COLUMN: There is still time to save the Earth


Kyara Morales-Rodriguez, Columnist

Nowadays it seems like I can’t check the news without learning yet another way climate change is ravaging our globe. 

The latest climate change news is that a ferocious and life threatening heatwave is moving across Europe, with temperatures even reaching above 104 degrees Fahrenheit in France and Britain. The ill-equipped continent has seen wildfires and lost lives due to this heatwave. 

Seeing news like this, it often feels like the world is ending, and it is very easy to feel discouraged, to shrug our shoulders and say, “Why do anything to stop it if we are all doomed anyway?”

Trust me, I have been there too. As a woman in my 20s living through all this, it is hard to imagine a future worth living in. Everything is so exhausting and overwhelming.

But we cannot let this eco-anxiety consume us. That kind of mentality will only make it harder to change things for the better.

That idea, climate doom, is the idea that we are past the point of being able to do anything about climate change and that mankind will likely go extinct. It is an idea that is rapidly spreading and is so incredibly harmful. Most importantly, it is false. 

We still have time to slow down the effects of climate change, and if we give up now, that is sending a dangerous message to the corporations that are directly responsible for climate change. 

If we do not actively fight to protect our planet, we are telling those corporations that they can continue doing harmful effects to our environment and nothing will ever change. That is what they want. They want us to give up. 

I know what you are thinking: “Why should I be responsible for fixing the planet when I don’t do as much damage as millionaires flying jet planes or corporations releasing harmful chemicals into the air and water?” 

And I agree. I think they need to be held responsible for the insane amount of damage they have done, and continue to do, to our environment. 

But let’s be realistic here. It will be a long and arduous journey to get them to do anything regarding climate change, so we need to start small. We all need to be doing our part in taking care of our earth in any way we can. 

We need to start in our homes, our day-to-day lives, and our communities. 

Helping the environment can look however you want it to look. It can look like eating less meat, driving less, not buying fast fashion, joining local environmental groups, voting during all elections (local, state, and federal), etc, etc, etc. 

Do not feel discouraged if you cannot do it all, because even the smallest effort counts as long as you stick to it. It sure is better than doing nothing, and every small change we make will help on a larger scale because we will be doing it together

This is our only planet, our only home. If we don’t take care of it now, we are the ones who will face the disastrous consequences of our own actions. We need clean air. We need clean water. We cannot survive without a clean and healthy earth. 

It is our responsibility to take care of the planet, not just for ourselves, but for the generations after us. 

Maybe if we do the hard work now, soon we can check the news and see nothing but great news about how we are saving the environment.

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez is a senior English major. She can be reached at 217-581-2812 or at [email protected].