Our future in their hands

Morgain Locke, Contributing Writer

Climate change is largely considered to be one of the most important issues of this generation. Even though it has been overshadowed by more recent political developments, such as abortion rights, student debt, etc., climate change will not wait for us to get our affairs in order before wreaking havoc. We already see the effects displayed through an increasing amount of tropical storms, droughts and wildfires. These weather phenomena will only continue to grow in severity and cause more damage to affected communities in the future. And while we may not be able to stop it completely, our window for preparing for these events in advance is quickly closing.

As the climate situation only continues to grow more extreme, it is important to vote for politicians who believe in the science behind climate change, and are willing to do something about it. It is easy for those who are running for office to use this issue as a way to get young voters to cast their ballot in their favor, but little ever actually comes from those empty campaign promises. These older representatives that we keep voting for hardly ever care for the consequences of climate change because, in their minds, the ever-warming climate is a future issue that we will not be feeling the effects of for decades, and the future is not their problem.

The ones ignoring the climate issue are the ones who will not be suffering the consequences of their negligence. According to the Library of Congress, the average age of Congressional Representatives is 58 years old, and Senators are 64 years old. These people will have lived long and fulfilled lives by the time climate change crosses the point of no return, leaving the younger generations to deal with the repercussions.

As young voters, we need to support candidates that not only care about the future of our planet, and humanity as a whole, but those who will actually make an effort to prepare communities for the inevitable. It is too late to put the climate change cycle back on its natural course since humans have increased carbon dioxide levels by about 50% since the 1700s and there is no way to effectively reverse the damage done now, but preparations can be made to help sustain the populations likely to be the most severely impacted by the changing climate and the extreme weather that comes with it. We need politicians who want to help the people — especially the younger generations — adapt to this massive change that is happening within our lifetimes. As voters, it is our responsibility to research candidates and hold them accountable because they hold our future in their hands.