Sometimes ignorance is an excuse. The science confirming climate change is now irrefutable to everyone but ignorant people and greedy corporate polluters. The current debate is no longer even about science. It is now a debate between fact and fiction, taking care of God’s planet and self-centered greed, political honesty and political dishonesty.
We know far too little about the likely impacts of climate change on the biosphere and its components. “Global change biology” has become an active field, but still lags behind physical climate science. This is awkward for those who are charged with providing informed advice on mitigation and adaptation, because the relationship between global warming and its consequences for human activities and concerns depends on its impacts – with biological processes looming large.
Increasingly, the media is becoming an important source of scientific information. Recent studies indicate that this is especially true for climate change. One such study analyzes reporters’ understanding of climate change by identifying sources of reporter knowledge about climate change, measuring reporters’ acquired knowledge against the scientific consensus, and analyzing differences in reporter knowledge based on several factors that may influence climate change reporting. Results show that reporters who primarily use scientists as sources and who work the environmental beat full-time have the most accurate climate change knowledge.
Climate change is not something to be taken lightly. We’re way past the point of recycling and hoping for the best. We’re still presenting a new attitude on the global stage that isn’t good for our planet by any means. The consequences of this ignorance and negligence will fall onto the shoulders of today’s young people who will become the next adults to tackle the climate crisis- and what that means is that it’s time for young people to end the complacency that we see when so many people address climate change.
We’re living through a crisis that we can’t all see from the perspectives that would truly move us to care- from the islands sinking under the ocean to the icebergs melting more and more each day. We’re wrapped up in our own lives, and if you’re reading this you’re likely somewhere safe with ample electricity and maybe the absence of any fear that your home might sink. Others aren’t so lucky. Our parents have probably wanted us to grow up without being worried about the future and the detrimental impacts global warming will have. But fear is not the answer anymore and we must act.
It’s time for young people to step up- we need to enhance our perspective and worldviews, speak up, emerge from our own personal bubbles- where the climate crisis didn’t seem so urgent- and bring our ideas, energy, and abilities up to the plate to conquer the crisis some of us refuses to respond to.