Change happens when you go out to do it

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Daniyal Arshad and Daniyal Arshad | The Daily Wildcat University of Arizona Students participate in a Climate Change Walk out on Jan. 23.

It’s hot.

It’s been hot for the past few months. Every day there’s another report about a certain part of the world that is breaking records. Normally breaking a record is good.

I just beat my record of staying sane while at my second job. I lasted 45 minutes and next time I plan to last an hour. However, these records aren’t the type you would call Guinness World Records for.

A quick Google search for “temperature” yields that at least one city or state has broken a record.

We all know why: climate change.

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A class I took last year had a professor that asked a simple question: “What is the biggest threat to the United States?”

“China” someone blurted out, jokingly (I hope), among other answers that seemed right.

He stopped the class from yelling out answers since it was turning into an auction house for the funniest answer and he said “climate change.” 

“We deal with it every day, and every day we don’t do something about it, it gets worse,” he said.

On Aug. 19, Iceland mourned the loss of a prominent glacier Okjokull by posting a warning about climate change, according to a recent article by The New York Times. It’s real, it’s coming and it isn’t stopping on its own.

It’s a big topic to tackle on your own or even with a small team. Believe me, I didn’t know where to start with this broad topic, but I just did.

Which is what we have to do as a community. I’ve seen Tucson making changes, some small, some big. But the most important thing is that changes are happening.

In other areas, I have not seen changes. I’ve seen companies say they recycle and they are proud of it, but a quick look around the back shows both green and blue containers being emptied into one dumpster.

But what can we do, the small but tenacious college students? The best we can.

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We may not be able to make big decisions on policies that major companies have to comply to, but we can be a vehicle of change.

When’s the last time you’ve seen 1.7 million march for change? If your answer isn’t Hong Kong’s weekend of peaceful protests, then you’ve been under a rock and the first thing you should do is read the news.

For 11 weeks, as of Aug. 20, pro-democracy protesters have been marching through rain and sun in the face of threats from their own government, according to articles from CNN and other networks.

Granted, if we had the University of Arizona student body from 2018, a staggering 38,767, according to figures from University Analytics and Institutional Research, or even half of that, we would see something being put on the ballot.

But how do we get college students who aren’t tenacious or driven to partake in this? Well... you kind of make them. I’m not saying using violence to push them out the door and onto the streets of Downtown Tucson, but coerce them.

Educate them. Most won’t be able to live the life they currently live right now in the near future because so much will change. Temperatures will change, which will cause a higher rate of evaporation, according to the Center of Science Education, which means people won’t be able to post on Snapchat or Twitter that it’s raining in Tucson, according to my Twitter and Snapchat feed during monsoon season.

Aside from internet clout, other things will be made either unavailable or harder to get. 

Tell your friends and your family about the changes that will come inevitably if we don’t do something about it. I urge you to be that annoying friend or family member. One day, they’ll listen to you, because they’ll start to see the effects. 

I have had my own family believe it’s not getting hotter, or it’s just a cycle and it’ll just cool off eventually. They ended up sounding like Harold Camping, a man who wrongly-predicted doomsday multiple times, because the “cooling off” period they talked about never happened.

Don’t end up like Harold Camping. End up as the next leading scientist or the next great movie star. You can’t star in a movie, or research new technology if there’s no world to do it on.


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