17 to None: Saving Our Planet

Global warming is the perennial effect of humans’ lifestyle on this planet for the past centuries. This threat has been hovering over this planet for millions of years but has never been as real as in 2019.

Recent studies have determined that we went from having 12 years to save our planet to approximately 18 months overnight. In fact, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special report of 1.5 degrees Celsius, “Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming 5 above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052.”

This implies that we had 12 years to slow down or even attempt to stop the warming process, as an increase of 3°C could create great damages. Due to recent events such as the late and recurring ignition of the Amazon Rainforest, one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet, this time has been reduced to months.

Everyone is well aware of the climatic problems, but people are not ready to give up their careless lifestyles and adopting minor habits that could make a huge difference. Today, people care about the state of the environment because it is critical. Daily occupations and trivial occurrences will preoccupy our minds once again, leaving us to forget there was ever a problem.

While waiting for political leaders to decide the best course of action, which is to be to keep global warming under 1.5°C to ensure the livelihood of earth for the next decades, individuals should reflect on small things they can do to help. In that perspective, there are many environmental organizations in our community that most people are not aware of. In fact, many students are not aware of the problem at hand. Jimmae Payne, a junior nursing major, from New Orleans admits to not knowing about this issue.

The 771 Alliance, a student coalition organization that is present here on Southern University’s campus has come up with a few reforms that could be a helpful contribution to the overall environmental state. Angelle Bradford, a doctoral student at Tulane School of Medicine and an advisor for the Southern University 771 Alliance elaborates, “we are co-cultivating with other orgs across South Louisiana a new vision for how the entire state deals with waste, especially of food, and trash and how hyper-consumptive lifestyles aid in further destroying the environment.”

Angelle Bradford continues by inciting students to engage in a “full-scale recycling program, a ban on styrofoam, a ban on plastic bags, and the beginning steps to divesting from fossil fuel and energy companies that have oppressive practices in Louisiana.”

We are all called to get more involved with the environment because we might only have 18 months but there is plenty of hope left for our precious planet and as it is so often said, “change starts from within.”

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