Like Emily said in her blog, Spring in November, climate change is happening and global warming is real. While I can’t complain about the warm weather either, (70 in November, what is this, Cali?) it’s come to my attention that something needs to change and the change needs to be universal. While attending a discussion panel that NextGen hosted on Clean Energy and American Leadership: Risks and Opportunities, I was immensely surprised by the number of attendees — especially the number of students — that attended the event. I felt proud to be a member of the UNH community when learning that this kind of event was being hosted at our school.
While I would like to pride myself in the fact that UNH is one of the top sustainable schools in the U.S., it is also problematic that more actions in universities and colleges on sustainability efforts aren’t being made. How is this topic something that people are missing? Why is it such a bore to people and a challenge for most? These are all questions that need to be solved in order to spreading the message about climate change.
The NetGen panel stated the importance of effective messaging and reaching not just our nation, but entire world. This is not just our problem, it is everyone’s problem. The panel agreed that if the government and our leaders implemented more enforceable laws and powered stronger movements, (like eliminating fossil fuels completely from energy resources), people would save money and the earth we live in would be partially salvaged. It is harder for humans to see the effects of our daily routines on the earth because in comparison in size of how small we are compared to how large the world is. Below are two video clips that can help our understanding of this dilemma. The first is a recap of NextGen’s message of clean living. The second video is a clip from the new award winning documentary, Chasing Ice. The clip depicts one of the greatest glacial calving events to ever be caught and recorded on camera. The glacier in Greenland melted in a matter of 75 minutes, and was as if the lower tip of Manhattan (height multiplied by 3) would have melted away. Sea levels will continue to rise, and the air will get warmer each year if we continue to do nothing.
The NextGen panel discussed that as humans, we should want to live in a place where our future children and future generations can live and grow equally, in good health and a proper climate. By implementing green solutions (like installing more wind turbines and solar panels) and taking away toxic resources, not only will we be living a better life and weakening the effects of global warming, but we will be helping our national GDP. This additionally will have an effect on employment rates globally, by creating jobs and opportunities to those who don’t have them. There is a solution to the problem, we just have to collectively do it!