Missed the Forward on Climate Rally?

Srijesa Khasnabish

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February 18, 2013

youth convergence Youth a part of the Energy Action Coalition convene to hear ACE Youth Reps speak!

Hello everyone! Since I couldn’t attend the life-changing Forward on Climate Rally in person, I figured I could at least blog about it because there are many others who could be missing the event as well. In the words of my ACE Educator Brian Stilwell: “For this rally to be successful, it’s going to take actions tomorrow taking place near and far, online and off, and every piece of that puzzle is equally important in making the large scale difference we need.”

Before I was in high school, I definitely knew about the greenhouse gas effect and how our planet’s changing climate is detrimental. However, I assumed I didn’t have to take any action because the adults around me – specifically those with power because of government positions – could care for the planet. The day I watched an ACE assembly about the severe impacts of climate change – more extreme weather conditions like Superstorm Sandy, sea level rise, species extinction – I realized it was an urgent issue I would have to take responsibility for and share with those around me. Climate change is a truly universal issue that affects everyone despite their occupation or location on the planet. And it’s connected to several other aspects of our lives, especially to the economy.

What ties us all together is the future, and how we must work together towards sustainability. If we invest in the Keystone XL Pipeline, we’re taking a step in the wrong direction. By supporting a project that will expel significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, pollute freshwater sources, destroy animal habitats, and even cause diseases like cancer and asthma in humans, we are allowing the effects of climate change to profess.

Youth Reps Fiona McRaith,  Ivonne Morales, and Sara Kuse marching on the streets of DC! Youth Reps Fiona McRaith, Ivonne Morales, and Sara Kuse marching on the streets of DC!

The billions of dollars supporting this project and the dirty fossil fuel industry could instead be used to fuel research and development of clean, green, alternative energy sources. At this point each decision we make is crucial to our climate and threatens the lives of the future generations. Youth compose more than half of the world’s population and we are the ones who will have to deal with the most extreme impacts of climate change.

The Earth was given to us humans in perfect condition. We’ve already permanently damaged it, so why tip the balance further? Why make it worse by investing in the Keystone XL pipeline? Haven’t we destructed and depleted enough? The planet is sending us clear signals and society is not taking them seriously. I believe we all need to wake up to the climate change crisis. The sooner we acknowledge it, the sooner we can cooperate to build a sustainable, “Green” future. I mean how would you feel if your great grandchildren didn’t know what trees were because by that time, we had cut so many down to build more power plants and pipelines that trees were are rare as mammoths? Maybe I am being a bit extreme, but after watching Obama’s “Fireside Hangout” I realized collective action on a massive scale is necessary. The president mentioned the reason Congress hasn’t warmed up to passing bills on climate change is because society hasn’t conveyed it as an urgenKXL postert issue. Pretty much the skeptics are holding us back.

In 2009 Obama pledged to reduce the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from the 2005 level by 2020. It is impossible for him to do so by approving KXL, and this would be an unwise action to the rest of the world. The United States has always been a leader for other countries to model, but if Obama does not act against the KXL Pipeline the future of our entire planet is at stake. Quite frankly, passing KXL would make the US a world misleader.

 

Srijesa Khasnabish

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