Be inconvenient: On the edge of reversing climate change

Image by: An Inconvenient Sequel press

by: Emily Simons, Opinions Editor

“Don’t let anyone tell you we’re going to live in hermetically sealed buildings on Mars. This is our home” stated Al Gore, back dropped by a photo of our blue Earth suspended in consuming blackness. Our earth is our home and An Inconvenient Sequel reminded us of the dedication in the Environmentalist movement. The Eden Hall viewing of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power renewed the audience’s vigor in fighting climate change both in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.
Al Gore equates combating climate change to the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, and facing apartheid. With climate becoming an incredibly divisive issue we stand at the turning point of the movement. Supporting environmentalism will be a morally loaded question. We see cities responding to throughout the United States as they create zero waste and renewable energy initiatives.
We as college students will face the issues of climate change as we enter the work field, but can also advocate today. Whether advocating on an economic, political, or moral angle, we must put pressure on city and state government to uphold a transition away from fossil fuels.
As much as Donald Trump thinks he can pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the law states otherwise. The United States will legally remain in the Agreement until the day after the next presidential election, at which time we may renew it. Unfortunately, the executive branch remains determined to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but through community engagement and pressure on our state government we can forge ahead in the fight against climate change.
After the screening, a mixture of undergrad students, graduate students, community members, faculty, and even President Finegold and Sue Finegold came together to discuss what Chatham and Pittsburgh can do. With Pittsburgh and Philadelphia utilizing the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the U.N., Pennsylvania can move to the forefront in renewable energy. We must be ambitious in our demands because for the first time we can be. We can demand that cities, schools, and businesses convert to completely renewable energy sources because of lower costs and a growing industry. As a University we can be a resources for the greater Pittsburgh community to enact change within Pennsylvania.
There are efforts underway to create Pittsburgh Climate Reality Chapters. The Climate Reality Group spreads information about climate change and supports local initiatives to combat it. The Pittsburgh Chapter had its first meeting on October 30, 2017. Updates will be coming in following weeks on their plan to tackle local climate issues.
After the film, talk of a Chatham chapter took place. The chapter would be a resource for community members and students, both at Eden Hall and Shadyside campuses. President Finegold and others at the meeting expressed their vision of this chapter looking externally at changes that could be made in Pittsburgh and the Southwestern region. As a University and a community we look towards the future of our country on the edge of reversing climate change to leave our home in a better condition than when we arrived.