Opinion | Why educating oneself about the planet is vital

Now more than ever, planet Earth needs our collaborative action. What can we do this month to put us back on track?


Ryan Adams

Photo Illustration by Ryan Adams

Naomi Rivera Morales, Opinions Columnist

April celebrates Earth Month, a time in need of our attention.

Earth Month is celebrated in hopes of raising environmental awareness and consciousness about the state of our planet. Our actions come with cause and effect, which means that we have a shared responsibility toward the health of our planet and every living being that lives alongside us.

On March 31, temperatures hit 70 degrees Fahrenheit and welcomed a tornado into town. Businesses and houses were damaged across the Coralville strip, leaving debris scattered throughout town.

At that time, I was at Coral Ridge Mall taking shelter with my coworkers. We sat in a pitch-black room with single flashlights for hours, hearing the strong winds beat against the back door. It was unsettling and incredibly concerning.

This is a direct result of the ever-changing climate. Raging storms such as these threaten our community, our health, and our future. It is time to take stronger action that is long overdue.

We are interconnected with the environment, and it is important to take note of our day-to-day actions. It’s not easy to switch toward a more environmentally friendly approach at times, but together, we can surely get there.

Simple tips for reducing our carbon footprint can be easy, like taking shorter showers, conserving paper, minimizing your plug load, turning off lights that are not in use, and taking your recyclables to a recycling center.

These are all great tips, but at the point that we are at, we need more.

Biden has stated his understanding of one of our country’s greatest challenges. To get behind climate change, a Clean Energy Revolution was announced upon his presidency. However, Biden signed off on the Willow Project, which will emit around 9.2 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air per year, according to a federal analysis requested by the Washington Post.

This is not okay. Our planet, and every living being within it, deserves to coexist healthily. We need action in our voices and in the legislature, not in unfulfilled pledges.

To combat our decline, we must start by further educating ourselves and having conversations about environmental solutions with those around us. These conversations may be uncomfortable, but pushing past these feelings is vital.

Think Iowa City is hosting an Earth Day celebration in Swan Park on April 21. At the event, the organization plans to have environmental educational crafts, door prizes, activities, and live music.

Filling the streets is another great way to aggressively tackle climate change policies. Contacting elected officials directly is an even stronger step to take, as directing these concerns toward legislators would help us move at a much faster rate.

Without positive change and reinforcement, our actions will be unforgivable. Every being deserves a place to live healthily and to coexist with our greatest gift of all.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.