Over the last few days, my political science class has been examining the effects of technology as it pertains to the environment, more specifically climate change and light pollution. We have watched a number of documentaries and read various articles that attempt to break down the reasoning for our society largely ignoring this very pertinent issue. I will be the first to admit that I do not take steps toward reducing my carbon footprint, nor do I jump into crisis-mode when there's a five degree increase in the weather in December or a snow storm in October. But having looked into these issues further, it is of the utmost importance that we, as the newest generation, recognize these dangers and take action against them.
"In 2040 you will be able to sail over the North Pole." This quote comes from an interviewee in Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary Before the Flood. When I heard this, I was stunned. To think that the North Pole could be completely consumed by the Arctic Sea due to the emissions caused by humans is baffling, and quite frankly, disturbing. The ice caps are melting faster than we realize, and as more ice turns into its liquid form, the rapidity of this process is increasing. Now, the loss of the North Pole may not seem to be of vital importance to many, but allow me to use a different, perhaps more "real" example. In Florida, the government in Miami has commissioned a $400 million project to raise the city's roads, as they are in danger of being flooded, wiping out homes for hundreds of thousands.
To think that in 24 short years the 50 states of our nation could lose those states that are closest to the sea is another appalling fact that is difficult to conclude. That said, we must begin to recognize that these facts will be a reality in our lifetime if we do not actively work to stop them from happening. We must reduce our gas emissions, we must stop altering the natural course of the wilderness, and we must be more careful about how we use our resources, for they are being depleted by the minute. We must recognize these environmental issues as an immediate crisis that must be solved for the well being of our nations, and of our future. If not you, then who?