I want to argue that although people find it easy to turn to businesses and the government to fix climate change people also have to hold themselves accountable. We cannot simply blame the government and businesses for climate change because regular individuals add to climate change through consumerism and consumer culture. People usually do not recognize the role they play in causing climate change and do not understand that their actions influence businesses and government officials. Unfortunately, we rarely consider the role of consumerism in climate change. According to Grist.org, “A new study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that the stuff we consume — from food to knick-knacks — is responsible for up to 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and between 50 and 80 percent of total land, material, and water use.” It’s clear that the things that we buy and use add to emissions and pollution in the atmosphere. We fail to realize that businesses were built to serve the people. If we do not demand the products we use, businesses have no reason to supply them. Therefore, regular individuals are as much to blame as businesses and government officials. So, we must begin to take measures that we are not as comfortable with. Instead of simply recycling, we need to also stop buying and using cars. We cannot keep believing that our individual actions will do nothing and then give up. Instead, we have to keep working to make bigger institutions bend to our will.
I feel strongly about this topic because the UN’s climate report of the 2040 deadline is very alarming. In 2040, many people could lose their lives. My generation will live to see this year but older generations may not. This is why my audience consists of American University’s young liberal students, who are subscribed to AWOL Magazine, the venue in which I would be posting my article. I want to convince these young liberal students to start doing more to reduce their carbon footprint because I believe younger people are more radical and willing to act than older audiences. In addition, I believe that young progressives will care more about this issue because they believe climate change is a real problem that directly impacts the younger generation.