A Message from India—the Future is Now

Today’s post is from the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India where Finley’s cousin Emma is completing a semester as part of her global health major.  Finley and Emma were born the same year, and share a concern for people and the planet.  Thank you Emma for this eye-opening perspective.

“Many of us view climate change in the abstract. We see pictures of drought, receding glaciers, shifting seasons, but that’s  all they are — pictures. Even if where we’re from is significantly affected, most of us have a large enough buffer to protect against it. An urban American perspective on climate change is one of privilege. It’s knowing that if we don’t do anything, we’ll still be the last ones to feel the impact.

Imagine how much we could do if everyone approached climate change with a true sense of urgency — as if it were a matter of life or death, like it already is for so many millions of people. We need reminding that we aren’t just working to preserve our own future, we’re working to protect another’s now.

I’ve spent the past two years traveling the world; seeing first-hand how drought is affecting rural communities abroad. The village that I’m working with in Honduras faces relocation if they can’t solve their water crisis. In Southern India, where I’m currently studying, communities are losing their clean spring water sources. While preventative approaches to climate change are needed, they can’t be implemented alone. Constructing sustainable infrastructure, supporting relief work, and welcoming climate refugees are all a part of creating a greener today. The future we fear is already happening. We can’t just fight to save tomorrow.”