Imagine kicking a pole over and over again and then breaking your foot. You simply could have quit kicking the pole, so you wouldn't get a broken foot.
Often, as humans, we find ourselves struggling in circumstances that we created. I may go as far as asserting that everything, every obstacle, every predicament, every dilemma the human society has ever encountered, was generated by our conceptions, conclusions, and concepts. Such is the case with climate change.
Every day I gaze out the window and observe us creating our dilemmas. Garbage litters the side of the highways. Cars pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When I questioned my parents how they thought about this, they shrugged and openly told me that "it's always been like this. We don't have the power to change that."
We, as a civilization, are failing miserably at what I regard as the principal obligations as an intelligent species: to preserve our habitat. We must take it upon our own hands to improve what we feel passionate about.
Paris, France. Nigh on 4 years ago, a revolutionary agreement was proposed in the City of Light that would avert the world from the impending doom of climate change. Leaders from around the world convened in the city known for its historical significance to address a catastrophic future and how to shift humankind on a track towards sustainability. By the subsequent year, almost all 196 countries had signed the Accord de Paris or Paris Accords, vowing to peak the global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This Accord gave us hope when the future was bleak.
San Diego, CA, USA. The mighty Pacific ocean crashes onto weathered cliffs, cliffs that have witnessed the oceans rise and fall that are now viewing our descent into our graves. I cannot deny the incomprehensible majesty of La Jolla, the Jewel, the beauty of America's Finest City. But on this Jewel lies the great blemish of Humans; her oceans are littered with garbage. Her immense kelp forests, the products of a millennium of upwellings, are decimated by our actions. She has been ripped and torn from head to toe, from her summit to her ocean by our defamation, our vilification, and our ignorance.
In the last five years alone, 93% of Southern California's kelp forests have disappeared, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with the blossoming ecosystems they forged and created. The tremendous, towering kelp forests that were humanized in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, are disappearing, taking with them immense populations of Sea Otters and Stellar's Sea Lions. One might assume that the decline of wildlife is only a nonessential problem. However, economic concerns have already risen. The CDFW has declared that the Abalone fisheries in California have been shuttered until at least 2021, impacting thousands of fishermen and families in California.
Bridgewater, New Jersey, USA. In my sequestered corner of the globe, the happenings of the world at large seem remote and distant. The ripples from principal cities and political powerhouses sporadically reach us. Yet from Paris, France, and Washington D.C, USA, huge waves are crashing over us in cycles of the seasons. Every winter, the waves come and obliterate the winter. That is, they eliminate snow. This year, our snowfall hasn't even reached a single foot yet. As I write, the temperature outside is 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The daffodils are already rising out of the mulch when February isn't even halfway over. The soil is exhausted of the nutrients snowfall gives, leaving acres of lawns lifeless and brown, only for us to force-feed fertilizer down their throats for them to arise again.
The Paris Accords gave faith to the millions of people residing in the Northeast hope at a true winter with regular snowfalls ending in February. This normal winter escapes many people (including me) who don't remember any normal winter. Winters are irregular, with snowfall concentrated in November and March, and with temperatures ranging from 0 degrees Fahrenheit at the coldest to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at the hottest.
Yet with the election of our president, Donald Trump, we have lost that hope. I do not endorse or condemn our president, yet his judgment is a fateful one. The U.S is the second-highest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind China. However, the U.S produces about half the quantity of greenhouse gases that China does, but China has over 4.5 times the population of the U.S.
I cannot help but feel pessimistic about the outcome of our civilization. Yet there is but a flicker of hope in a sea of obscurity. Hundreds of institutions around the world, and including 195 other countries continue to abide by the rules of the Paris Accords, including China, which is on a fast track to limiting carbon emissions.
All over the U.S protests and rallies force climate change to appear before the high councils of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and before the most influential person in the world, the President of the United States. From sea to shining sea, from the skyscrapers of our large cities to the extensive farmlands and plains, from people of all ages, cultures, genders, and socio-economic classes comes forth a fist of justice and change, and fist protruding above the closed minds of many of our leaders.
We may be a minority, a minority laboring to improve what the majority does not want to be improved, but collectively, unitedly, as history frequently demonstrates, it matters not of numbers, but the effort, dedication, and pertinacity we have. Our movement, the movement for humanity, can be described by a legendary quote that many people know but few remember who gifted the world with it. Margaret Mead, a renowned anthropologist, greatly influenced the study of anthropology and her legacy lasts today. In her wise words, Mead states that"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Indeed, Margaret, indeed.