Students need to take part in dialogue about climate change

Naomi Wick, Opinions Columnist

With the summer rolling quickly past and heading into the fall semester, Texas State students will be relishing their hometowns and spending time with family and friends for only a few more weeks before moving back to San Marcos. While this time is understandably needed for rest and serves as a much-deserved break from academics and busy summer festivities, it’s a crucial period for college students to have conversations with their families on tough subjects.

To put it plainly, grandparents will die. Parents will one day die. The older generations did not benefit from the plethora of easily available and accessible knowledge during their formative years that current Bobcats have now. The number of research projects completed and scientific papers published in the past decade is high, and both Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are largely misinformed on the magnitude of climate change.

The industrial revolution sparked a massive, unprecedented increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. This change is causing warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, sea-level rise and extreme atmospheric events the Earth is unable to cope with naturally.

Though these are well documented scientific facts and occurrences, parents and older family members of students refuse to acknowledge the reality of climate change. Without first accepting this crisis and taking responsibility for the effect people have on the environment, reversing these catastrophic damages is impossible. This is where students come in.

Bobcats need to take the skills college provides and implore their families to care about the devastating aftermath of climate change. Leading by example is one thing, but sitting someone down and informing them how their actions and choices are doing irreparable damage to the planet they will one day leave to younger generations is the proverbial missing link. It will be uncomfortable, yes, but doing the right thing is not always comfortable.

In an age of complacency and instant gratification, students must turn away from a non-confrontational holiday season and really, truly argue for the cause. Argue for the future, their children’s future, for the sake of bettering their loved ones. College students need to force their families to care and understand that everyone’s actions have effects. Older generations need to adjust their actions for the sake of future inhabitants of the earth.

Young people need to have hard conversations with their families on polarizing issues they feel strongly about. The summer season is the best time for dialogue and important conversations, the kinds that can change hearts and minds that must be done in person. In the name of bettering themselves and the world, students cannot choose indifference in the name of peace when the literal planet is at stake and we are facing life and death scenarios.

Naomi Wick is a journalism senior

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