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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Earthstock still a long way from saving the world

(JISOO HWANG / THE STATESMAN)
Earthstock featured tables set up by clubs and organizations in order to spread “green messages.” (JISOO HWANG / THE STATESMAN)

Whether or not we choose to acknowledge it, climate change is real. It has been scientifically proven that the world as we know it today will morph into something almost unrecognizable in the foreseeable future. Earth will become a hotter, more hostile planet. Most of us that are alive today will be long gone before any detrimental effects manifest themselves and because of this, we find it hard to muster up the drive to actually take action. What we do not realize, however, is that those closest to us—our children and grandchildren—will be left to clean up our mess. A mess that we inherited from the generations before us. We cannot let the planet we love die. Thankfully, here at Stony Brook, it is a priority to educate students and staff alike about the necessity to strive for a greener future. The Earthstock celebration this past week aimed to do just that, but was it successful?

The Earthstock event is a celebration of planet Earth. During the week-long event, organizations and clubs gather at the Academic Mall to spread “green messages.” They distribute plants, educational pamphlets and apparel that all serve as friendly reminders to help save the planet. The event ran smoothly and the school could not have picked a more picture-perfect day to hold it. The sun was out and there was not a single could in the sky. Students were up and about, listening about how to make this world a better, cleaner place, taking everything in as if they were in a class. Despite its perceived success, it seems to me that Earthstock is simply set up for failure.

While I was walking down the Academic Mall, a young lady approached me holding a flower in a soil filled Dixie cup and asked me if I wanted to save the environment. Naturally, I said something along the lines of, “Sure, why not?” She gave me the flower with a huge smile on her face and before I knew it, was out of my sight. Immediately I was thinking about what in the world I was supposed to do with this plant and how it was supposed to help me save the environment. The girl, despite her genuine intentions, left me absolutely perplexed as to what her goal was in giving me the plant. Did she think that by simply giving me the flower, she was helping the environment? Unfortunately, much of the Earthstock celebration was more or less the same. It seemed as though it was more of an attraction rather than a true honoring of the Earth and Earth Day. Climate change cannot be reversed. It can only be limited. So shouldn’t we commence the effort to curtail this chaos before it gets even worse? What better place than a college campus to start saving the world?

The first step in making the Earth greener is obviously educating the public as to how severely our planet needs its most intelligent and diligent inhabitants to curtail climate change. I would find it safe to say that most of us here at Stony Brook know by now what state the world is in. Thus, I feel as though educating people about environmental sustainability, in an institution in which a majority of the people are well-informed, is essentially useless. We already know what we need to do. Now it is just a matter of doing it.

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