Recently, climate change has received extensive coverage, as President Donald Trump’s administration attempts to silence government employees discussing the problem while also vastly defunding the Environmental Protection Agency. It is often easy to just look the other way and ignore the changing climate. However — no matter what Trump says — climate change is real, and working as individuals to protect the environment is essential now more than ever.
Another major facet of this debate is the fact that New York City, and therefore NYU especially, will be facing a larger and more adverse amount of environmental ramifications. Because Manhattan is on an island and sea levels are continuing to rise, environmental issues will be literally brought to the doorstep of NYU students if immediate action is not taken. This, along with the likelihood of more extreme weather on the coast, including hurricanes and heat waves, means that climate change will soon directly affect the lives of NYU students.
As college students, we possess the ability to shape the future of our environment. We are the future engineers, climate scientists and politicians who will play major roles in the coming decades, so the responsibility falls on us to act in good faith with environmental protection. Ours is a unique position — the most brutal, lethal repercussions of global climate change are predicted to occur in the near future. Three in four millennials believe in climate change, giving our generation a massive leg up as compared to previous generations.
Global temperature has risen 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, and nine out of 10 of the warmest years on record have occurred since 2000. The effects of these climate changes are evident around the world in environmental fluctuations like carbon dioxide increases, polar ice shrinkage and rising sea levels. The subsequent effects are clear and must be acknowledged by each individual in order to enact change. College students specifically must recognize the various preventative actions that are accessible to them, because it is our future that is becoming endangered.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 17 print edition.
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