A question commonly asked to environmental activist Margaret Atwood is, “If we change our ways, can we change the outcome?”
Atwood, an accomplished author, spoke to a packed room in the Memorial Union on Tuesday evening, emphasizing what she feels is society's role to combat environmental change effects.
“If we had taken things seriously, we might not be where we are,” Atwood said.
Atwood began her lecture with the topic of dystopian writing, emphasizing apocalyptic scenarios created by climate change.
Atwood also discussed “fiction and the everything change.”
By this, Atwood was referencing how society could combat the disastrous effects of climate change by learning how to eat cleaner and by making better life choices that are safer for the earth.
“No part of our lives will be unaffected,” Atwood said.
In "Oryx and Crake," Atwood’s book, the character Snowman studies in the arts, which are not equally important as the sciences in that society.
There are similarities to that society and the one present in America today, where the arts and humanities are not as sought after and are harder to find jobs in, Atwood said.
The arts and humanities were present at the beginning of the human culture when musical instruments were first carved and depictions of animals were drawn on rocks.
Atwood pointed out that music forms bonding, especially when it’s in the form of hymns, marching bands and national anthems.
Atwood also discussed the importance of teaching humanities to younger generations.
“You can take the humanities out of the curriculum, but you can’t take the human out of humanities,” Atwood said.
When Atwood was writing her dystopian book, many technologies were just thoughts and ideas. Now, there are many tools that are combating what struggles the human race could go through if environmental issues continue.