Our View: Holding all responsible: recognizing industries’ impact on environmental destruction

Our View: Holding all responsible: recognizing industries' impact on environmental destruction

Graphic by Caroline Peabody '22

The Tower Editorial Board

Despite the hardships we are currently facing, we can find solace in the small joys our world has to offer. In particular, the environment has made temporary steps forward in regards to pollution. Carbon monoxide levels are down, the water is clearer and general energy emissions have been reduced, as reported by National Geographic.
However, according to the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo, 2020 may only see a 0.3 percent overall reduction in global emissions. In order to sustain this momentum, we at The Tower believe our generation must be proactive in protecting the environment.
As we only have one Earth, it is imperative that we do our part to take care of it. Our relationship to and with the environment is ever-changing— we are bound to it as it is bound to us. This truth manifests itself in this: it is our responsibility to preserve the environment for future generations.
While we at The Tower believe it is unrealistic to presume that everyone has the ability to go vegan or to completely cut out plastic usage, we also believe that individual acts exacerbate change. When considering one’s carbon footprint, an ideal course of action is to attempt to adhere to sustainable living standards. According to the National Ocean Service, some exemplary acts include recycling, conserving water, as well as educating others on such methods.
However, we must also remember that the main sources of global emissions are far beyond individuals, and are moreover a result of societal demands of industry. The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transportation, as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency.
As corporations are often captains of industry in regards to pollution, we at The Tower believe another strong course of action is for people to reach out to their government representatives and implore them to take action to protect the environment.
Reaching out to one’s representatives can even be as simple as contacting them on social media. According to the Congressional Management Foundation, 45 percent of congressional respondents in a 2015 survey said thirty or fewer similar comments on a social media post are enough to get an office’s attention.
Furthermore, concerning our current situation, we believe it is in our best interest to advise our representatives to be mindful as we reopen the economy to avoid stimulus spending on fossil fuels. Carbon emissions rose by five percent after such action was taken following the 2008-2009 global financial crash, as reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
While the environment has experienced temporary relief as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we at The Tower believe it is our duty to expedite this effect. We only have one Earth, and we only have one life. Now is the time to act for the prosperity of future generations.