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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Climate Change Manifesto: One Day at a Time


I have grown up with and lived with the knowledge that our planet is dying because of us, humans. Ever since becoming aware–and acutely aware– of all of the climate issues and imminent disasters facing us, I’ve been in a state of languish and desensitization. I understand the danger, and I know how critical our situation is. However, this urgency has never debilitated me, because it’s simply always been there. 

I know I should be more concerned, and I can and do get viscerally angry about the issue. But because I feel that there is hardly anything I can do about it because of the systemic barriers that hinder the progress we need, I just go about my life, which, unfortunately, seems much more dire than an existential, degrading environment. 

I have to worry about my queer siblings being taken by the genocide happening in this country and around the world. I have to hope that I’ll be able to guarantee myself healthcare and a place to live in the coming years. I have to hope I’m not gunned to death every time I step into my classroom, the grocery store, the movie theater. 

I have to be on standby for my brother, whom I’m going to eventually have to see institutionalized. I have my own mental and physical health that I already struggle with enough.

I have trouble finding the motivation to complete an education, and then find a career to support myself in an ever-increasingly volatile economy, and in a world that has nearly everything going against me, whether that be directly against my existence or the existence of the world in general. I can’t worry about the climate because if I do, then I won’t be able to worry about anything

Please don’t go thinking I’m some conservative asshole (and don’t think of the last paragraph as some self-indulgent pity party, either). I believe in science. I believe things need to be done to safeguard our future. I may be an asshole, but I’m a hyper-aware socialist one. While, by some fucking miracle, we are not yet too late to fix this, there is already irreparable damage done. Life will never be the same as it was forty years ago, thirty years ago, twenty years ago, hell, even ten years ago. I believe that things are as bad or even worse than they say.

We wouldn’t be in this situation if the government, the ruling class, ruling corporations cared! We wouldn’t be at this point if forty, thirty, twenty, ten years ago, they cared! 

But they don’t, and they never have. They care about money, a construct that we came up with to control and enslave ourselves. They care about their own comfort. If they have enough money, nothing will ever happen to them until they die, or unless they die. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for someone to go out and assassinate world leaders and other high-ranking capitalists. If we had enough time to wait for our generation to get into politics, to get into positions of power, and to change our systems, that would be the solution.

But we don’t have thirty years to wait for them to phase out, much less three fucking seconds. We needed them gone decades ago, and they’ve made sure that their impact will be felt for innumerable decades to come. 

My strategy for dealing with climate change on a personal level is merely just staying informed, informing others, and making what little adjustments to my lifestyle I can. I will gladly join the next revolution. I will gladly march up the steps of the Supreme Court or Amazon’s headquarters and demand change if I were able to accompany enough people. 

But until we have enough people organized and fighting together, I’m not going to go all naturalist and live out of a fucking suitcase in the middle of the woods. I have to live for myself before I live for the entire world. And in my cynicism and self-centeredness, sometimes I think it’s just better to let the world burn and let nature reclaim itself after we’ve killed ourselves off. Couldn’t one argue that our ascension and descension is just another instance of nature? We are animals, after all. Yes, I know, what we’re doing is not natural because no other species has the capability to destroy as we do, but you see what I mean. 

I think we all do have an individual responsibility to take care of the environment around us if possible. I do my best to be conscious of my actions, such as what food I eat, how much I drive, etc. 

But it’s not our job to completely stop climate change. There are forces larger than us that are the true issue, and they work tirelessly to make sure that we stay ignorant of that. I know I’m supposed to be writing about some solution or at least some statement of complete delusion or inaction. But I don’t have any of that. 

My thesis is that I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. So, I’m going to go on living as I always have, the only way I know how: one day at a time.

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