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Gabriel Fennemore

Posted on June 10, 2022 at 2:39 pm

Gabriel Fennemore

In combatting climate change, youth face two unique social challenges: the apathy of our own generation and the stubbornness of those older. The latter I hear spoken of often in debates, but it is the former that must be addressed first. Then, I believe, change can really begin to take place. 

We were born into an economic recession with wars overseas on a melting planet led by corrupt leaders. The problems are overwhelming. We feel helpless. And so it is easier to ignore our issues or pretend they don’t exist at all than to be reminded of their urgency. But they are urgent. And we must be the ones that confront them. 

The helplessness we have learned does not have to hold us back from action. We may still feel that helplessness as individuals, but, in groups, we are strong. This message can and should be spread across social media. But that is not enough. We cannot let people scroll the issue away. We have to have real conversations. With friends, with family, and with ourselves. We will learn to raise our voices first by raising an army. Only then might we attack. Our apathy forgotten.

Demanding accountability from our decision makers is incredibly important, and we must take bold action to do so. Petitioning those stubborn legislators that still refuse to put the good of humanity above the profits of oil companies. Peacefully protesting the inaction of our leaders in the streets, holding high picket signs for them to read. We must cry out. It is the lawmaker’s duty to speak on behalf of the people and for the benefit of the people, and if our voices are loud enough, their echo will be heard in the legislation hall. 

Green and renewable energy sources, improved recycling, stricter restrictions placed on companies degrading the environment, responsible agricultural practices, are our demands. But they are all ultimately put into place by law. Sometimes, the justice of law is slow. And the bill- signing pen is held already by slow hands. But I maintain faith that we can affect change in the present if only concentrated efforts to do so are made. 

And there are still actions that can be taken up by individuals. Private decisions to waste less water, waste less gas, use less plastic, eat less meat, produce less garbage, use more recyclable materials, grow your own vegetables, make homes for native pollinators and other species in your yard, will all ultimately benefit the environment. And if many individuals make these decisions, that benefit will be even greater. Youth, especially, should attempt to live greener, so that they might make healthy, lifelong habits. 

Now is a time to make change. And if we are able to overcome our apathy and take up the fight in earnest, our generation has the potential to lead in making it.


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