Climate Change

End the Hot Girl Summer

“The relationship we have with everything that Earth offers, it’s about reciprocity. That’s the only way we are going to learn how to shift our culture from an extraction culture to a balanced and harmonious culture with the land.” Xiye Bastida, indigenous activist from San Pedro Tultepec, Mexico

Millions stood out in the heat, screaming at world leaders, trying to make them understand the dire consequences of their inaction. After centuries of industrial revolution, without a thought for how human innovation might affect our planet, time’s up. We need to reverse the damage.
The US is uber powerful, yet the country is doing nothing to counter the effects of climate change or even limit its contribution. Individually, we can do small things, but at some point, boycotting straws is not enough. Addressing climate change requires concrete legislative changes and scientific advancement. The US is far behind other countries. The government is still just making a half-assed effort to reduce carbon emissions, convert to minuscule amounts of renewable energy, and regulate cars with poor gas mileage. That’s old news in Denmark. They’re designing methods to pull carbon out of the air, while the US hasn’t even stopped putting it in.
So, what’s next?
We need to create laws that will fund and support massive energy reform—renewable energy is so easy guys! We need to make solar panels and wind energy affordable and accessible. We need to set standards for minimum gas milage in cars and trucks. We need to regulate monstrosities like Chevron, and stop relying on oil money. We need to ban fracking. We need to put faith and funding into scientists who can come up with strategies not only to reduce our carbon footprint, but to repair the atmosphere. We need a #GREENNEWDEAL ASAP. Social change can only go so far without legislative change. Let’s pressure the people in power—make them fear for their careers.
We need to stop enabling capitalism and imperialism. Capitalism relies on the exploitation of natural resources—like oil, gases, and minerals. The US alone consumes over 20 million barrels of petroleum a day. A DAY.
Our government should be leading the charge, yet it’s drowning in a pool of cash and carbon dioxide. Until the US (and the world) stops kissing big business on the toes, climate change will keep progressing. Climate change is a commodity. The people who are denying it and refusing to combat it are generally the same ones who are profiting from it. It’s time to divest from the fossil fuel industry and invest in renewable energy and creation of green jobs. Our survival literally depends on it.
We need to support young leaders, who are disrupting society, and making those in power leap out of their comfort zones. And not just Greta Thunberg—we need her voice, but she is what the media wants us to see. If we’re going to follow her lead, we need to also follow youth leaders of color. We need to support the indigenous youth, like Helena Gualinga, who is fighting drilling in the Amazon rainforest and Autumn Peltier, the “water warrior” and Ashinabek Nation’s chief water commissioner (she’s nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize for her environmentalism). We need to support environmental justice activists of color like Nyiesha Mallet, who is a voice for communities of color who are disproportionately affected by climate change, Irsa Hirsi, creator of the U.S Youth Climate Strike (she’s also Ilhan Omar’s daughter), and Mari Copeny, the 12-year-old named “Little Miss Flint” for her advocacy for clean water in Flint, MI. This is only a few of them. There are dozens of young leaders of color, all over the world, who are fighting for their communities and the Earth.
Even if we stop actively contributing to climate change, it won’t reverse itself. This is not like a human war. There are no watered-down promises and peace treaties. This is a war on Earth, and nature always wins. We should be fighting on nature’s side, because believe it or not, having a functional planet will benefit us too. A war against nature is a war against ourselves. Act now. End the hot girl summer, or whatever we’re calling it.