The Planet is Begging You: Vote for Science

Recently the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report, “Global Warming of 1.5°C,” that warned we have 12 years to get climate change under control before the world faces grave consequences.

As a result, a great majority of university students will be around to see the beginning of the end of the world.

So why is it that we seem to care so little?

According to the report, temperatures will reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052, and 1°C of it is a direct result of human activities. If the current trend continues, the world faces increased food shortages and wildfires and a mass die-off of coral reefs by 2040.

The damage caused by climate change could cost $54 trillion in just the next few years.  

The study’s authors warn that after 12 years, we will be past the point of no return, and they expressed reservations about our ability to turn it around now. This is significant, because in our time of political bipartisanship, it is unlikely that the government will come up with a solution to reverse the atrocious effects we’re having on the environment and here is what one could do individually to save the environment because with individual carbon offsetting techniques, we can reduce carbon footprint.

The only way to take a step towards reversing climate change is by electing individuals who will vote for science. In a world where we have politicians like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) who call climate change the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” it is crucial to vote for politicians who believe in science.

Yet, we are not voting for science. We are not voting at all.

According to a report published by Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), out of 9,784,931 university students, only 48.3 percent of them voted in the 2016 presidential elections. Voter turnout is even lower in the midterm elections. According to Pew Research Center, in the 2018 primary elections, only 19.6 percent of all registered voters cast their ballots.

When considering the pressing issue of creating legislation to reverse climate change, the news keeps getting worse. According to NSLVE, only 43.6 percent of students in STEM fields vote. Let that sink in, climate change is threatening to swallow the world in water in a mere 12 years, and the students who know this better than anyone, aren’t voting.

Again: We need to vote for science. The majority of university students will be starting families when we begin to see the effects of the “out of sight out of mind” impacts of climate change. This is no longer a problem that will affect the world thousands of years from now. It’s knocking on our door, and we’re leaving it wide open.

How long are we going to pretend we still have time?