As I look forward to a new year, I cannot forget all that has arisen this past year. From wildfires to COVID-19 to the presidential election, 2020 was far from boring. Instead, it opened my eyes to the unexpected and the unknown.
I never imagined myself being confronted with all of these issues as a college student but understanding the complexity of life is what growing up is all about. The presidential election, in particular, caught most of my attention. Donald Trump and Joe Biden hold vastly different views, especially when it comes to the environment. Although the Trump administration rolled back many environmental protections, Biden promises a different approach: swift action to combat climate change.
Regardless of their political affiliation, I believe people will come to see this transition of power as beneficial for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health conditions that we suffer from. Science and facts will be incorporated into decisions made by this new administration. Research will provide the basis of people’s opinions and influence the solutions that our country pursues.
Federal achievements, such as rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, are already being seen. These steps in the right direction are monumental, but must be supported with actions of communities and everyday individuals. That is exactly why I signed the MomentUs statement. My environmental goals mean too much to me to just sit back and do nothing. The phrases within the pledge like “moral imperative” and “equitable solutions” resonate with those who believe that climate change is present and dangerous. By signing this simple statement, anyone can make a difference no matter their age, background, or education level. I may be a young college student, but my signature has already contributed to an environmental movement that is bigger than myself.
Here’s hoping that the United States can get a break from carbon in 2021 and that our future is bright and sustainable.
Erica Stanitski is a sophomore at Franklin & Marshall College. She is majoring in Public Health and is planning to pursue a career in Healthcare Administration or Pediatric Medicine. She completed this post as part of the Public Health Crosswalk Program through F&M’s Office of Student & Post-Graduate Development.