What on Earth are we doing?

Global warming is a trending ‘hot topic.’


Liana Lum, Editor-in-Chief

From Pope Francis’ urge to protect our Earth in “Laudato Si to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar acceptance speech about climate change, global warming is garnering increasing attention from public figures.

Scientists have warned of climate change and its consequences for years, including a rise in global sea levels, whose rate this decade is double that of the past century. Global temperature has increased, with 10 of the warmest years having occurred in the past 12 years, affecting sea life, weather patterns and especially people in developing countries, according to NASA’s Global Climate Change site.

As teenage girls living in a first world country, we do not experience the most direct consequences of climate change. Sure, our parents may drive a hybrid, and we may use reusable water bottles and take shorter showers. But, more often than not, these decisions are made to settle our conscience, rather than out of a true urgency and understanding to protect our world and others living in it.

Half way across the world our counterparts are walking miles each day to collect water and firewood, while we only need to turn our faucet or switch on a heater. As vegetation dies off and animals migrate due to changing weather patterns, families in developing counties must relocate to survive. These young women spend less time on their education and become more vulnerable to violence.

Pope Francis has said that “to change the world, we must be good to those who cannot repay us.” This applies to his statement on climate change as a “global problem with grave implications.” Global warming not only harms our Earth, but it perpetuates poverty and gender inequality. We have lost a “sense of responsibility” that must be regained.

Lacking foresight to our actions’ consequences and ambivalence to others’ well-being, we must realize our duty to humanity beyond our own interests. Extending beyond climate change, we must recognize our global responsibility — to act with humility and selflessness out of a well-developed conscience.