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Join Global Climate Strike Sept. 20

I am noticing a startling trend among people now a days. This trend is apathy towards climate change. When I talk with individuals about this issue, they often express concern but do not go beyond this action. Simply, people care about climate change, but not enough to help stop it.

And I understand where this response comes from; it comes from exhaustion. In the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, we are berated with an endless stream of crises that beg for our attention. Eventually, to preserve our mental capacities, our brains must tune these traumas out. We simply could not function every day if we were always on high alert. This means of mental survival, however, is not an excuse to do nothing. We just need to focus our efforts, and I implore you to focus on helping to stop climate change.

Why should you focus on climate change? Perhaps the most profound of many possible answers is that there are children being born every day who will have to live on our planet, and they deserve a healthy one. The warming of our planet is leading to rising sea levels, loss of biodiversity, decreased air quality and potentially the proliferation of vector-borne diseases. This directly threatens the livability of Earth. Historical climate, greenhouse gas emission and fossil fuel usage data show a skyrocketing of atmospheric carbon and the average global temperature since the advent of the Industrial Revolution (1). This makes it clear that if we are to secure a future for our children, we must end the age of fossil fuels and the unstainable management of our environment.

As of August 2019, there are 409.95 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere (2). This number continues to climb while industrial entities and policy makers remain inactive. By not doing anything to stop this flood of carbon dioxide produced by industrial activity, we are choosing to smother the future of our species and others. The International Panel on Climate Change has predicted that we have till the year 2030 to reduce our carbon emissions to stop the uncontrolled warming of our planet (3). The time has come now for humanity to fight for the only home it knows.

If this picture seems dismal, I have good news for you: We can do something to stop the greatest threat to planet Earth. We can demand change right now. Thankfully, youth across the world are stepping up and demanding this change despite the dormancy of others. You have the opportunity to join them in this fight on Sept. 20 during the Global Climate Strike. There will be a demonstration in solidarity with this day of action on the 20th from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Riverside Park in Saranac Lake. The rain location is in the basement of Harrietstown Town Hall.

During this event, local students from Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Lake Placid and Keene high schools as well as local homeschoolers and Paul Smith’s and North Country Community College students will be gathering to bring awareness to climate change and ask local, state, federal and international policy makers to create climate-smart legislation. They are supported by the village of Saranac Lake, 350.org, local service organizations, businesses and concerned citizens. The public is encouraged to attend to support our youth and to learn about the science of climate change.

It is our responsibility as citizens of Earth to stop its destruction. You may be tired of bad news, but you are being given a rare chance on Sept. 20 to help put an end to it. Step out of the darkness of weariness and into the light of climate justice; join the Global Climate Strike.

Madeline Clark lives in Saranac Lake.

Footnotes:

1. Bernstein, L., et al. “IPCC, 2007: climate change 2007: synthesis report.” (2008).

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar4/syr/

2. Team, ESRL Web. “ESRL Global Monitoring Division — Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.” ESRL Co2 Trends RSS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sept. 5, 2019, “https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/”>https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ 3. Allen, M.R., O.P. Dube, W. Solecki, F. Aragon-Durand, W. Cramer, S. Humphreys, M. Kainuma, J. Kala, N. Mahowald,Y. Mulugetta, R. Perez, M.Wairiu, and K. Zickfeld, “2018: Framing and Context,” in “Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty” [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, H.-O. Pörtner, D. Roberts, J. Skea, P.R. Shukla, A. Pirani, W. Moufouma-Okia, C. Péan, R. Pidcock, S. Connors, J.B.R. Matthews, Y. Chen, X. Zhou, M.I. Gomis, E. Lonnoy, T. Maycock, M. Tignor, and T. Waterfield (eds.)]. In Press. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/chapter-1/