Thankful and Hopeful, Despite the Climate Crisis

By: Caroline Roethlisberger

Lately, I’ve felt like despite many efforts to fight climate change, our hard work is not paying off. On Monday, Nov. 4, the Trump Administration announced its plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. That same day, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was weakening regulations on coal plants creating water pollution. 

These disappointments come after the global climate strikes in September when people around the world protested for climate action. It’s hard to remain hopeful about the state of the planet when the news is riddled with articles about deregulation, rising sea levels, air pollution and forest fires

But, as Thanksgiving is approaching, I felt that I could counter my sense of ever-looming dread by looking for glimpses of hope in the midst of the climate crisis. 

Here are a few happenings that give me hope:

Jane Fonda vows to be arrested every Friday to protest climate change. Many celebrities have been vocal about fighting climate change, but Fonda is using her platform to promote action.

Greta Thunberg is only 16 years-old. I don’t know about you, but when I was 16, I was thrilled just to have my drivers’ license. Thunberg continues to challenge world leaders at the United Nations to take action against climate change. 

Locally, Oxford City Council announced that it made sustainability its top priority in 2019, and three candidates for the City Council election on Tuesday, Nov. 5 based their platforms on sustainability issues. While I may be less hopeful about national sustainability efforts, I am proud to know that my town values the future of our planet. 

Elsewhere in Oxford, every Saturday, you can find an assortment of local produce and products at the Oxford Farmers Market. Spending my Saturday mornings talking with local vendors who sustainably source their products makes me feel confident that my purchases are limiting my impact on the environment.  

I’ve also been spending a lot of time on the Miami University trails. Often, I run along a creek, by the Equestrian Center and around campus. Especially in the spring, blooming flowers and trees remind me that Earth is still alive, but we need to keep it that way! Simply spending time in nature reminds me why I care about the environment and is a great stress reliever! 

As the GreenHawks Media Business Manager, I have the opportunity to work with other students and organizations who also care about the environment. The enthusiasm for sustainability on Miami’s campus is inspiring, and it’s incredible to see how people can come together for a cause they care about.

As the climate crisis becomes increasingly concerning and its evidence becomes more and more apparent, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with a sense of doom. However, I am choosing to be hopeful that both younger and older generations will work together to solve climate change and develop sustainable practices to protect the Earth. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the planet that we have and everyone who is already taking steps to protect it. I am also thankful for those who have taken the time to learn more about sustainability and climate change initiatives by visiting the GreenHawks Media site!

Now, I urge you to think about why you care about climate change and how you can embrace your inner Greta Thunberg or Jane Fonda to take action against climate change! 

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A perfect fall photo from a recent hike with my dog- I’m thankful for these little things.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Roethlisberger

GreenHawks Media

GreenHawks Media is Miami University’s first environmental publication. Our goal is to unite green initiatives on campus and in the community. We hope to make a difference in a journalistic fashion by spreading news and information as well as educating our readers. We would like to present GreenHawks Media as a central place for groups and individuals to share their ideas, concerns, and initiatives. Individually and in small groups, efforts are made to make a difference and promote change. While one person may have a concern, another is researching it and needs assistance. While one initiative is being made in a science department, a similar idea is being discussed in a local business. GreenHawks Media provides the opportunity for shared visions to come together. We are journalists, writers, photographers, and scientists. We are students. We are motivated to use media to contribute to the change that our generation needs to make in order to protect and understand the planet we call home.

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