WATCH: A Very Hot Topic

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WATCH: A Very Hot Topic

Climate change protestors march through Melbourne in 2009.

Climate change protestors march through Melbourne in 2009.

John Englart

Climate change protestors march through Melbourne in 2009.

John Englart

John Englart

Climate change protestors march through Melbourne in 2009.

Vinh Nguyen and Matthew Messina

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Melting ice caps. Fossil fuel. Paris Agreement. What do all of these words have in common? These are all terms you will almost always hear in the news, but these words also all have something to do with climate change.

Climate change is a very hot topic currently, and activists around the globe have been voicing their concerns and demands about it. They believe politicians and business owners have shown little care to our Earth. On September 23, teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg made a scathing, impassioned speech where she expressed these concerns and chastised world leaders at the UN. This speech made rounds on the media and sparked lots of controversy soon after it was given, and though it has been nearly three months since then as of the time of writing, the animosity is still very real. Some have applauded Thunberg for her action against climate change, while others have accused her parents of brainwashing her.

Ever since she made her speech at the UN summit, Thunberg has continued to push for action against climate change, leaving a trail of news headlines and making history in the process. On September 20, Thunberg refused the Nordic Environmental Prize and $52,000 of prize money, stating that the fight against climate change “[did] not need any more awards.” Earlier this month, she was named as Person of the Year by TIME Magazine, and in the past few days, you may have heard or read about a Twitter argument between Thunberg and the German train company Deutsche Bahn (DB) centered around overcrowding on the company’s trains. Hulu has even announced a documentary on the 16-year old climate change activist’s life that is scheduled to come next year.

Sophomore Dalice Rodriguez-Viera said on this topic, “I do agree with Greta Thunberg’s decisions. I think that what she’s doing is very inspiring and daring as well.” Another sophomore, Marissa Todd, said, “I think she is so powerful, and it’s so important to have someone our age advocating for something that great.”

While Thunberg was making rounds in the news, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, announced a massive project to curb climate change. This project, known as the Climate Pledge, aims to raise Amazon’s renewable energy use to 80% by 2024, to 100% by 2030, and to make Amazon carbon neutral by 2040. The Climate Pledge was created in response to the Global Climate Strike, in which around 3,000 Amazon workers walked out of the job to protest the company’s inaction over climate change. However, some people are worried that Bezos may merely be paying lip service to the climate change movement, and on Black Friday, activists throughout France accused Amazon of worsening climate change.

Rodriguez-Viera commented, “So I’m not sure exactly what the motives are for Jeff [Bezos] doing this, but I do think that it’s very good that he’s doing this.” On the same topic, Todd said, “It’s really good to see someone making a lot of progressive changes when especially our president won’t. These things need to happen fast.”

Very recently, COP25, a climate change summit in Madrid, failed to lead to any new agreements. This summit was the largest since the one which led to the Paris Agreement. Many climate change activists have cited this as evidence that progress in combating climate change has stalled. The next summit is scheduled for November 9 to November 19 next year, and it is set to occur in Glasgow, Scotland.

Like it or not, climate change has set the world ablaze, both literally and figuratively.