Is Ignorance Really Bliss?
As a student of Simon Fraser University active in both Burnaby and Surrey campus, an inherent need for using the Translink system is required to get to each location. All these transiting experiences have brought enlightenment of a common pattern - many citizens are either unaware of or neglecting the issue of climate change. Some of the actions contributing towards the progress of climate change include: tossing out newspapers handed out at sky train stations in garbage bins when a recycling bin is located either right beside it or a few steps away; purposely throwing out ticket stubs outside on the ground when sitting inside the bus or sky train; throwing out recyclable bottles or juice boxes; and mindless littering when a garbage can is only a few feet away.
All of these observations are disheartening to see as the common statement is that our generation is the future, yet the donation being made to the planet is more pollution, with some of the population carrying the mindset that others will clean up their mess after - or even more crudely, they will not be alive to suffer the effects of the climate change.
Others even believe that climate change is not caused by humans or the effects are not serious enough to be apprehensive or take action although numerous lectures (i.e. Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"), news reports and articles have been published outlining the scientific research conducted on the negative consequences occurring as a result of our habits. Some of these impacts include: the rise in the Earth's temperature as a result of the glaciers and permafrost melting; sea-surface temperatures increasing; the rising sea level (which poses as a detriment to coastal communities, wet lands and coral reefs); sea water becoming increasingly acidic as carbon dioxide dissolves in the water; changing ecosystems; increase in droughts and floods in certain regions and much more.
Optimistically there will be decreases in the amount of unnecessary littering and a greater amount of attention towards environmental practices (no matter how small or big the effort) that will surface in the near future. Whether citizens will actively work together to improve the health of the environment is something that can be answered only with time.