Regarding the column “Saving the environment one trip at a time,” I agree that ecotourism is vital to keeping national parks clean. However, to truly keep the ecosystems of these parks stable, we must also focus on curtailing carbon emissions. In 2019, the UN warned that we had 12 years to limit the worst effects of climate change. If we fail, heat waves will become more lethal, rising sea levels will displace millions and widespread crop failures will dismantle our ecosystems. Environmentalists agree that we must alter environmental policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
When I was in 10th grade, I joined the Sunrise Movement, which advocates for representatives who support bold climate legislation. One U.S. Representative endorsed by the organization is Andy Levin, a Democrat who ran for Congress in Michigan’s 11th district. Levin sponsored the Electric Vehicle Freedom Act, which would create a network of electric vehicle charging stations around the United States. He also supports conservation efforts for the Great Lakes, which provide 84% of the nation’s freshwater. Some members of the Sunrise Movement traveled to Michigan to advocate for Levin in-person, while others, such as myself, phonebanked from home. Unfortunately, Levin lost the Democratic primary to U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, who is less aggressive on fighting climate change. However, we can prevent future losses of climate-friendly representatives by continuing to fight for their electoral victories.
Members of the House and Senate are capable of making a large-scale impact through comprehensive climate-conscious legislation. This is why I believe the best thing we can do for our future is elect climate-friendly representatives. We cannot squander the little time we have left.
Arushi Katyal is a rising freshman at Boston College.