A General Introduction to a Ten Year Journey
Past: How I started
After a conversation with my family and friends about climate change at a restaurant overlooking a beautiful beach in La Jolla, California, I remember laying back in my chair, defeated. It was two adults against a child who was ignorant of most climate change research. The only thing I knew was that Climate Change was real, and that is going to take a hell of a lot for us to climb out of the ditch we absentmindedly dug ourselves into.
Then, I made an Instagram account. I posted a screenshot of Britannica’s definition of climate change, and I kept the account a secret for weeks. This account, which I made in a time of desperation, was garnering followers like a magnet to metal. People were direct messaging me about their climate anxiety, and goals for the future,
I was helping people.
This community that was piecing itself together right in front of my eyes drove me to do my research. I became a vegetarian- to my friend’s and family’s dismay- and I embarked on a journey that has made me see everything differently.
Present: What I Know Now
1.) Climate Change is the fault of society.
The Climate Crisis is the result of corporate greed- a by-product of capitalism, and careless sourcing. Essentially, we have developed a way of life that orbits around dirty green pieces of paper, and only now are they beginning to burn. We wanted clothes, and then we wanted them to be cheaper. We wanted meat, and we wanted more of it. We wanted cars, and then we wanted them to go faster. Corporations began flourishing off of our desires, and now we have too many greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere and overflowing landfills.
Climate Change is a perfect example of how industrialized societies organize themselves in response to a risk they created themselves. This is because the Climate Crisis is the result of a bunch of society created risks that manifested themselves into a big problem. The risks that caused Climate Change have multiple different causes, whether it be ocean acidification because of micro-plastics and pollution, or the plethora of greenhouse gasses being released into the ozone layer (especially methane) because we don’t know how to compost our organic waste. Because of this, everyone is suspected to be of blame (Rudiak-Gould 2014: 366).
2.) It’s Hard to Care
Upon making my account, word got out. On my ninth grade outdoor ed trip, I remember getting ready to go to bed in the bathroom of a shared cabin, and a girl came up to me and said, “Hey! I heard you became an Eco-feminist over the summer!” I remember responding, “I became a what?”
My reputation aside, those around me disproved of my new lifestyle. I became infatuated with avoiding plastic, and I began questioning the quality of my future. What made it worse was that literally no one I was close to felt the same way.
Most importantly, it’s hard to care because when you're aware, you are stuck. I’ve memorized the amount of protein in hundreds of different foods, I’ve developed a sense for when I should bring my reusable chopsticks, water bottle, or Tupperware, and I grimace whenever I have to drink or eat out of plastic or Styrofoam.
To care is to be inhibited.
But, knowing you are doing everything you can to stop the Climate Crisis makes the inhibition worth it.
3.) People can change
When properly motivated, people will change. We are fully capable of adapting, and this gives me hope. I have witnessed people protesting for things they knew nothing about a year ago. I have seen the love in our communities grow stronger as they fight for what they believe is right. I have learned that even though the climate crisis in the fault of society, we have done a lot of good as well. People can change, because they care about other people, and that is something society taught itself.
Future: Where We Will Go
We are in the midst of a crisis, and we are only realizing it now. I believe, we will get through it, I have fought to keep my optimism, and not only do I believe, but I know that we will eventually be alright. This is my first blog, a general introduction to a goal which I have given myself ten years to accomplish. 2020 is in one week, and my biggest resolution of all is to use this website to make a change.
So, my departing question to you is, how will you improve the world in the next decade? You have 3,650 days to do it, and your time starts now.
Rudiak-Gould, Peter. “Climate Change and Accusation.” Current Anthropology, vol. 55, no. 4, 2014, pp. 365–386., doi:10.1086/676969.