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With Brexit dominating media propagation, it’s fair to say climate change has been put on the back burner over recent months. After little hard-hitting news on climate change, and clearly no drastic action occurring from the government, can we just assume it’s not important, or simply ‘fake news’?
Looking at climate change from a scientific standpoint, it’s a natural process. As reported by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), over the last 800,000 years the earth has experienced glacial and interglacial periods, where the Earth’s core temperature rises between 3˚C to 8˚C. With evidence such as this, it’s easy to see how and why right-wing populists (especially in the United States) come to the conclusion that climate change is a ‘faked’ scheme by the American government to gain more control and launch a ‘new world order’. But the enhanced greenhouse effect is something the right-wing populist ignore.
Although climate change is a natural process on paper, the speed and severity which it is currently occurring at is not natural, thanks to the human race. Of course, it’s not directly our fault- but we all contribute. If you consume beef, cows are one of the highest producers of methane- thus contributing to ozone depletion. If you are reading this, chances are you are using some form of technology; the power plants that produce the energy that charges your device contribute to climate change. When it comes to the use of technology we see devices as an everyday essential, and if we apply that same logic to everyday habits, such as riding the bus or buying that new pair of shoes (made in factories producing carbon emissions), we have no chance of saving the planet. Or do we?
On Wednesday 25 September 2019, the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation officially declared a climate emergency and advocated joining the Extinction Rebellion. The University of Kent is endorsing non-violent civil disobedience to tackle climate change.
Evidently, attempts are being made to tackle climate change, not at a national level but at a local level. Undoubtedly, the most shocking thing to come out of 25 September, is how the university is endorsing disobedience under their own name. Such non-violent civil disobedience is shown throughout the 20th century for drastic change, most notably in the suffragette movement and the civil rights movement in the USA. Unfortunately, both received criticism for their style of activism, and for the university to be endorsing this style, knowing that in some aspects it will frowned upon, shows the severity of the situation the planet is in.
Is this uproar needed? Of course. But we may already be too late and disjointed globally to attempt to resolve climate change, but strategies have to be implemented so we can try our best. Either way the result is a civilisation that will not be able to cope, using that logic we have nothing to lose. As a generation that didn’t start the drastic climate change, we’ve inherited a choice: fight or flight.