I’m a young environmentalist by Alice McGrath

I have read at length about the issues which currently face our world and society in relation to climate change. I have acquainted myself with the expert analyses of scientists on the matter and with the stories of real humans who suffer as a result of the crisis. After reflecting on all that I’ve read, I have come to the conclusion that in order to solve the climate crisis, we, as a society, must resolve to live in a way that places morality at the core of all that we do, because the truth is that many of us are already aware of this issue but lack the resolve to do the right thing. My principles have led me to become an environmentalist, a path which has opened my eyes to the threats which now face our world, one which has provided me with a clearer vision of both the problems and the solutions which lie ahead.

 

Humans have many wonderful capabilities which set us apart from other species. The human mind has the ability, for example, to think about large problems, such as the climate crisis, and to conceive innovative solutions. We have the ability to think beyond ourselves; to be selfless, to moralise and rationalise like no other species can. It is, therefore, within our scope to consider our actions and the consequences of them on a large scale.

 

Our minds and inventions have provided us with an incredible standard of living in the Western world, for the most part. However, this is posing problems for those in less fortunate situations. We have unintentionally been speeding up the process of global warming through our exploitation of natural resources. The Australian Government Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan says that “As a consequence of climate change, drought is likely to be longer and more severe in some regions and over broader areas”[1]. The increase of droughts, which continue for longer periods of time each year, are ravaging crops, leading to desertification of land and will inevitably cause famine in some parts of the world. The climate crisis at hand is not only an environmental hazard but a human one. It poses a very real human threat, one which will cost lives. This is where morality comes into play. We have a moral responsibility, not only towards other species on our planet, but also our own. We must at least not remain ignorant of the effects our actions are having on other humans, our brothers and sisters. For the sake of the prevention of human suffering, we must each take individual action, which combined can amount to great things, in order to combat climate change. This revelation has inspired me to become environmentally active as we all have a collective responsibility to help each other by taking care of our environment. ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Award has given me a platform to spread my passion for the environment. It has driven me to pursue my interest with greater zeal and has provided me with an ambition to change people’s attitude towards environmental action.

 

Change, as we know in light of recent events regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, can come very rapidly. Globally, we have come together in solidarity. Governments have worked together and co-operated in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. If the world can come together to tackle a world health emergency, I have faith that we can unite to tackle the global climate crisis.

 

[1] (©️ Commonwealth of Australia 2019) Department of Agriculture 2019, Australian Government Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan, Canberra, November. CC BY 4.0.

ISBN 978-1-76003-244-9

This publication is available at agriculture.gov.au/drought-preparedness-resilience.

 

You can read Alice’s article in the Irish Examiner here> https://bit.ly/37q0UhE

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