All We Have Is Now

All We Have Is Now

Alexis Earles, Contributor

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -The Lorax

Friendly Reminder:

This is the only home we have and we spend billions of dollars looking for life on other planets, but spend trillions of dollars killing the life on this one. Once you are awake, it’s hard to go back to being “sheep.” People today are so wrapped up in themselves, like a cinnamon roll, but I don’t see a middle. All we care about is ourselves, our things, our money. Did you ever stop to ask yourself what we’ve done to the world? We’ve become so divided over the course of history, self-absorbed and blind to our home being taken right from under our feet. Each one of us has what it takes to make this a peaceful world. If we can’t come together as one, then we will go extinct together.

Unlike the intensity of any given hurricane or wildfire, there’s no debating the nuances of climate change’s effect on the thermometer. Hotter is hotter. 10 people died of heat related causes in America’s hottest big city, Phoenix. Another 9 people died the following week. “If 115 is the new norm,” Swain said, “What’s the hottest day like?” By the first day of fall, Arizona’s notorious heat had contributed to more than 60 deaths in Maricopa County and was suspected in 119 more since the start of 2017. “There’s going to be more extreme heat waves – and there already are extreme heat waves,” said Daniel Swain, a University of California, Los Angeles, climate scientist. Texas officials said Hurricane Harvey, which swamped the state in August and September, killed about 80 people. Wildfires in Northern California killed more than 40 people by mid-October. Both events led national headlines for weeks.

Yet the deadly heat doesn’t grip the country’s attention, and its victims often die anonymously.

FUN FACT: Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Mankind is about 140,000 years old. Putting that into perspective: If you condense Earth’s lifespan into 24 hours, that’s one full day, then we have been on this planet for 3 seconds. Monday, October 23rd, 2017, a government report released an alarm over the increasing natural disasters. The US government has spent more than $350 billion dollars over the decade in response to extreme weather. The US has seen billions of dollars in damage from hurricanes and wildfires this year, which experts say climate change exacerbated. Congress is due this week to consider another multi-billion-dollar aid package to help Puerto Rico after it was hit by back-to-back hurricanes. Obama and his administration took several steps to combat climate change over the century. Among them was the Environmental Protection Agency with a clean power plan, which sought to lower carbon emissions on a state-by-state basis. There was also the Paris climate agreement, which almost every country agreed on to voluntary place limits on future carbon emissions.

The Trump administration has, in many respects, changed course, with Trump announcing in June his intention for the US to exit the Paris agreement and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announcing the end to the clean power plan this month.

We are family. Every species is connected genetically, from the sunflower to the sunfish. This is what we must recognize before it’s too late, because the real crisis isn’t global warming, environmental destruction, or animal agriculture. It is us. People are too caught up doing their own things, and we began listening to people who continue to make excuses to change absolutely nothing. It’s true when people say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. But it isn’t. We can choose not to accept this future, because we still have our foot in the door. This generation is the root, the foundation – it is up to us to care for this planet. This is our only home; we must globally warm our hearts and change the climate of our souls and realize that we are not separated from nature. We are a part of nature. To betray nature is to betray us. To save nature is to save us. Because whether you’re fighting for racism, poverty, gay rights, or any type of equality, it won’t matter in the least, because if we don’t all work together to save the environment, we will all be equally extinct.