FIVE FAVES ENCORE
Students offer ideas for fighting climate change by
A s a climate activist, I’m often asked: What one thing can we do that matters in regard to our climate crisis? My response is always, “Talk about it.” This helps spread awareness and normalizes talking about really hard things. Because young people are acutely aware of — and increasingly vocal about — the ways in which their lives are affected now and will continually be affected by the global climate crisis, I asked five students in our community the question that I am often asked. Here’s their responses:
Aida Amirul Aida is a Western Michigan University undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental and sustainability studies and earth science. She is active in Students for a Sustainable Earth, the Sunrise Movement and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. Aida is also an intern with the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition.
Tyler Boes Tyler is a senior at WMU. He’s pursuing a double major in applied mathematics and economics.
The truth is that most people do not understand the severity of
the climate crisis. This enables corrupt politicians and corporations to get away with letting my generation’s future be destroyed. Those in power are not addressing these global problems. We need to organize in large numbers, nonviolently, to express how unacceptable this is. The No. 1 thing we can do is to engage in advocacy and activism and protest against the status quo.
10 | ENCORE AUGUST 2020
The author Jonathan Safran Foer, in We Are the Weather, writes that we can do our part in combating the climate crisis by cutting down on eating meat. Animal agriculture accounts for one-third of emissions worldwide, and we often underestimate the difference we can make with our choices as consumers. It’s a common misconception that eating mostly plant-based (food) is hard and unaffordable. Vegetables and fruits are affordable, especially when bought locally; beans or tofu can replace animal protein and cost much less than meat. Those of us that are able to choose what to put on our plates can make an impact by making conscious, sustainable food choices.