Earth. It’s where every human that has ever existed has lived. Though it is a tiny dot on the map of the universe, it’s our only home. As such, we should do our best to take care of it.
The world is in trouble. The Fossil fuels we use in our daily lives are effectively putting a choke hold on the planet.
This past fall, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned of the imminent danger: "If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us."
Obviously, the world cannot stop using fossil fuels immediately, as too much of our society depends on it. From gasoline, to plastics. Everything is somehow tied to fossil fuels. So, there needs to be a slow transition. Our leaders in public offices around the country need to start putting climate change at the forefront of their issues.
Some deny that climate change is even happening. For example, in 2015, a Republican senator from Oklahoma brought a snowball to the senate floor to prove global warming didn’t exist. One year later, scientists recorded the hottest year on record.
There is some hope though. On the national level, Democratic Representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is drumming up support for the Green New Deal. This deal aims to set in motion a plan to help cut fossil fuel emissions, create new sources of green energy, and, create jobs and a sustainable economy along the way.
All of that is happening on a national level. What about here at Iowa State?
Every April, the Iowa State Office of Sustainability holds a month long event called Earth Month, hosting activities nearly every day that incorporate some or all of the three facets of sustainability: environmental, economic and social.
This year’s Earth Month is special though, as the Office of Sustainability will be celebrating 10 years of the Live Green! initiative. This program aims to make Iowa State a more sustainable place, by having green initiatives for a multitude of different departments on campus.
The Earth is a beautiful place. Let’s keep it that way. Do your part to push for new legislation that makes your community more sustainable, all the while doing the little things that make your life more sustainable. Like bringing a reusable bag to Hy-Vee, remembering to turn off lights when you aren’t using them, taking public transportation, using a reusable water bottle and so much more. For more sustainability ideas, visit the Office of Sustainability’s website at: https://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/.