Published: Monday, 5 October 2020
Climate change is the greatest threat to the world as we know it. According to NASA scientists, the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is currently up 414 parts per million, the highest rate of carbon dioxide seen in over 650,000 years. NASA also released information stating that Earth has lost 12.85% of its Arctic ice every decade since 1981 and 427 gigatons of Arctic ice sheet every year. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), over the next several decades, droughts in the United States will worsen to catastrophic levels, posing a serious threat to our agriculture, energy systems, water supply and fire management capacities.
California is at the forefront of the many climate emergencies caused by climate change. According to C2ES, fire seasons in California and on the West Coast will continue to become longer and more intense as the climate becomes too warm. They estimate that each one-degree Celsius increase in average temperature will increase the volume of burned areas in the West by 600%. The Long Beach Climate Action & Adaptation Plan estimates that the sea levels will rise 11 inches in Long Beach alone by 2030, and 24 inches by 2050. This amount of sea level rise would devastate Long Beach and put parts of our city under water.
Climate change will not only devastate the planet, it will have a severe humanitarian impact. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 200 million to 1 billion people will become displaced due to the impacts of climate change. This means that one in every 45 people in the world will be displaced. Sadly, over the last decade, climate change has become a political issue. For some reason, the future of our planet and the future of the human race has been put up for debate. This must change.
On Nov. 3 of this year, there will be a general election. In this election, voters will decide their city council representatives, state legislators, congressional representatives and president of the United States. It is imperative that every single eligible adult votes in the 2020 election. We cannot wait any longer to take action in the climate emergency. Simply put, we are running out of time.
October is sustainability month at The Beach. This year's Sustainability Month theme will focus on the intersection of social, racial and environmental justice. From learning how to reduce food waste to hearing an empowering panel discussion from young environmental justice activists, there are plenty of fun and sustainable events to add to your calendar this month. Check out their full calendar to register and participate in all the free virtual events that will educate and hopefully inspire you to take action and make a positive change in our environment.
I urge you to register to vote, as soon as possible. The deadline to register for a vote-by-mail ballot is Oct. 19, though in California all citizens may register through Election Day. We need voters who care about climate change to choose representatives who will take action to prevent the destruction of our planet.
Remember, all vote-by-mail ballots must either be mailed and postmarked by Nov. 3 or returned to a certified drop box location. Voters also have the option to vote in person at vote centers throughout the county as normal. Please register to vote, make a voting plan and vote on Nov. 3! The planet is running out of time and Mother Earth desperately needs our help.
For all other voter information related to CSULB, be sure to visit csulb.edu/vote.
This article was written as a part of the ASI Student Government advocacy series by
Sierra Darwin, a second year student at CSULB majoring in political science and serving as an ASI Senator At-Large.