Climate change has always felt to me to be a very distant problem. My dad might have shown me news articles of ice caps melting, or a teacher may have mentioned the greenhouse effect in class, but I was never struck by the urgency as I have been recently. Now, I am watching my hometown experience extreme drought and wildfires and, as of a week ago, meticulous water rationing.
The helpless feeling of these disasters have caused me to feel a strong desire to take action, and I have been able to do that with OSPIRG, a student advocacy group at the University of Oregon. This week, I attended my first ever annual lobby week, where we met with state senators and representatives from around Oregon to advocate for issues that students care about such as climate change, textbook affordability, student hunger and plastic waste.
We received lots of support for these campaigns from our representatives, which was an encouraging step toward the action that we need, but there is still so much work to be done. The state of Oregon needs to make a commitment to 100 percent clean electricity to prevent the worst effects of climate change and make our daily lives feel less like an apocalyptic movie.