US-NEWS-OCASIOCORTEZ-POLL-ZUM

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helped create the Green New Deal.

When negative headlines speak to the ever-changing nature of the world’s climate, it’s hard to keep a positive outlook on the fate of the planet.

Having hope is crucial to taking action, and it's necessary to take action in order to prevent a terrible fate for the planet. With all this being said, it’s time people put a greater spotlight on those doing incredible work to fight climate change rather than obsess over those that deny its existence and continue to make it worse. It’s too easy to focus on the negative things, but when the positives are given more attention, they can seem to outweigh the wrongdoings affecting the planet.

One of the most influential and publicized people to look to for hope on climate change is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The congresswoman and Bronx-native is well known for a multitude of reasons but is ultimately being championed by her constituents and people on the climate change defense for her part in creating the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal is a proposal that would ambitiously decarbonize or convert power systems to utilizing renewable energy for the entirety of the United States over a 10-year span. As there is approximately 10 years left to reduce carbon emission output by 45% to avoid catastrophic damage to the planet, this resolution comes at a critically important time. Should it pass, there’ll be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to thank for being proactive on the climate change front.

Another person who’s making waves in regards to climate change is Greta Thunberg. Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish activist who roused an international movement to fight climate change. She did so through using the hashtag #FridaysForFuture to get kids in school to walk out of class to protest governmental inaction on the climate change front. Since gaining momentum, Thunberg’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism, seeing as preventing climate change promotes peace. Allowing climate change to continue could result in wars and famines — antitheses of peace.

Someone who’s taking fighting climate change personally, so much so that they’re making it their ultimate focus, is Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg was a speculative candidate for the 2020 presidential campaign, but when he was asked if he’d be running, he said that the best way to serve his country was by helping it move “toward a 100% clean energy economy.” One of his actions to do so was launching the “Beyond Coal” campaign, which aims to embolden communities to move away from relying on coal through educating people about the way burning coal pollutes both air and water.

While there’s still a long way to go before anyone can say with confidence that humanity will tackle the problem of climate change, there are many people leading the way and exemplifying  how to have courage in fighting this fight. They deserve attention and support because without it, so much could be lost. That being said, if everyone gives them enough support, so much more could be gained.

Ellie Shippey is a senior media arts and design major. Contact Ellie at shippeeb@dukes.jmu.edu.