A ‘Climate Reality’ lesson

On Wednesday, February 20th I attended The Climate Reality lecture presented by Dr. Hogan Sherrow of the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Through visual graphics and explanation, his presentation explained the daunting and factual truths about the world’s climate change crisis.

Throughout the lecture, Dr. Sherrow continued to put a big emphasis on the “climate generation,” a term that pegs people born between the years 1988 and 2010. As a member of the climate generation, I gained a lot of knowledge from his presentation. Dr. Sherrow not only listed many implications of climate change, such as increased water vapor causing more simultaneous, severe storms, but also explained we have made a little progress.

I was pleasantly surprised by the mention of the word “progress.” It certainly created a shift in my mood. In the past, whether it was Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” or my entry-level geography course, I always felt disheartened after any discussion about global warming. But this lecture was different. I left feeling ready to join the fight for climate change.

Dr. Sherrow localized climate change in respect to Athens and Ohio University too. He provided suggestions on what we can do to help the problem, such as holding our elected officials responsible. At the end of the lecture, graduate students and climate change advocates carried out an informative discussion pertaining to Ohio University’s energy source. Instead of spending money to switch from coal to gas powered energy, one student proposed that the money instead be invested in climate change awareness programs and clean solar power for our school and community.

As a young person in the climate generation, I think it is important to realize a point Dr. Sherrow stressed: we are the ones responsible for finding solutions to this global problem. However, it is also important to not give up. There is hope. I believe if we fail to remember hope, we will fail with climate change too. For this reason, I really appreciated Dr. Sherrow’s realistic, yet motivating outlook on the climate change crisis: it is not a lost cause- yet.

Thanks to programs such as The Voinovich School’s Environmental Studies Program, Al Gore’s Climate Change Reality Project and accomplished researchers such as Dr. Sherrow, people (like myself) are not only becoming aware of the problem, they are feeling a call-to-action.

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