Global warming, also known as climate change, was popularized by Al Gore and has since gained the reputation of being one of the most controversial, polarizing issues of the 21st Century. It has polarized right from left and those who are religious from those who are agnostic or atheist.

Most of the data concerning global warming presented today shows physical data related to climate change, such as green house gas emissions and the melting of polar ice caps. However, the issue of climate change is not just physical; it also has a very real, non physical aspect.

The greatest threat to the future of environment is human mentality. The indifferrence of the majority is the root cause for many of the physical issues and effects of climate change.

Apathy: n. A lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

Apathy is a disease that has plagued many people into taking a stance of non action, of thoughtlessness. Many who hold this position seem to be under the false impression that leaving the issue alone will cause it to solve itself or others that may solve it for them. However, this is definitely not the case.

In fact, ignorance and apathy are what  created and expedited the issue in the first place. By rejecting science and remaining ignorant, we became apathetic towards the issue. We chose apathy instead of responsibility and apathy in exchange for monetary gain.

A local, prevalent example of the apathy towards climate change is how Californians have responded to the drought. Though the state was only a year late to acknowledge this crisis to its full extent, the state has been experiencing water conditions that have been deteriorating for the past few decades.

The state’s drought technically began in 2012, yet legislative members did not truly address this as a State of Emergency until this past January, even though last year was California’s driest year since 1895. So how do I propose we tackle this widespread condition? Through education.

In society there is a filter. This filter screens for scary realities that surround us every day, and with this filter, there is no hope of progress when it comes to changing mentality. Images and stories that evoke emotions such as fear or sadness have the ability to trigger changes of perspective, so in order to change the mentality of the majority to one of action, we must expose the reality and stop shading the truth and feeding the population a false sense hope and security.

For example, many conservative news organizations, such as Fox News, frequently offer the idea that global warming is in fact a natural phenomenon and not something that has been severely exacerbated by human actions. This theory is thrown around gives us a false sense of security and hope that we are not responsible for the current condition, that is natural, and that we do not have a responsibility to fix it.

I completely reject this belief. Whether or not we would like to acknowledge the issue, it is happening and quickly because of us, and it is our mentality, along with legislation, that desperately needs to change.

Considering the situation we are now facing, ignorance and apathy are no longer viable options.

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