Tulane students get involved in Earth Day celebrations • The Tulane Hullabaloo

(Will Embree)

Earlier this year, a UN report hinted that climate change had becomecode red for humanity.” Climate change has played a major role in the fivefold increase in weather-related disasters in recent years 50 years. Many of these effects areirreversible,” and the consequences will only continue to get worse if left unchecked.

Today, there seems to be complete disregard among the general public to the current climate catastrophe.

However, environmentalists have been looking for change for years. Gaylor NelsonWisconsin-born World War II veteran and US senator, seeks preventative action for the climate crisis.

In 1969, after spreading awareness about temporary environmental issues tour nation with President John F. Kennedy, Nelson announced the idea for Earth Day. Nelson, inspired by the “teach-ins” held by Vietnam War protesters, envisioned Earth Day as “large-scale grassroots demonstrations against the degradation of America’s natural resources.

Nelson’s passion for saving our Earth continues through student body advocacy at national universities, including Tulane University.

Inside the Tulane Hullabaloo climate change archive, there are more than 15 articles calling for climate action.

Titles range from opinion pieces that call for “… actions to combat coastal erosion” for an easy initiative to reduce one’s environmental footprint. Whatever the content, there is a common theme across all sections: it’s time for a change.

This sentiment transcends the boundaries of student journalism. This Earth Day, Tulane students are taking action on climate change, demonstrating that every step forward is a step in the right direction.

Second grader Nico Acosta recounts his experience on Earth Day. He said, “This year I celebrated Earth Day by attending demonstrations and teaching led by Tulane Sunrise, Ultrasound Sustainabilityand Tulane University Democrats. The march was led to protest the millions of dollars Tulane has invested in the fossil fuel industry and to raise awareness about environmental justice on campus and in New Orleans.”

Acosta also said the teaching was “part of a larger Earth Day demonstration.” He said, “His teaching was partly to raise awareness about environmental justice and the role organizations play in perpetuating climate issues.”

Others opted out of this year’s Earth Day demonstrations but took time to reflect on their environmental actions.

Sophomore Barron Jones talks about his hopes for sustainable living in the future. “I want to start composting when I stay home next year, I always thought that would be cool,” says Jones.

Although not all students took part in the Earth Day demonstration, it turns out that Tulane students are still trying to improve their sustainable practices.

Sophomore Alex Fisher expressed a similar stance. “I can stop eating [meat] or never getting my driver’s license because I can’t drive,” Fisher said. Fisher takes a more satirical approach to climate action, but the message remains the same.

Others are starting to implement the changes they want to see in their lives. To live a more sustainable life, sophomore Casey Wade says, “I don’t eat red meat because of the amount of methane the beef industry produces.”

This Earth Day, Tulane students take time to apply, reflect on and continue their environmental advocacy methods. Despite his varied approaches, the spirit of Earth Day and Nelson’s perseverance is no doubt evident through the actions of the Tulane students.

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