Why Everyone Should Take An Environmental Studies Class In College
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Politics and Activism

Why Everyone Should Take An Environmental Studies Class In College

We need to fight for ourselves and our planet.

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Why Everyone Should Take An Environmental Studies Class In College
Sam Cooper

While I neither grew up enjoying nature through hiking or camping nor learning about environmental injustices, I still understood the importance of the environment. It was not until I came to college and took a few environmental classes and actually enjoyed what nature had to offer that I realized how important the environment is and how everything affects it. Humans and the environment are interdependent. We need the environment for food and water, and, most importantly, clean air. The environment needs us to keep it safe and healthy.

What strikes me the most about this interdependent relationship is that through the environment, humans harm other humans. This is also known as environmental injustices. With fossil fuels and unclean water and multiple other environmental issues, people are being harmed by not having basic rights such as the right to safe drinking water and the right to clean air.

I sit in my SOC 363 class - Sociology of Environmental Injustices, hearing about all of the horrible injustices. Mountaintop removal struck a cord with me the most because it was occurring so close to home. Mountaintop removal is where the top of the mountain, along with its trees and natural resources, are removed so that mining can occur from the open hole. This creates more pollution, less jobs and excess spoil (more rock) that goes into natural water resources to dirty the water and make it undrinkable. People I know and love were losing jobs from mining, the air was becoming dirtier and many people were being diagnosed with cancer. It angered me so much that big companies have the money, and therefore the power, to make these injustices occur. This class opened my eyes to what was happening so close to where I grew up.

There are multiple organizations one can go through to take action. For my class, we chose the Appalachian Voices - an organization dedicated to raising awareness about mountaintop removal and to get voice out there who are not usually heard.

This is why everyone should take an environmental class. You should learn about what is going on in the environment and how it is affecting everyone on the planet - even you and your family. Knowledge is key to a brighter future and helping those around us to have that brighter future. We should know what is happening in the environment so that we may take action and fight for the true justice. Just remember to take action and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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