Time to Look Up


A threat to the Earth’s liveability is becoming a reality. Scientists predicted this scenario back in 1896. Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish founder of the science of physical chemistry, was one of the first to warn us about greenhouse gasses and if trapped, how they can warm up our planet and make it uninhabitable. It is now 2022 and we are seeing the exact predictions from scientists, from decades ago, play out. The Netflix film, Don’t Look Up, is a mock-to-reality, dark comedy film where there is a comet coming to earth and humans have 6 months to save the planet. Politics gets involved with economic factors and it shows a realistic point of view of how people take bad news. One of the movie’s messages is to look up, facing the reality of how the climate crisis is affecting our world. The bad news is that the scientists’ prediction of how long we have to save the planet is cut to 10 years instead of 20. Activists are known for doing things to bring attention to many matters and move-ments, however, climate change activists are known for being the “calm activists” in the realm. In the last couple of years, Gen Z has been a voice in bringing awareness to climate change in new and radical ways. One modern activist, Greta Thunberg, from Sweden, gave a speech at the Youth 4 Climate conference called “Blah Blah Blah.’’ In that speech, Thunberg mentioned, “Our hopes and dreams drown in empty words and promises…they’ve now had 30 years of blah blah blah and where has it led us? Over 50% of all our CO2 emissions have occurred since 1990, and a third since 2005.” Ethan Hepworth, a senior at CHHS, thinks what politicians are missing is the whole point of urgency, and climate change activists need to fight harder than they have ever needed to fight before. “Politicians campaign and say they will bring action, but the more climate change is getting nor-malized the more people don’t see it as an endangering issue.” The UN has recognized climate change as an issue since 1992. “It is a step forward that the UN has resolutions to climate change, however, countries signing with the UN don’t face any repercussions if they don’t follow the agreement,” Hepworths adds. The UN’s last Climate Change conference that ended November 12, 2021, has recognized that the United States and China are some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in this decade. Through mining the riches of the earth and production in underdeveloped countries it is causing not just higher temperatures of the Earth, but poisoning water sources. Climate change is something our generation didn’t choose or want, however, imperialism and industrialization in the past have left our generation to suffer the most. As students and as people living on Earth, we need to speak up about this issue. We need to do more than just complain, but rather listen to modern-day scientists like NASA’s Dr. Gavin Schmidt, Ed Hawkins, and many others who are well-versed in the climate change crisis. As a whole, we must change our lifestyles to mitigate the damage that has already been done. We need to create a “new normal” so that we will not see the beauty of the natural world disappear forever. We as a society have to work together to achieve the common good and save our planet from being unlivable.