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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Gross: We’re passing the tipping point of caring about climate change

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Climate Column (Graphic Illustration by Abby Flitton | The Collegian)

Dillon Gross, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

When it comes to the climate, there are numerous tipping points that human society is nearing or already passed. A tipping point is defined as a threshold that, when passed, results in irreversible changes.

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When applying this concept to the environment, it’s easy to see why understanding the impact of these climate tipping points and how we can avoid passing them is of utmost importance because, after all, this is irreversible damage we are now dealing with.

Humanity is passing these tipping points left and right, and no one seems to care. With large tipping points looming on the horizon with no apparent changes being made to fix them, it begs the question: What tipping point will cause people to really start caring?

It can’t be when people start suffering. People are already suffering. There are climate refugees who have to leave their homes because of how uninhabitable they are.

“President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise of a clean energy revolution and environmental justice. He’s been in office for over a year now, and many of those promises are left unfulfilled.”

It can’t be when species start to go extinct. There have already been many species forced into extinction by humans polluting their environment beyond the point of habitation.

It’s reasonably expected that, at this point, the people in charge would start to care and make changes. Yet they still seem to be doing nothing. It’s not up to us, the average college student or person in America, to change the global climate, yet we’re the only ones who seem to care.

How long will it be before elected officials and large corporations start to care about the environment? What will be the point when things actually start to change on a governmental level?

President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise of a clean energy revolution and environmental justice. He’s been in office for over a year now, and many of those promises are left unfulfilled.

There is one glimmer of hope in that Biden did rejoin the Paris Agreement at the very beginning of his presidency. It is a baby step in the right direction, but it’s just that: a baby step. More drastic change needs to be happening to avoid the climate from passing even more of these tipping points.

Of course, climate change is a global issue, and one country’s leader isn’t going to cause enough change to fix anything substantial. This is why meetings like the United Nations Climate Change Conference happen. 

COP26, the most recent of these meetings, began last October and was considered to be a partial success. Although some plans and statements were made, it is another question whether any country is actually going to follow through on them.

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“Each day that there are no significant changes in the way climate change is currently running rampant in the world, we inch closer to tipping over the point of truly irreversible damage.”

It’s not even fully up to the government to fix the climate. Large corporations also have a responsibility to be sustainable and protect the environment — something many are still failing to do. 

In their 2020 impact report, Tesla reported that their vehicles emit significantly fewer carbon emissions than the average car. While this sounds promising, just because it’s significantly less doesn’t mean it’s good. With a net worth of over $1 trillion, there is more that Tesla could be doing to aid the climate.

Another corporate giant that has an obligation to help the environment (yet isn’t doing enough) is Amazon. Executive Chairman of Amazon Jeff Bezos took a crew to space in July of last year for the cost of $5.5 billion. He was in space for just over 10 minutes and it cost $5.5 billion. That $5.5 billion could go far in helping the environment, and yet he went to space just because he could?

Each day that there are no significant changes in the way climate change is currently running rampant in the world, we inch closer to tipping over the point of truly irreversible damage.

We’re already seeing these damages here in Colorado. Colorado is accustomed to odd weather patterns, but this is beyond the normal amount of unusual. Just last year, the Front Range tied the record for the most number of days without any snowfall of all time. The planet is showing us this, and this is happening around the world, yet very few changes are happening. 

The damage has already been done, but the question is how much more humans will be able to take before something folds. It will either be the government, the corporations or the climate, but something has to give, and it will likely be soon.

Reach Dillon Gross at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @dillongrosss.

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    PaulFeb 22, 2022 at 10:18 am

    Most people, including elected officials and heads of large corporations, are still waiting for anything predicted by climate alarmists to come true.
    We still have the artic ice cap 12 years after the prediction of when it would all melt.
    We still have the same weather we had 15 years ago.

    If nothing is really changing in the global climate, why should we implement any of the proposed changes to society?

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