My Generation's Greatest Challenge

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President Barack Obama once said, “All across the world…increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster.” The President’s words make it clear that climate change is a great challenge which must be faced, and soon. However, it is not the government’s job alone to deal with this crisis. Stopping climate change will be my generation’s greatest challenge.

One of the reasons why climate change is such a formidable obstacle is that the needed change will come slowly. One image that comes to mind is a frog dropped into a pan of scalding water. Of course, the frog will reflexively leap away from the danger. However, if the frog is immersed in lukewarm water, and the water is slowly brought to a boil, the frog will remain and will suffer a serious penalty. My generation is the frog, and “the man-made natural disaster” is the boiling water. The inertia of the past cannot be overcome in a short time. Consequently, the drastic changes needed to combat climate change will not be effected quickly. However, time is of the essence. Society’s prompt reformation of environmentally destructive habits must be the goal if my generation wishes to subdue this serious threat.

To deal with this vast challenge, education as well as reeducation must be made priorities. Not only must scientific knowledge about climate change be made readily available to young people, but the desire for improvement must be instilled in them. As harsh as it may seem, teachers need to constantly remind their students of the worldwide destruction that will ensue should young people fail to act proactively. Likewise, reeducation must provide a jolt to the older generation, shocking it out of its passive stupor and igniting passion for change.

Finally,...
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