People don’t care, we’re killing our planet

The Amazon rain forest is still burning and nobody cares.

Some news sites have reported that the Amazon has had fires beginning as early as January of this year, yet most people hadn’t even heard about the burning of the rain forest until this past month. Despite the coverage of the issue, it seems to be reported or received with some amount of disinterest.

The lack of media attention is astounding, as a member of a student newspaper and as a person who inhabits the planet. Even though the news of the burning finally did start to erupt in the news and on social media, it seems coverage has already started to die down while the rain forest fires haven’t.

When Notre Dame was burning, we saw celebrities galore tweeting about it and several news outlets reporting on the issue. We saw people from all over the world donating to Notre Dame. We saw countless articles and shares of stories of Notre Dame all over social media. When it comes to coverage over the Amazon, the media hasn’t been doing its job. Despite the fact that the Amazon is more important, there’s only been passive, negligent action.

The Amazon isn’t the only ignored environmental issue. As a whole, I think coverage over any and all environmental issues is dwindling to the point of it being extremely dangerous to our planet. Species like Florida panthers, bees and alligators are endangered. Iceland is losing its ice and hosting funerals for it. Ecosystems such as coral reefs and temperate grasslands are dying.

Our world is slowly being killed, and people are choosing to stay ignorant because it’s bliss. We continue to use plastic straws. We ignore recycling bins. We side-step discarded waste on the street.

There won’t be a tomorrow if we don’t try to save our world today. I’m not talking about in a few years. I mean right now.

A policy paper from the Australian National Centre for Climate Restoration, “Existential Climate Related Security: A Scenario Approach” published earlier this year predicts that our water will become scarce and some populations will be displaced by 2050 if we don’t take steps to fix climate change.  It states “Thirty-five percent of the global land area, and 55% of the global population, are subject to more than 20 days a year of lethal heat conditions, beyond the threshold of human survivability,” in its 2050 scenario projection, which is terrifying.

We won’t know if or when these events will happen, and we won’t know until they are upon us. It will be too late. While steps are being taken to lessen waste and plant more trees, we won’t be able to save ourselves and the planet unless we all step up to make a change.

Environmental issues need to be covered 24/7 and shared everywhere. We can’t just ignore these problems anymore. In today’s way of life, social media is a technology that ties everyone together and holds the strongest form of communication the world has ever seen.

We need to utilize social media to spread more coverage over issues such as the Amazon forest fires. We need to care about what we’re doing to the planet. We need to care about species becoming extinct. We need to care about the fact that we’re poisoning our own home.

Even if USI is only a small part of the world, everyone is capable of making a difference, even in small ways. Use reusable straws or no straws at all. Take that extra step to the recycling bin. Pick up trash you might see on the sidewalk. Don’t leave the water on when you’re brushing your teeth. The small things matter.

Earth is our only home. We don’t have anywhere else.

We need to give a shit and show that we do.