Sunday, September 21, 2014

Students Take Action in the Climate Battle

By Christopher Neely

A group of University of Maryland students seem to have had enough of simply talking about climate change, and has decided to take action.

“Right here, right now, together” is the slogan for the group of students from Dr. Leszek Sibilski’s contemporary social problems class, who are mobilizing a campaign to fix the climate problem. The students recently put out a Youtube video to prove this group is more than just talk.

Directed by Maryland student, Yaqi Liu, the video opens with a serious tone, as Dr. Sibilski lectures his class. “Climate change is your problem,” said Dr. Sibilski, pointing to his students. “This is about your survival.”

The video then shows different students talking to the camera about climate change. “It took humanity to ruin the Earth, and it takes humanity to fix it,” says Jonathan Johnson. While students like Ian Moritz said, “Climate change is a problem, because it affects over 7 billion people.”

The student campaign brought them to the Connect4Climate event held at The World Bank in Washington, D.C. on March 1st earlier this year. The event was big in advocating serious action to fix the climate problem.

“We’ve said the numbers again and again and again,” said President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim at the event. “But what we yet have failed to do is actually connect.”

The event gave director the video, Yaqi Liu, some important insight on helping the world fix this problem. “After the event, I was still wondering the way to make the world better,” said Liu. “But now I think in a different way. Every big change starts with a small step.”

According to the video, the budget for the production was zero dollars. The investment was “countless after-school volunteer hours” while the equipment was simply a semi-professional video camera. However, the crew is what is making this campaign a success, and they are credited as “50 passionate and cool students”.

The video shows how 50 students from this small social problems class have been inspired to take it upon themselves to help change the world and fix the climate problem. They send a message that people do not have to be congressmen, politicians, or environmental scientists to participate in helping to win the battle against climate change.

As student Benjamin Cutler says towards the end of the video, “It falls upon this generation to step up and fight climate change.” And these students show that sometimes, it just takes the determination of a group to help make a difference.

Check out the video below.