When Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about the problems of climate change during a conference in Jakarta on Feb. 16, it could have been interpreted many ways. By liberals, it was a call railing against the problems our environment faces at the hands of conservatives who only work to prolong this condition. Meanwhile, conservatives will take it as a typical partisan speech that the left always uses to fill time.
Regardless of how people may feel on the liberal versus conservative political spectrum, they should not let it determine the way they feel about climate change. In fact, this issue is not one that should even be politicized. It should also not be one that involves shaming people for what was done in the past, but rather what can be changed in the future.
I’ll be perfectly blunt: I am not very passionate when it comes to matters of the environment. I find it boring and simply fall asleep whenever I’m in a science class that mentions climate change or have to hear a speech by Al Gore (though any speech he makes puts me to bed) on it.
It is not that I ever shared this belief that many of my fellow Republican partisans share that climate change is made up and God controls the weather or something so ridiculous as that. I just believe that the way experts discuss such a matter is not at all capable of drawing the attention of 75 percent of the American population. Of course, that would be only on the basis of an intellectual stance.
Recently I have been finding myself unable to escape the discussion of climate change. I generally consider myself an outdoors person. When I have free time, I almost always prefer to be doing something where I do not have to sit down and have a roof over my head. I have also spent the last six summers working at a golf course, which has only further enhanced my love of being outside. If there is one thing I can tell you, though, it is that I cannot stand extreme temperatures of any kind.
Although I understand that winter is supposed to be cold and summer is hot, it always seems that these temperatures become more brutal each year. I think almost anyone who lives east of the Rockies and north of Palm Beach could agree that the winter we have been experiencing this past year is ridiculous. Furthermore, I have no desire to be working during another hotter-than-normal summer, which seems to be the case each year now.
If scientists wish to truly make a change, they must be aware they need to change the methods they use in order to reach success. It is not enough to simply shame Americans who use vehicles that may be the cause of pollution. They need to understand that switching to alternative fuels takes time and can only be immediately attained by the super rich. Scientists’ abilty to come up with more sensible solutions will certainly help in time.
That being said, we as Americans must equally do our part and not spit in the faces of scientists who are truly experts on climate change. While we may not be able to change a lot at once, we can certainly make small changes within the next few years to improve our way of life.