What are the greatest sources of pain and suffering in the world? Your community? In your country?
World: the climate crisis is exasperating other conflicts and problems around the world. Climate shifts and intensifying storms are projected to lead to minimization of food production, accelerating desertification, flooding, and exacerbating the spread of disease. With declines in water, food, and substantial shelter access, an increase in “environmental refugees” and climate-caused violence are plausible outcomes. In fact, we are seeing these issues arising across the world and in our own country.
Your community: when I consider “my community,” my heart truly lies in Arizona. I think of a failing education system, underfunded and undervalued by the state government. I think of the crisis at the border and a lack of empathy for refugees and asylum seekers. I think of a lack of environmental regulations leading to overuse of water, rapidly decreasing air quality, and a lack of renewable energy alternatives.
Your country: for the most part, I feel like the issues listed above are absolutely part of the U.S.’s greatest threats. The education system doesn’t work for all and is not helping our youth have the difficult conversations we need to have surrounding our nation’s history in relation to racism, enslavement, and genocide. By sweeping these conversations under the rug for over 200 years, these tensions continue to grow and divide Americans into tribes. Tribal politics are creating gridlock and continuing to foster systems of oppression and a lack of action (and recognition) of climate change being the greatest threat to humanity.