Discourse / Editorials / October 2, 2019

Thoughts from the Embers: Cautiously optimistic about Climate Strike

On Oct. 29, about 70 students participated in an international climate strike. Considering the school’s small population and unfortunate weather, the results were an accomplishment to be proud of.

Cheers to the organizers and all that were involved in making a statement during this crucial period with a dire need for change. While the strike wasn’t necessarily a “walkout” as intended, it may have hurt attendance if it remained that way. Ultimately, the strike achieved what it sought to do: deliver a message.

However, it is absolutely crucial to remember that delivering a message is only the first step. Protests and demonstrations are just that – a show. It is meant to inspire or infuriate people; to get their attention.

But, emotions and deep passion for a movement is all futile effort when no further action is taken. Knox, as an institution and as a body of students, we urge to you that this cannot be the first and final action taken for this matter.

This is not to sound condescending. In fact, praise must be given to the organizers for having clear-cut demands that are attainable and necessary. Too often there are movements that do not have structure, thus causing them to fall apart and lose credibility.

Some may think that, due to the size and location of our campus, the actions we take are useless. That may be the case at face value, but here are a few factors to consider.

First, 17% of Knox’s student population comes from outside of the United States. As a college with a global population, we must participate in global causes. Not only that, but actions taken affect the places we come from differently.

By now we should know that climate change hurts the impoverished the most, both entire countries and individuals. Therefore, saying that it isn’t necessary would be assuming that we are only thinking about those of us that are from well to-do upbringings.

The other thing to consider is that Knox is not cut off from the rest of the world, no matter how many of us may think that it is. Social media is an obvious contribution; however, Knox is highly esteemed in academic spheres with a reputation to uphold in being aware, conscious and motivated for action.

Our final piece of mind is this: change will not occur without correcting our personal behaviors. It would be impossible and unattainable to completely cease doing all the things we’ve grown so accustomed to, but little change is better than none.

There are small, seemingly insignificant things you can do that create a difference once enough people do it. Be mindful of your consumption, and take only what you will use. We are regularly bombarded with advertisements wherever we go, not to mention all the tailored ads we receive from sites that collect our data to sell us things per our interests. Don’t give in. We have enough.

The world has gone into a mode of over overproduction fueled by an all-consuming population. But when demand drops, so does its production. Change starts with you, so keep fighting the good fight.

TKS Editorial Board

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