion and overpopulation, climate change will indirectly lead to human extinction. As a species, we must ban together to stop the accelerating pace of environmental degradation. Whether it be by taking a class, watching a YouTube video, or reading an article, you can make a difference by simply educating yourself on the many aspects of climate change. By funding environmental organizations that strive to alter our future, you can directly contribute to research and restoration efforts.

Lastly, by changing our habits: turning off lights whenever possible, taking shorter showers, or fighting for clean energy use, we could save thousands of species from extinction. Humans have never been a species to completely surrender to our circumstances. We can and we will create better lives for future generations. To do so, change must start today, and it must begin with you.