Lessons From Earth Day

By JOSIE MCCAULEY

Earth Day 2019 passed without much ado. You might’ve seen the slew of social media posts from friends and companies urging you to love the Earth and to take action before it’s too late, or pledges from companies promising to plant a tree for every 10 likes. These last few years have seen an increase in the awareness of climate — and earth — related issues. Climate change is getting more real to the Colorado College community and to others around the globe.

At CC, a number of efforts have been made to reduce the college’s environmental impact. Examples include the Net-Zero Library, recycling and composting programs, and initiatives designed to reduce food waste. The Office of Sustainability is also heading Earth Week 2019 with events that include a cleanup of Monument Creek on Saturday April 26 at 9 a.m., sponsored by EnAct (CC Students for Environmental Action).

Photos by Daniel Sarche

This year’s Earth Day focused on protecting species from extinction, according to the Earth Day Network, a non-profit dedicated to organizing action around Earth Day. Extinction is one of many issues facing our world as a result of environmental changes in recent years. Other effects include rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, ocean acidification, and decreased air quality.

These changes will have a huge effect on the world and will disproportionately affect poorer populations. The effects will be widespread, but if you need to focus a little closer to home, think about the mountains you ski and what a reduced snowpack will do to your ski season. Think about how rising sea levels might leave your favorite beach spot, or maybe even your home, underwater. Think about the rivers you fly fish, your favorite national parks, your favorite animal, an d   even yourself — all of these things have likely already been affected as a result of climate change, and will continue to be affected by it in the future.

Earth Day serves as a good point in time to reevaluate our actions and how they are affecting the environment. Individual actions like recycling, saving water, and using public transport can have a large effect when combined.

As Provost Alan Townsend demonstrated in his First Monday Talk in Block 7, it is not too late to prevent drastic climate changes as long as action is taken now. The longer we wait, the harder it gets to recover the environment and the more irreparable the damage.

But the key words are that it isn’t too late — yet. We can take individual action; we can lobby politicians; we can vote with our wallets; and most importantly, we can continue to care about the world that we live in and make continued efforts to protect it. Because it isn’t too late — yet.

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